A Message from our Director:
Welcome to Kol Emet Preschool! It is my sincere pleasure and honor to work with a loving, professional staff, amazing parents and exceptional children.Kol Emet Preschool started as a “one room” preschool that grew overnight because of a stellar reputation.Our staff is committed to the care, safety and developmentally appropriate practice for young children.My educational background includes a BA in Art Education and Judaic Studies from Rutgers University, and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education (Valedictorian) from Gratz College. I hold a Director’s Credential, PQAS Certificate and State teaching license. Currently I am pursuing a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. I share this because I am truly committed to our school and our community.I always say I have the best job in the world and I truly mean it! Every day and every moment is filled with exploration, engagement, and enjoyment.
Pracheem (T & Th) – 2 year-olds
The perfect “first time” exposure for young toddlers. From learning to share, to painting, working with clay, music and more, this is an ideal environment for our newest and youngest children. Children in this class usually turn 3 between January and August.
Daboreem (M/W/F) – 2 year-olds
These children either have just turned 3 or will be 3 by December. A little more sophisticated than our youngest group, they are included in more special activities and have more social and learning opportunities.
Notzitzim (M/W/F) – 3 year-olds
Notzitzim incorporates a little more academics with a lot of time to explore, play and socialize. This is a perfect class for a “taste of preschool.”
Doobeem (M-F) – 3 year-olds
Doobeem is a well-rounded 3 year-old program. Every day is filled with learning, compromising, art, music, outdoor play, and social opportunities. Children thrive on routine, and Doobeem provides routine by meeting everyday.
[Please note that depending on registration, both 3 year-old classes may be combined. We always abide by state-mandated ratios.]
Solileem (M-F) 4 and 5 year-olds
Solileem is our Pre-K program. This state-licensed program meshes perfectly with preparatory Kindergarten standards. Phonemic awareness and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are all included through daily explorations.
[Depending on enrollment, our 4 year-olds will be grouped based on half- and full-day registration.]
Ahnaneem (M/W/F Enrichment for Pre-K)
Emergent curriculum at its finest. Children learn about Social Studies, Science, and Culture through their interests and our staff’s creativity.
Afternoons (M-F) for 2s and 3s
Every day is a different experience:
M – Art
T & Th – Emergent Monthly Units
W – Science
F – Healthy Living & Cooking
Aby Armbruster, Asst. Teacher – This is Aby’s 1st year at Kol Emet Preschool. Aby earned her BA in English at the University of Delaware. She has been home raising her 3 kids for the past 17 years and is currently working toward her Master’s in Education at Holy Family University. In her free time, Aby enjoys baking, gardening, skiing, and traveling with her family.
Claudia Block, Gym Teacher/Aide – Claudia has taught at Kol Emet Preschool for 12 years. Previously a pharmaceutical representative for Johnson & Johnson, she holds a BA in International Relations, and a Masters in Elementary Education. When not working, Claudia likes to work out, cook, go to the beach, and watch her son play soccer. About teaching, Claudia says: “I love the energy of the kids and the pure innocence. I love watching them learn all year and to see how much they have grown by the end of the year.”
Heidi Bush, Lead Teacher – Heidi has been at Kol Emet Preschool for 11 years. Before that, she worked in public relations and then switched to Early Childhood Education about 20 years ago. At Syracuse University, Heidi was a Speech Communication major and holds a CDA (Child Development Accreditation). When she’s not teaching, Heidi likes spending time with her two sons and husband – traveling, going to sporting events, and chilling at home. She loves beach trips, reading and vacation planning. She says, “I love watching children discover something new and the joy that it brings to them. I love the fact that I can do math at their level (no algebra or calculus for me). I love helping children find a love/enjoyment for learning that will hopefully last throughout their school years.”
Nancy Fisher, Asst. Teacher – Nancy has worked at Kol Emet for several years, and this is her 3rd year working with Lisa in the classroom. She has volunteered at Trenton Boys and Girls Bike Exchange for 6 years. She has also worked for HomeFront’s Family Preservation Center in Ewing for 7 years. In her spare time, she enjoys biking.
Amy Hampel, Lead Teacher – This will be Amy’s 3rd year as one of our teachers. Amy is a veteran Hebrew school teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching 2nd grade at Congregation Beth El, where she also taught 3 year-olds in preschool. She has also taught in the 2 and 4 year-old classrooms at The Northern Hebrew Day Nursery in Philadelphia. Prior to pursuing her Masters in Elementary Education at Arcadia University, she graduated Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and worked at Toys R Us in their Human Resource Dept. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys reading mysteries, playing mahjong, creating fun-themed fleece tie blankets and watching Philly sports with her husband and three sons. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is “seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when they are learning something new.”
Jessica Kalinowski, Asst. Teacher – Jessica is starting her 3rd year as an assistant teacher at Kol Emet Preschool. She previously taught as a substitute after her youngest son graduated from Kol Emet Preschool. She has 15 years of experience as a head teacher at Lakeview Child Center in Hamilton, NJ, as well as a year as preschool teacher at Har Sinai. Jessica earned her CDA in 2007. In her free time, she enjoys playing all sports, watching her sons play lacrosse, working out and managing the Kalinowski Performance Academy, and spending quality time with her family and friends at the beach. She has a passion for utilizing her talents, skills and experience to stimulate the development of children of all ages and abilities. She is most gratified by observing her students’ joy and success.
Denise Kaplan, Lead Teacher – Denise has been teaching at Kol Emet Preschool for 17 years. Before that she was a preschool teacher for 16 years at Shir Ami. Denise attended Delaware Valley Academy and also has a CDA. Her favorite things to do when not teaching are playing with her grandchildren, enjoying family, travel, and crafting (Denise and her daughter run a home-based business featuring “diaper cakes”). Denise says: “The thing I love best about being a preschool teacher is the joy and love that comes with making a difference in a child’s life. Watching their faces and their excitement when they are learning something new or experimenting and exploring in the world that surrounds them. Teaching them something new that they will have or use throughout life!”
Mindy Martin, Lead Teacher – Mindy has taught at Kol Emet Preschool for 6 years and been a member of the Kol Emet community since 2004 when her children began their Kol Emet preschool education. Mindy earned her BS in Elementary Education and Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies from University of Rhode Island. Prior to teaching here at Kol Emet, Mindy taught preschool at the Goddard School and worked in children’s publishing at Zany Brainy, Random House and Barnes & Noble. In her free time Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, her parents and her four, four legged family members. About teaching, Mindy says “I absolutely love the innocence and enthusiasm of all the children here at Kol Emet and can’t help but smile being surrounded by their positive energy.”
Liz Ravitch, STARS Administrator – This is Liz’s 2nd year working at Kol Emet, but she is the proud parent of two Kol Emet Preschool graduates! Liz earned a BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from the University of Rochester, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Hahnemann University. When not at work, Liz enjoys spending time with her kids and with friends, various types of crafts, and doing puzzles.
Dana Robinson, Asst. Teacher – This is Dana’s 18th year at Kol Emet Preschool. Prior to teaching, Dana was a nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital, Princeton Hospital, and Booth Maternity Hospital. She has a degree in Nursing (LPN). She loves hiking, photography and reading when not at work. Dana says: “The thing I love best about teaching is seeing the joy and enthusiasm in the children. Watching the growth and the ‘light bulb going off.’ Just knowing I’ve helped in making children love to go to school!”
Lisa Rogers Miller, Lead Teacher – This is Lisa’s 7th year at Kol Emet Preschool. Lisa has taught 5 morning 3’s, assisted the 3 morning 3 year old class, shadowed a child and taught a movement class as part of the Messy Babies class. This is the 2nd young 2 year old class that Lisa has taught. Prior to teaching at Kol Emet Lisa taught young and old 2’s at Ohev Shalom Preschool. Lisa attended LaSalle University where she studied biology and education. When not teaching at Kol Emet Lisa has been the owner and director of Dance Dynamics in Huntingdon Valley for 26 years. When not teaching or dancing Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband, dog, father and a few cats. Lisa also enjoys cooking, baking and reading. About teaching Lisa says: “My favorite part of teaching, particularly 2’s is watching them discover that school is a safe place where they are loved and will have lots of fun. Watching them experience or accomplish something for the first time is extra special.”
Stacey Wiesner, Asst. Teacher – This is Stacey’s 4th year at Kol Emet Preschool. She has 35 years of experience as a teacher, both in preschool and Hebrew School. She holds a BA from Gratz College and Temple University. Away from work, Stacey loves spending time with her children and extended family, shopping, and music. About teaching, she says: “What’s most rewarding is to see the children’s eyes light up when learning something new and how they enjoy whatever they do – everyday is a new adventure!”
Lauren Young, Lead Teacher – Lauren has been teaching at KE for 11 years. Before that, she taught Pre-K for the N. Hanover (NJ) School District for 8 years. Lauren earned a BS in Education from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s degree from Villanova University. When she’s not teaching, Lauren loves taking fitness classes, going out to dinner with friends, spending time with her family, and taking beach walks. According to Lauren: “Teaching preschool (Pre-K) is very rewarding to me. I am passionate and truly concerned for the best interest of every child in my class. I enjoy planning creative lessons to inspire all the kids. I love children and love to help them develop a love of learning. I look forward to sharing my love for early childhood education with your child and excited that I am given an opportunity to be part of their education.”
We were looking for a local preschool for our 3 year old and had no idea where to go. A dear friend recommended Kol Emet. My first reaction was, “I am not Jewish, am I allowed to go there?” My friend, who is Catholic, said, “OF COURSE!!!” And we are forever in her debt because it was the BEST choice we have made so far for our daughter. Kol Emet is excellent in education in a way that promotes love of learning, they are caring, kind, funny and become your family. If you are still looking, please visit them. They fill up quickly but Miss Carrie always finds a way. We have moved up to elementary school but will forever hold a special place for our Kol Emet family. Love them to pieces!
Bonnie, parent of former student
I absolutely love everything about the incredibly high standards set at Kol Emet Preschool. My son has learned and grown so much during his time there. The teacher to student ratio is low, so each child gets individual attention. The director and staff are incredibly involved and responsive to all needs. Most importantly, I know that when I drop off my son each morning he will be happy, safe, and loved.
Natasha, parent of son in Pre-K
Two years ago I looked into switching my oldest child to Kol Emet Preschool after hearing a number of my neighbors rave about how wonderful the school was. It only took one visit to let me see what an amazingly warm and inviting environment it is, and two years later I can truly say that every teacher there knows and appreciates both my children for who they are as individuals. I know they are in safe, loving hands when I drop them off, and I feel that my oldest will be well prepared for Kindergarten next year both academically and socially. We couldn’t be happier with Kol Emet Preschool!
Beth, parent of son in Pre-K and daughter in 2 year-old program
Both of my children are thriving at Kol Emet! For the younger one, there is extra special attention given to helping him adjust to a classroom setting. For my older one, he is engaged on so many levels: making friends and learning about the world. He loves going to school so much, he asks me to take him on the weekends! It is also such a comfort to me to know both of my children are in such good hands when I’m not there.
Kathleen, parent of son in Pre-K and son in 2 year-old program
We chose Kol Emet Preschool because when we visited, Carrie Walinsky, the director, and all the teachers were practically bursting with enthusiasm and love for what they do and the children in their care. There is a special sense of community and compassion that one feels the minute you walk in the building. Kindness and generosity is imbued in everything they do, and it is a joy to watch the children respond in kind.
Anne, parent of daughter in Pre-K and daughter in 2 year-old program