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. 

Har Shalom Staff - Tamara Burnside

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

Breanna Renken - Har Shalom Preschool

Breanna Renken
Bet Room Lead Teacher

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.

Har Shalom Staff - Tonya

Tonya Puttlitz
Aleph Room Teacher Aid

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!

Zihui (Cherry) Xu - Har Shalom Preschool

Zihui (Cherry) Xu
Bet Room Teacher Aid

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.

Har Shalom Staff - Tessa

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 - Har Shalom Preschool

Kate Freiheiter
Aleph-Bet Club: Teacher Aid

Jennifer Martin - Aleph Bet Lead Teacher

Jennifer Martin
Aleph-Bet Club Lead Teacher

Jennifer Martin earned her BS in Human Development and Family Studies at CSU. With over 22 years in Early Childhood Education, Jenny is experienced in a variety of pedagogies & environments. Jenny has always held an interest in culture and diversity that is reflective in her empowering and respectful style of connecting and teaching children. Cultivating an environment that is nurturing and supportive to all learners and families is her philosophy.