Staff

Ilene Forsyth

Preschool 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 providing curriculum and workshops 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 Burnside

Administrative Assistant

Tamara Burnside - Admin 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. Tamara enjoys singing, skiing, hiking, and reading.

Breanna Renken - Lead Teacher

Breanna Renken

Lead Teacher - Bet Room

Breanna has 15 years experience working with youth and children in a variety of settings. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education. It is her goal to nurture a love of learning in the hearts of her students as well as foster lifelong tools to develop healthy social and emotional relationships.

Elizabeth Pepper

Lead Teacher - Aleph Room

Zihui-Cherry-Xu - Teacher Assistant

Zihui (Cherry) Xu

Teacher Aid - Bet Room

Cherry has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. She loves to be around kids. She started her early childhood education career with base camp, then fell in love with it. She plans to chase further education within this field in the future.

Tonya Puttlitz

Teacher Aid - Aleph Room

Tonya Puttlitz - Teacher Assistant

Tonya was a stay-at-home mom for many years before she began working part-time in the Poudre School District as a Job Coach, assisting and mentoring special-needs teens at various internships. She enjoys working with your children and helping them enjoy each of their days to the fullest!

Tessa Quinter - Teacher Aid

Tessa Quinter

Teacher Aid

Tessa is a CSU student studying Natural Resources. She has worked with children for years, including being a nanny, vollyball coach, and camp counselor. Tessa finds so much joy in witnessing children’s curiosity and excitement to learn.

Kate Freiheiter

Aleph Bet Club - Teacher Aid

Kate Freiheiter - Teacher Aid, Aleph Bet Club