Our Teachers

Adat Shalom Preschool employs dedicated teachers and staff who have the credentials and the passion to create a fun and engaging learning environment for your child.

  • Our head teachers boast degrees from accredited colleges or universities and have thousands of hours of experience in working with young children.

  • All of our staff members are caring, patient and enthusiastic individuals who have your child’s best interest at heart.

  • Our teachers and staff are CPR and First Aid Certified every two years.

  • All of our teachers have criminal and child abuse clearances on file.

  • Each year, our teachers and staff participate in professional development training. In recent years, our teachers have attended workshops, including: learning about the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy and workshops sponsored by the Fox Chapel School District. Additionally, the school invites Jim Bozigar, a child behavior consultant, to the school each year to give our teachers and staff training and advice.


Meet Our Director

Gail Schmitt

Gail has been the director of Adat Shalom Preschool for more than 19 years. And, previous to serving as director, she served as a teacher for the preschool across all age levels. Gail has been in education for most of her adult life. She is a certified teacher with a BA/BS in Sociology, Psychology, Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She has also taught religious education for more than 20 years and currently serves as the director of the Adat Shalom Religious School. She is married and has two daughters and two grandsons.

View Gail’s LinkedIn Profilepreschool-teacher-2


Meet Our Classroom Teachers


Jessie Fitchwell

Jessie currently teaches our Terrific Twos and Kreative Kids classes. She is a certified teacher who has been with the preschool for over ten years. Jessie has a true passion for nature. Jessie is married, the mother of three sons, and two granddaughters.

Cheryl Stephens

Cheryl began teaching as a substitute and joined us full time in 2015. She has worked with children for over 20 years. At Adat Shalom she has worked with the Pre-K, Lunch bunch 3s and STEM camp. Her creative nature can always be seen in her classes. You may often find her singing along with the children. She is married and the mother of two boys.

Carey Rzeszotarski

Carey started working at the Preschool in 2001. She has over 20 years of experience working with children. She has taught every level at the preschool, as well as administering the camp program. Carey has a love of animals and shares this with her students. Carey’s class is home to a bunny, two toads, and an axolotl. Carey is married and the mother of two children who are Adat graduates.

Casey Schapira

Casey started out as a Pre-School parent in 2009. A valued substitute teacher in 2013, Casey joined our staff full time in 2014 as a teacher in our First Experience Program. A graduate of Penn State with a focus on Child and Family Development, with a Graduate Degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, Casey has been working with children of all ages since she was a teenager. She is married and the mother of three – all Adat Shalom graduates.

Kim Tolon

Kim has worked with us since 2010. She is a girl Friday; she assists the preschool in clerical jobs, as well as teaching in the classroom. She also works at our Summer Splash Camp. Kim is married and has one son.

Austin Tresnicky

Austin began working at Adat in 2012. Austin has lead our First Experience and Tot Shabbat classes. She is married and has a son and two daughters.

Karen Wieczorek

Karen is a versatile teacher! Since 2005, she has worked with every age level, as well as in our afternoon programs. Karen also works at our Summer Splash Camp. She is married and has a daughter and a son.

Meet Our Specials Teachers

 Pam Stasolla

Pam was first known to us as a preschool parent, and soon we learned of her teaching background. When a position became available in 2011, we asked her to join our staff. Pam has taught both toddler two’s and First Experience.

Celeste Janosko- Super Science Teacher

Celeste has been a teacher for the past 30 years in venues ranging from the Fox Chapel School District to the Phipps Conservatory to Shady Side Junior School, where she currently teaches. Her work with children is extensive, and she has worked at our preschool since 2004. Celeste brings hands-on science to our Pre-K students.

Brigitte Patrick- Yoga Teacher

Brigitte is a certified yoga instructor and owns her own studio. She joined our special classes to teach children basic yoga in 2016. She has been teaching children’s yoga in a number of venues around the area.