— Dr. Seuss
Tree of Life Children's Center at Temple Beth Israel (formerly Temple Beth Israel Preschool) is staffed by a wonderful team of caring, educated, dedicated early childhood educators. Most classrooms have two staff members, dependent on the size of the class. We aim to keep a 2:15 ratio with our older two groups and 2:10 ratio with our youngest group of children. The advantage of being a relatively small program is that our teachers are acquainted with all of the children, and assistant teachers often help in different classes as needed. At Tree of Life Children's Center, the teachers each work in one specific class, which is based on age, and the children move from class to class each year. Thus, the teachers get to know and work with each child as they move through our program.
Please join us in welcoming Robin McConnell as the new director of Tree of Life Children's Center. Robin will be taking the reins from our beloved long-time director, Deborah Pruitt, starting on July 1. Deborah will be retiring this year after 32 years of dedicated service to the preschool.
“I am delighted to return to TBI Preschool (now Tree of Life Children's Center) as Director. The six years I was lead teacher were among the most enriching of my career. Carrying Deborah’s legacy into the future is an honor and I look forward to welcoming hundreds of families into our Children’s Center during the next few years.” –Robin McConnell.
Elizabeth joined Tree of Life Children's Center's staff in the spring of 2018. She first worked with us as a substitute teacher, and is now a daily assistant teacher, working with all of the age groups. Elizabeth’s educational background includes receiving her A.S. in Child Development from Mount San Antonio College and a B. A. in Liberal Studies with a focus on education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to entering the field of early childhood education, Elizabeth worked in Disney’s entertainment costuming department. In her spare time, she still enjoys making costumes for herself, friends and family.
Eunice has been working at Tree of Life Children's Center since 2007, and in the field of early childhood education prior to joining. She has had experience working with all of our age groups and is currently the lead teacher with our Group 2. Eunice is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has been using this skill in introducing Spanish to our children. Eunice embodies, as do all of our staff, the balance of nurture and guidance with our young children.
Melissa joined the staff of Tree of Life Children's Center in 2014-15. Melissa’s background in early childhood education includes having her own family daycare program, and working in other childcare programs prior coming to TBI Preschool. Melissa has studied early childhood education at local colleges. Currently, Melissa works for Pomona Unified School District in the mornings as an assistant teacher with developmentally delayed students and in TBI Preschool’s afternoon daycare program.
Rachel joined the Tree of Life Children's Center staff in the summer of 2019 as a substitute teacher. She now works fulltime at TBI Preschool, with all age groups. Rachel received her A.S. in Child Development from Citrus College and a B.S. in Child Development from the University of La Verne. Rachel loves music and art and has an A.S. in Art as well. She has loved painting, drawing and working with clay since childhood. Her first job was working at an art studio helping children with art lessons. Rachel has since taught at various preschools and even has experience as a substitute elementary school teacher. Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and listening to country music. Rachel’s ultimate goal is to be an elementary school teacher.