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 Profile


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 one granddaughter.

Julie Garrett

Julie has been teaching for Adat Shalom since 2000. She has taught the two’s class, Pre-K, Pre-K Plus, and Summer Camp. A certified teacher, Julie began her early childhood career teaching at the JCC. She is married and has one son.

Kim Nolder

Kim joined Adat Shalom in 2014. She has been working in adult and childhood education since 1993. A graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina where she worked with special needs children and in after school programs.Directly after college she worked with educating adults in the corporate banking world. She has taught our Pre-K, Lunch Bunch for 3s and our STEM camp. She has also been a preschool parent at Adat Shalom. She is married and the mother of three boys.

Cristine Santos

Cristine started as a valued substitute in 2015. She joined our staff full time in 2016. As a substitue she has been in all our classrooms and now full time in our Pre-K and Pre-K Plus classes. She is married and the mother of two boys.

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 is married and the mother of two.

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 – two recent Adat Shalom graduates with another enrolled now.

Pam Stasolla

Pam was first known to us as a preschool parent, and we soon learned of her teaching background. When a position became available in 2011, we swiftly offered her a position. Pam has taught both Toddler Twos and First Experience. She is married and the mother of three children, two of which proudly attended Adat Shalom!

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                                                                           12642811_10153711190658673_8375970585144735769_n

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.