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Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten Staff

Ilene - Director

Ilene Forsyth received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Salem State University in Massachusetts, earning her a license to teach Preschool through 3rd grade. In Massachusetts, Ilene taught for many years at the Jewish Community Center Preschool and held a professional role as a Resource Teacher for the teaching staff. Ilene moved to Fort Collins with her family in 2006. 

In 2007, she joined Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten as one of the "Specials" teachers where she developed a Hebrew program for Kindergarten age children. Shortly thereafter, Ilene became a classroom Teacher and trained in the Montessori philosophy for several years before her Directorship in 2014. Ilene is passionate about celebrating all children as individuals and honored to serve the Shalomies during their essential early years of growth and development. 

Tamara - Administrative Assistant

Tamara Burnside earned her BS in Human Development and Family Sciences from Brigham Young University. Tamara has held a variety of roles at HSPK as a much-loved substitute teacher, teacher assistant and now as Administrative Assistant with Early Child Teacher qualifications. Tamara enjoys singing with The Larimer Chorale, skiing, hiking, and reading. She resides in Fort Collins with her husband and four children.

Breanna - Lead Teacher

My name is Breanna. I am delighted to be the Lead Teacher of Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten.

I have 15 years of experience working with youth and children in a variety of settings. I hold my B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education. As an educator, it is my goal to nurture a love of learning in the hearts of my students as well as foster lifelong tools to develop healthy social and emotional relationships with ourselves and with others.

I was born and raised in Lincoln, NE and moved to Austin, TX until the summer of 2012. In August of 2012, I listened to the call of the mountains and my husband, Casey, and I journeyed to Fort Collins. I’m full of gratitude as I pursue this path in my teaching journey as a guide for the hearts, minds, bodies, and souls of your children. May our community and relationships become nourished and may we flourish as I learn, play, and grow alongside your children.

Tonya - Teacher Aid

My name is Tonya. I was born and raised in California, graduated college there, and then worked in San Francisco in the corporate world for several years. After meeting my husband, getting married and having a child, the three of us moved to Fort Collins in 2005 to enjoy all the amazing things Colorado has to offer. 

I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, then worked part-time in the Poudre School District as a Job Coach, assisting and mentoring special-needs teens at various internships they held at different businesses throughout Fort Collins. In 2015-16, my family and I spent a sabbatical year living in New Zealand, having all sorts of fun and adventures. In my spare time, I enjoy camping, hiking, traveling and volunteering. I very much look forward to working with your children at this school and helping them enjoy each of their days here to the fullest!

Whitney - Teacher Aid

My name is Whitney. I grew up moving around the country and in Germany as my father was in the  military. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology and a Master's Degree in Environmental Toxicology and worked in the science field for many years before having children. I then stayed home with my two children and spent time volunteering with our church and in the school system. I realized I love being around children and work part-time at Lesher Middle School and treasure the time at Har Shalom.

Savannah - Lunch Teacher

Hello, my name is Savannah Pessin. I’m currently a student at Colorado State University studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Growing up Jewish was a huge part of my life. I was always very active within my congregation and was the first person to help out if needed in my Hebrew school. As I continued to get older, I attended various Jewish camps that included: the JCC Day Camp in Las Vegas and a sleep-away camp in Seattle, Washington called Camp Solomon Schechter. After being a camper over the years, I decided that I too wanted to give back to campers the fun and excitement I grew up with and decided to become a counselor at each of these camps. Early childhood development is dependent on those leaders that guide them through adolescence and into adulthood. I owe it to my teachers and counselors who helped me grow; this too is what I want to give back to the children I help every day.  

The Aleph-Bet Club Teachers 2:30-5:30pm

Nina

My name is Nina and I am a student at Colorado State University studying Social Work. I was born and raised in Denver, then moved to Fort Collins to go to college with a major in social work. I have always loved working with children and find their creativity and playfulness to be contagious. I love spending time with my family and cuddling with my three dogs. I also enjoy being outdoors, chocolate, and anywhere with a beach. 

 

Tessa 

My name is Tessa, I am a CSU student studying Natural Resources. I have worked with children of all ages for years, including being a nanny, coaching youth volleyball, and counseling at outdoor camps. I find so much joy in witnessing children’s curiosity and excitement to learn.

I grew up in Phoenix and moved to Colorado in 2014. I love spending time with my family, playing sports, traveling, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Lisa

My name is Lisa and I am double majoring in Psychology and Equine Science with a minor in Business Administration at CSU. I hope to become a child psychologist specialized in using horses as a therapeutic strategy.

I was born in France and moved to Seattle, WA when I was eight years old. Ever since, I have loved traveling, learning new languages, and going on adventures. If you are looking for me, I will either be at the barn caring for animals of all shapes and sizes or reading a book outdoors.

I have worked with children ever since I can remember. From being a big sister, to nannying, to creating my own summer camp, and to tutoring. I love the joy children radiate, especially when they are learning, creating, and discovering the many wonders of the world. I am delighted to be a part of the Aleph-Bet Club teachers and looking forward to working with your children.

Emily

My name is Emily and I am a CSU student studying Human Development and Family Studies with a pre-health concentration. I hope to become a pediatric occupational therapist.

I am originally from San Luis Obispo, California and came to Fort Collins for school, and I'm so glad I did! I have always enjoyed working with children and have been a preschool teacher for the last five summers. Aside from working at the preschool I also have experience nannying and have been a summer camp counselor for various elementary age groups. I love being able to be a facilitator in learning by doing and also by encouraging children to be creative. A little more about me: I love the outdoors, animals, music, traveling, watermelon, and of course kids!

Sun, December 8 2019 10 Kislev 5780