Our staff is all CPR and First Aid certified.
Silverman Preschool Directorpreschool@tiferethisrael.com
Amy Stanley is our Silverman Preschool Director. Amy took on the role of Director in 2014, but joined the teaching staff here at Silverman in 2010. Amy received her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts from Towson University in Baltimore, and earned her Early Childhood certification through Grossmont College and Cerro Coso College. Amy was born in San Diego, and moved to the East Coast as a child in 1989. She returned to San Diego in 2006 with her husband, and they welcomed their twins in 2009. Amy is thrilled to lead a team of such talented and nurturing teachers, and enjoys getting to know all of the children and their families as well!
Amanda Shelton joined the Silverman staff in January 2016. She had been a Preschool parent for a few years before she took on the role of Preschool Secretary, volunteering for a variety of different events and activities. Amanda attended the University of Washington where she met her husband, Geoff. They moved to San Diego in 2002 , where Geoff grew up, and together they have a son and a daughter. In her free time she enjoys travelling and spending time exploring San Diego. Amanda is a tremendous asset to our staff and we are so grateful for all that she does!
Laurel Bessler is one of our amazingly dedicated and delightful Preschool Secretaries. Laurel joined our staff in January 2015, but she spent quite a few years being a part of Silverman Preschool as a parent. Laurel has a B.A in Human development, and has a ton of experience in Human Resources and administration. Laurel is married to her wonderful husband, Rob, and they have two girls: one in Kindergarten and the other in first grade. Laurel is a member of the Tifereth Israel Synagogue congregation, and leads the Preschool Challah fundraiser each year. Laurel is a treasure, and we are so happy to have her on our team!
Polina Polyakov is our beloved and enthusiastic Pre-K teacher. Polina was born in the Ukraine, and moved to the United States in 1992. While in Russia, she earned her Master’s in early Education from The University of Kiev, and since living in San Diego, she has completed a great number of courses at Grossmont College. Polina started working at Silverman in 1993, and has spent all of those years teaching the Pre-K class; she loves this age because of their curiosity, and eagerness to learn. She and her husband Michael have two daughters, one granddaughter, and a brand new grandson. Polina has a passion for teaching, and she motivates the children and parents with her vitality and excitement!
Ana Arellano joined our staff in 2015 as one of our Pre-K teachers. She has been working with children through the foster system for over five years at the Polinsky Childrens Center, and she has a number of years of experience in early childhood as well . She has also been a coach with soccer shots, and spent many evenings babysitting for friends and family. She took her classes through San Diego Community College, and is on the verge of earning her Master Teacher Permit. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys bringing it into the classroom whenever possible. She has two wonderful children, and a “fur child” named Mia. When she is not teaching, she enjoys soccer with her son, walks with her daughter, and spending time with her sisters. We adore Ana and we are so grateful to have her as a part of our staff!
Preschool Assistant Director/ 3 year old Teacher
Michelle Barbour is our Preschool Assistant Director as well as our imaginative and stimulating 3-year old teacher. Michelle was born and raised in San Diego, and is married with an energetic five year old daughter. Michelle has been a part of the Silverman teaching staff since 2008, and has also served as the Kindergarten Torah School teacher for the past two years. She earned her Master’s in Education from National University, with a specialization in early childhood. She went on to study Art and Special Education at Grossmont College, and has spent 11 years working with children ages birth-5th grade. Michelle brings a new and creative energy to everything she does, and she inspires children with a love of learning!
3 Year Old Teacher
Amethyst Tagle Joined our school in 2014 as one of our 3 year old teachers. She has her Masters in Education with a specialization in Teaching in a Global Context, as well as a graduate certificate in Early Childhood Education. Amethyst is currently attending Grossmont College and taking classes toward her Site Supervisor permit. When she is not in school, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and 2 year old daughter, going to Disneyland, reading books, playing the trumpet, and travelling. Amethyst has visited many exotic places including Shanghai, China, and San Jose, Costa Rica. She speaks Spanish, and hopes to learn a third language someday soon! We are so glad to have Amethyst as a part of our team!
Assistant 3 year old teacher
Hayley Drummond joined our staff in the Fall of 2016 as one of our 3 year old teachers, and she also teaches our “Stay-n-Play” class in the afternoons. Hayley has a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, and she is currently pursuing a masters degree in School Psychology at National University. Hayley says that sh eis inspired by the creative spirits of children, and she loves working in early childhood because “there is never a dull moment”. In her spare time, Hayley enjoys travelling, soccer, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family. We adore Hayley and value her as a member of our staff!
2 year old Teacher
Larisa Borukhov is our dynamic and loving 2-year old teacher. Larisa was born in Uzbekistan, and moved to San Diego in 1991, with her husband and two daughters. Larisa studied in Russia, earning a degree from the School of Arts and Music, as well as her degree in Early Childhood from the Pedagogical Institute. Larisa studied singing and music as her specialty while living in Russia, and spent 10 years teaching music to preschool age children. Larisa has been at Silverman since 1993, and she has brought all of her musical expertise with her. Larisa incorporates music and singing into her classroom every day, and she has left an imprint on every child she has taught. Larisa is about to welcome her first grandchild, and we are all so excited for her!
2 year old Teacher
Larisa Shafran is our devoted and caring 2-year old Teacher. Larisa was born in the Ukraine, moved to Moldova, and later, ended up in Beer Sheva, Israel. Larisa earned her Associates of Art in early Childhood Education from Calarasi Pedagogical College in Moldova, as well as a degree in Child Development in Israel. Larisa moved to San Diego in 2006, with her husband and her son. She went on to take additional Early Childhood classes at Grossmont College, and is still continuing her education through online courses. Larisa has been a part of the teaching staff at Silverman since 2006, and she offers a tremendous amount of artistic expertise, gentleness, and kind-hearted commitment to all of the children!
2 year old class aide
Darren York joined the Silverman staff in 2015 as an Aide, and is currently taking courses towards becoming a certified Preschool teacher. Darren originally studied engineering at Grossmont College and San Diego State University, before following his heart into the world of early childhood. Darren enjoys comics and photography, and spends a lot of his free time with his wife and 2 year old daughter at Disneyland. Darren works with the infants as well as the Preschoolers, and he is a huge asset to our team.
2/3 year old teacher
Bonnie Updike joined our staff in the summer of 2015 as our extended camp teacher, and quickly moved into a full time position as one of our 2 year old class teachers. Bonnie currently teaches our “young three year old” class. Bonnie was born and raised in San Diego, and she has over 15 years of experience working with children ages newborn – Pre-K. Bonnie has 3 children of her own, and took some time off from teaching to raise her children. She is thrilled to be back in the classroom, and has the support of her husband of 14 years. Bonnie studied child development at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, and is one class away from earning her associates degree. Bonnie enjoys travelling, photography, and spending time with her family, and we are thrilled to have her on our staff.
Bryanna “Bry” Brown joined the Silverman staff in 2015 as one of our toddler teachers. Bry has been in the childcare field for 5 years, and enjoys the “unexpected” that comes with caring for little ones. Bry recently earned her associates degree in Social work, general education, and behavioral sciences at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. This year, she plans to transfer to a University to obtain her bachelors degree, and eventually her masters in Social work. She aspires to be a social worker specializing in Child welfare services. Bry is amazing with the toddlers, and we love having her on our staff at Silverman.
Molly Wakefield joined our school in the Spring of 2015 as a floater, and has now taken on a position as one of our toddler teachers. Molly is the second youngest of six children, and she grew up at Tifereth Israel Synagogue. Molly gained her early experience babysitting and working as a camp counselor, and she started interning in preschools when she started her College Education at SDSU. Molly has a B.S. in Child Development, and earned her credential in Early Childhood Social Emotional Behavioral Regulation and Intervention Services. Molly has travelled to 14 countries, and is eager to see more. Molly will be starting a Master’s program in 2017, with a focus in Special education. We love the energy and excitement she brings to our school, and we are so grateful to have her on our staff!
Sydney Diaz joined our staff in 2016 as one of our toddler teachers. She was born and raised in San Diego and got her degree at Cal State Northridge in recreation, tourism management and hospitality, with a minor in Child development. She has many years of experience working as a nanny and also at different preschools, and she gained a lot of experience volunteering with children with disabilities. In her free time, Sydney enjoys reading, picnics, hikes and gardening. Sydney is very good with our toddlers and we love having her on our staff!
Alyssa Ward joined our staff in the Fall of 2016 as one of our Preschool and infant aides. Alyssa is currently attending Grossmont College with a focus in Communications, and she will also be taking classes to work toward her child development certification. Alyssa loves working with young children and she has a special fondness for the toddlers she works with. Alyssa grew up in San Diego and enjoys all of the outdoor adventures that our city can offer. She also enjoys reading and travelling whenever she has the opportunity. Alyssa has a great energy and she has already made quite an impression on our children. We are so happy to have Alyssa on our staff!
Kim Sinn joins the Silverman staff as one of our amazing infant teachers. She has been in the Early Childhood Education field for six years, and is very close to obtaining her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master Teacher Permit in Child Development from Cuyamaca College. Kim graduated from National University in 2008 with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis. She is also a Volunteer Coordinator for the San Diego Association for the Education of Young Children (SDAEYC) , and she will be putting together the Week of the Young Child this April. Kim is currently taking American Sign Language for Infants/Toddlers at Cuyamaca College, and boasts that the infants are her favorite age group to work with. Kim is proud mother to a 16 year old daughter who is a junior in high school. Kim joined the staff at Silverman Preschool in February of 2015, and we are so thrilled to have her here!
Amanda Golchert joined our staff as one of our infant teachers in the Fall of 2016. She has been an early childhood education teacher for six years, with an emphasis on infant care. She is currently enrolled at Saddleback College, pursuing a degree in Child Development. Aside from her love for nurturing infants and children, her passion is reading. She believes that reading is one of the most stimulating experiences for any age, to enhance imagination and creativity. Her daily trip to the library result in a discovery of new literary adventures to partake in with the infants! She is an amazing teacher and we are so lucky to have her!
Etty Sohmer came to us in 2015 as one of our infant teachers. Etty moved to America in 1973 from Israel, and ended up in San Diego in 1985. She speaks Hebrew and French fluently, and has done a great deal of travelling. Etty has been working with children since 2004, and she is also a proud mother to her 19 year old son. In her free time, she has her own small jewelry business, and she loves spending time in the kitchen cooking. Etty is a tremendous asset to our team and we love having her at Silverman.
Kelsi Couch was born in Fullerton Ca and moved to San Diego in 2000 when her family was relocated to the area. She graduated from El Capitan high school and attended Grossmont College after graduation. Kelsi is the mother of 2 boys, ages 3 and 9 months and has a passion for children. Aside from working at the Preschool, she has a photography business and spends much of her free time booking photo shoots. Kelsi is absolutely wonderful with our infants and we are so grateful to have her on our staff.
Claudia Naranjo joined our staff in the winter of 2017 as a floater, and quickly moved into a permanent spot in our infant class. Ever since she can remember she has had a passion for working with children. She is the youngest of four siblings and loves being an aunt to 8 neices and nephews. She attended San Diego City College where she completed her child development courses. Claudia has a lot of experience with early childhood as well as special education and inclusion. She loves the outdoors and she enjoys photographjy and art. She is fluent in spanish and she completed an american sign language course as well, which comes in handy when working with infants and toddlers. We are so happy to have Claudia as a part of our teaching staff.
Hebrew and Judaica teacher/Theatre teacher
Lili Feingold grew up in San Diego, and graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a BA in Liberal Arts. She continued her higher education at the Hebrew University Jerusalem in Israel, with an emphasis in political science, Holocaust studies and Journalism. Upon her return to California, she earned her teaching certificate at SDSU. She served in the IDF as a volunteer soldier, and she worked for many years as the Director of Public Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles. For over ten years, she worked as a full-time general studies teacher in private Jewish day schools in Dallas, TX. She has been teaching in the Jewish community for 16 years. Lili also teaches in the Abraham Ratner Torah School, and Community Jewish High of San Diego. During her free time, she owns her own vintage-style jewelry business, and is the Director of Visual Fringe for the San Diego International Fringe Festival. “Miss Lili,” as the children know her, loves anything that promotes creativity and eclectic learning, and we are so glad to have her as part of our staff!
Paula Dunn joined the Silverman Preschool staff in the Spring of 2017 as a floater teacher. Paula enjoys getting to know each and every group of children and making her rounds within the preschool. She grew up in Yuma, AZ and moved to San Diego in 1987, and she has 3 amazing grown children. Paula worked as a teacher for the A.K.A. Head Start program for close to 20 years and other various preschools. She has been a nanny, and she also has owned and operated a home based daycare center. her background is developmental disabilities (with an emphasis is autism), behavior management and Early childhood education. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, dining, oil painting, movies, and the beach. Paula is a tremendous asset to our staff and we are so happy to have her with us.