Our preschool benefits from our talented, dedicated and experienced staff members who are committed to working with young children. Many of our staff have advanced degrees in the area of Early Childhood Education. We are proud to note that we have an excellent retention rate. Most of our teachers have taught in the preschool for more than five years and several have celebrated their twentieth anniversaries. Our teachers create a welcoming community as soon as you enter the doors of The Preschool at Temple Emanuel. You and your child will benefit from their skills and experience throughout your child’s preschool years.
Teachers participate in a continuing program of in-service education and studies for professional advancement. This helps the teachers remain knowledgeable about the ever-changing needs of today’s families and the latest research. Our school promotes dynamic teaching practices, self-reflection, and professional growth.
Betsy Kachel, Director of Education
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Betsy Kachel, is an experienced educator who has taught for over fifteen years in public, private and religious schools. For the past seven years, Betsy has been a grade one teacher in the Religious School and is currently a lead teacher in the Preschool at Temple Emanuel. Betsy earned her B.A. in sociology at Muhlenberg College and holds a Master of Education degree from Lesley University. Betsy has a long history in the reform movement. She grew up in Needham, Massachusetts where her family continues to be actively involved at Temple Beth Shalom. Betsy’s journey as an educator began as a teen when she worked as a helper for a monthly Holiday Happenings program at TBS. She was an active member of the youth group, where she served on the board and participated in regional NFTY events. Betsy spent twelve summers (as a camper, counselor and ultimately unit head) at Camp Eisner, the Reform Jewish overnight camp in Great Barrington where she met her husband, Eric. The Kachels live in Andover with their three daughters, all of whom are happily enrolled in the Religious School at Temple Emanuel.
Mary Russo, Preschool Assistant Director
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Mary has been an Early Childhood Educator for over 22 years. She was educated at both Merrimack College with a focus in Sociology and Northern Essex in Early Childhood Development, earning her Director II Certification. She always knew she would teach children but chose her Specialty after becoming a mother herself. She began teaching a mixed age group of 3-5 year old preschoolers at the Family Cooperative Preschool, when her youngest child was entering Kindergarten. From there she went on to teach Toddlers at The Children’s Place at Phillips Academy for 6 years. Mary finally landed at Temple Emanuel Preschool where she has been the Lead Teacher in both Yellowbirds and Redbirds, and started the Chickadee Program for Toddlers 4 years ago. Mary is excited to be entering into her 15th year at the Temple Preschool! Music and dance have always been an important part of Mary’s life. She has been a Zumba and Pound Instructor in the Community, teaching both Adults and Children of all ages for the past 9 years. Through Zumba, Mary is involved in many fundraising events to help families and children in need, throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In the classroom, Mary incorporates music and movement throughout the curriculum, and feels that it is the universal language that brings all children together and makes them feel successful. Mary lives in North Andover. She is married to her High School sweetheart, Fred and they have 4 grown boys who are the loves of her life.
Janice Strong, Administrative Assistant (Preschool & Religious School)
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Janice is originally from Somerville and she attended schools in North Cambridge and Boston. More than 30 years ago, she and her husband, Rick, moved to Andover. Prior to working at Temple Emanuel, Janice worked at The Gillette Company in Boston. She took time off to raise her two children, Stephen and Samantha. Janice has been an integral part of both the Preschool and Religious School for the past 20 years.