— Dr. Seuss
Temple Beth Israel Preschool is staffed by a wonderful team of caring, educated, dedicated early childhood educators. Most classrooms have two staff members, dependent on the size of the class. We aim to keep a 2:15 ratio with our older two groups and 2:10 ratio with our youngest group of children. The advantage of being a relatively small program is that our teachers are acquainted with all of the children, and assistant teachers often help in different classes as needed. At TBI Preschool, the teachers each work in one specific class, which is based on age, and the children move from class to class each year. Thus, the teachers get to know and work with each child as they move through our program.
Deborah Pruitt has been the Director of Temple Beth Israel Preschool since 1989, when she began her path in Jewish early childhood education. Prior to that, she had been an administrator, early childhood teacher and parent education teacher in Pasadena. Deborah received her M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and her B.S. in Applied Behavioral Science from George Williams College. Over the past 28 years, Deborah has worked with the staff in developing a quality early childhood program at Temple Beth Israel. During those years, she also taught college courses in Child Development. Deborah takes pride in welcoming all to Temple Beth Preschool, a nurturing center of learning for young children and their families during the early childhood years.
Lila recently joined TBI Preschool after seven years teaching at B’nai Simcha Jewish Community Preschool in Pasadena, where her two sons also attended. Immediately after graduating from UCSB in 1993 with a B.A, in Sociology, she worked with 3-4 year olds in Boulder Colorado. She briefly worked at Montessori in San Marino, and later worked as a behavioral therapist for children diagnosed with autism. She is a member of NAEYC and enjoys continuing her early childhood education through workshops and seminars. Lila loves children's literature and has a talent for getting children to think critically during story time. She appreciates what makes each child special and has the patience and insight to tailor activities to each individual child. Her two boys are now teenagers in high school.
Lucy has been teaching in the field of early childhood education since 1987. She attended Citrus College, where she earned a Child Development Specialist certificate, and an A.A. degree. Lucy is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has also tutored students in Spanish. Lucy feels strongly that it’s the combination of her family’s love and encouragement during her formative years plus her educational background that has served as her guide in working with young children. “I teach so that I may share with children the gifts my family gave me: love, kindness, understanding and patience”. After past substitute teaching at TBI Preschool, Lucy is now joining TBI Preschool staff as the assistant teacher in Group 3.
Cindy began working at Temple Beth Israel Preschool in 1995. She has been an assistant teacher, daycare teacher as well as the teacher of our 3-4 year old class. Currently, Cindy is the lead teacher with our PreK class, the oldest group of children at TBI Preschool. Cindy attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a Child Development major. She has been a member of NAEYC since 1995, and continues her education through conferences, seminars and reading. Cindy has a strong interest in children's literature, and personally has an extensive library of children's books. She loves teaching and interacting with each child as she watches them grow and develop.
Elizabeth joined TBI Preschool’s staff in the spring of 2018. She first worked with us as a substitute teacher, and is now a daily assistant teacher, working with all of the age groups. Elizabeth’s educational background includes receiving her A.S. in Child Development from Mount San Antonio College and a B. A. in Liberal Studies with a focus on education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to entering the field of early childhood education, Elizabeth worked in Disney’s entertainment costuming department. In her spare time, she still enjoys making costumes for herself, friends and family.
Eunice has been working at Temple Beth Israel Preschool since 2007, and in the field of early childhood education prior to joining TBI Preschool. She has had experience working with all of our age groups and is currently the lead teacher with our Group 2. Eunice is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has been using this skill in introducing Spanish to our children. Eunice embodies, as do all of our staff, the balance of nurture and guidance with our young children.
Melissa joined the staff of TBI Preschool in 2014-15. Melissa’s background in early childhood education includes having her own family daycare program, and working in other childcare programs prior coming to TBI Preschool. Melissa has studied early childhood education at local colleges. Currently, Melissa works for Pomona Unified School District in the mornings as an assistant teacher with developmentally delayed students and in TBI Preschool’s afternoon daycare program.
Dorene rejoined the teaching staff of TBI Preschool in September, 2015. Dorene worked in our program more than 10 years ago, in all of our age groups, both as an assistant teacher and teacher. She also worked in other childcare settings prior to TBI Preschool and studied child development at Mt. San Antonio College. After leaving TBI Preschool, Dorene worked at a hospital emergency department. Until she returned to the field of early childhood education, Dorene devoted time to her family. When she’s not working, she’s helping at her daughter’s elementary school and is a ‘dance mom’, spending 15 hours a week at the dance studio.
Maria joined the staff of TBI Preschool in the Spring of 2018, and is an assistant teacher in our program. She is currently finishing up her studies at Chaffey Community College and will receive her A.A. degree in Early Childhood Development this coming school year. Maria has worked in the field of child development prior to working in our program. She’s an energetic, fun loving teacher with an appreciation for enriching children’s social and emotional experiences while helping them gain an understanding of their uniqueness. Maria also has a strong passion for animals and enjoys incorporating animals into discussions and the children’s classroom experiences.