We are currently hiring early childhood classroom professionals to join our team of remarkable teachers! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Kate Brantley, Early Childhood Education Director
Shalom Y’all! My name is Kate and I am the Director of Shalom Children’s Center. I have been working in Early Childhood Education as a teacher, specialist, and administrator.
I began working in the field of Early Childhood Education as a teacher at the Apple Orchard School. This is a pre-school located on the last working farm in the Boston area. Working with 3-5 year olds in an outdoor setting inspired me to continue my education towards a teaching degree. My undergraduate degree is in Creative Writing from High Point University. While in Boston, I also ran an outdoor education camp for school age children at The Park School, volunteered teaching writing with Citizen Schools, and attended Boston University where I obtained a MA in Elementary Education.
In 2007, I moved to Asheville and taught Head Start in Madison County. I then taught Kindergarten at Evergreen Community Charter School and at Maccabi Academy of Asheville. While I was at Maccabi, I was immersed in Jewish culture and values through our Global Concepts curriculum. This enabled me to enhance the already thriving values based curriculum at Shalom Children’s Center when I came on as Director in 2010. In 2013, I was accepted into the Early Childhood Directors Leadership Institute- a statewide initiative to cultivate leaders in the field. I have also been working with the JCCA to develop our school as a SHEVA center and continue toward the designation of a School of Excellence.
I enjoy helping to build young minds during their first 2000 days- a crucial time for brain development! I work very hard at Shalom to enhance our Early Childhood community- because it is my community! I have a daughter named Harper and a son named Jefferson- both members of the JCC! When I am not at Shalom, I enjoy music, hiking, traveling, and cooking. Thank you for sharing your children with me!
Tiffany Hagemeyer, Early Childhood Program Coordinator
My name is Tiffany and I am so happy to be part of the Shalom Children’s Center team. I moved to Asheville in 2012 after spending most of my life in the Midwest, and I love the community I have found here in the mountains. I am a former classroom teacher and I have several years of experience working with children in a variety of settings—from infants and toddlers in a developmental day program, to adolescents and families in behavioral and mental health treatment services. I have a M.Ed from the University of Toledo in Educational Theory and Social Foundations, a B.A. in Sociology, Religion, and Women’s studies from Luther College, and completed the National Director Credential through the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University. I take special interest in brain-based learning strategies, educational policy and pedagogy, cultural competency, and peace education. I am honored to be involved in a 3-year Fellowship with the Sheva Center Leadership Institute for Early Childhood Professionals and engage in study and advocacy to build leadership and strengthen the field of early childhood. I believe in creating a positive school environment that amplifies the voice of the child, and understand how teachers build a community of peace each day through word and action. As a working mom, I value our children, families, and early childhood educators as integral parts to a whole and uphold a commitment to serve them in ways that build our community to be stronger, happier, and full of love.
Linnea Bergvall, Keshet pre-k
Hi, my name is Linnea, and I am so excited to be part of the JCC community! I was born here in NC but spent most of my childhood and adolescence in Sweden, a country of beautiful lakes, wildflowers, midnight sun in summertime, and dark, snowy winters. With a Swedish father and an American mother, I have strong ties to both countries and have many fond memories of visiting the Asheville area as a child. I moved back to NC in 2007 with my husband to study at UNC Asheville, where I received my B.A. in psychology. Our oldest son was born the following year. After spending some time at home caring for him, we moved to Johnson City, TN where I obtained my M.A. in couple and family counseling. During my studies, I had the opportunity to intern at a Children’s Advocacy Center, providing counseling services to abused children and learning about play therapy. I finished my studies in 2016, and while expecting our second child, we returned to the Asheville area which has always been close to my heart. I consider myself to be both bilingual and bicultural and am endeavoring to raise our sons to be both as well, speaking Swedish and English at home and celebrating holidays from both cultures. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains; hiking, wading in streams, picking berries, and picnicking with my family.
Hannah Boys, Keshet pre-k
Hello families! My name is Hannah and I am thrilled to be a part of the teaching team at the Asheville JCC. After some time away following the birth of my daughter, I am so happy to return to the community here at Shalom. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and have been living in Asheville for three years. I have been working in classrooms for ten years – first as a tutor and teaching assistant, then as a teacher, and I am excited for the opportunity to continue to growing with your children. In my free time I love spending time playing outside with my daughter, Georgia, and our two dogs.
Catherine Brockwell, Hilde’s House infants
Hi! I am Catherine. I have worked at the JCC since 1997. I was born and raised in Asheville. My husband and I have raised two children here as well. They both grew up at the JCC. This has been my home away from home for two decades! In my time here, I have worked with several age groups. The past twelve years have been spent in the infant room, and I am working on obtaining my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. The babies are where my heart and talent flourish. I continue to be amazed every day watching them grow and interact with each other. I am a nurturer by nature and feel that parents/caregivers of infants need nurturing, too! I feel very blessed to be a part of the JCC family and these babies lives!
Zoe Castellino, Olam Echad 2-3’s
My name is Zoe. I grew up in North Carolina and first began working with children by assisting my mom with her in-home day care. Later, I worked as a camp counselor and sailing instructor for young girls on the coast. After graduating from Appalachian State University with degree in Art and a minor in Sustainable Development, I sought opportunities which allowed me to work creatively and engage meaningfully with members of my community. While living in Colorado, I worked as a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool teacher for toddlers. I completed courses in Early Childhood Education and earned my Early Childhood Professional Credential Level 1 Certification during the time I spent teaching in Breckenridge. Upon returning back to NC, I continued teaching in the Reggio-inspired approach at a preschool in Durham, working with 2 and 3-year-olds. It wasn’t long before I felt drawn back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where my husband and I are now here to stay. I am grateful for the opportunity to join the passionate team of teachers at Shalom Children’s Center and to grow as an educator among a supportive community. I possess a deep commitment to teaching children through Reggio-inspired practices and creating active learning environments for children that encourage their inquisitiveness, exploration, imagination, and connection with others. I spend most of my spare time outdoors, regardless of the weather, and I especially enjoy mountain biking, practicing yoga, and cooking.
Brittany Cook, Teva 3’s
Hello, my name is Brittany. I am originally from Miami Beach, spent 4 years in Charlotte before moving to Colorado. After 12 years in Boulder my family has just relocated to Asheville to be closer to our family and we couldn’t be happier to be here. During my time, I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in Architecture and Design and my Master’s in Educational Psychology. My master’s study and teaching experience has focused in the Reggio Emilia Approach. I have been working with young children in one capacity or another for the past 15 years. I couldn’t be happier to be working in such a rewarding field- supporting young children and their families during such an amazing period of growth and development is the best! Being new to Asheville, I am grateful to have found the inspiring JCC community! When not working with children, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, and black lab. I enjoy photography, traveling, hiking, paddle boarding, and just about anything that gets us outdoors! Both my daughter Wilder and I are excited to join Shalom Children’s Center.
Pamela Corredor, Teva 3’s
My name is Pamela and I have been living in Asheville for three years. Over the course of this time, I have gotten to know and appreciate the North Asheville area and community. I have two nephews, ages two and four, whom I love, and it was being able to see them grow and develop that inspired me to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have had the opportunity to spend the last semester working for the Blue Ridge Literacy Council, where I support the council and the families that rely on them in assisting in their journey to transform lives through improved literacy and English communication skills. I am looking forward to spending time getting to know all of the students and families at the JCC!
Erin DeBruyn, Reim 3’s
Hi, I’m Erin! I grew up in New York, and came to Asheville almost 20 years ago seeking warmer winters and a life in the mountains. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English, and about 18 years experience working with preschoolers and school-aged children. I have spent the last few years working with k-5 kids in an after school setting, and am excited to return to early childhood. I believe in building a classroom community that is sensitive to each child’s needs, focused on learning by play, sometimes messy, and full of wonder. I have two teenage boys who keep me very busy, and in my spare time, I like to take walks with my dog, read, bake, do yoga, and work on projects around my 90 year-old fixer upper. I’m so happy to be part of the Shalom family!
Haviva Dror, Ahava pre-k
My name is Haviva, and I was born and grew up in Israel. I moved to Asheville in 2001 with my husband and three children, and began working at the JCC in 2003. After working a short while at the JCC, I began my studies in Early Childhood Education, and successfully completed my AAS degree at A-B Tech. I love working with pre-k children. I feel that I learn just as much from the children in my class as they learn from me. In addition to working at the JCC, I also teach Hebrew. I enjoy reading, cooking, yoga, Pilates, and spending time with family and friends.
Katlyne Featherstone, Taglit 2’s
Hello JCC family! My name is Katlyne and I am super excited to be joining the staff here. I am 20 years old and am currently going to school at AB Tech to get my Associates in Science. I then hope to transfer to a university to further my degree in Marine Biology. I’m an explorer at heart and curious by nature. I was born and raised right outside of Asheville in Fletcher and have lived my whole life in these beautiful mountains. I spend my free time painting, reading and enjoying the great outdoors.
Rasheeda Hampton-Johnson, Reim 3’s
My name is Rasheeda and I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I am a published author of two children’s books inspired by my children. I have over 12 years of experience in the early childhood field, and I am excited to share my love for children with the JCC. I am the mother of four awesome children, Dorian Mackayla, Judah, and Amorah. You may see them here, if not at Camp Tikvah, working and volunteering with me in the classroom. I am eager to work with your children, and with the wonderful community of the JCC.
Heather Harty, Olam Echad 2-3’s
My name is Heather, and I have over 20 years of experience working with children. I have had the privilege of working in childcare classrooms, and homeschooling co-ops. I have also cared for children in my home for several years. I am a mother of two incredible teenagers. I have worked with children of all ages, but for the past 6 years worked primarily with infants and woddlers. I am currently enrolled at AB Tech working on my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my kids, playing the piano, reading, hiking, and creating art. I love the mountains and have lived here for almost 20 years, I am originally from the Midwest, but moved to Asheville from Tybee Island.
Karla Johnson, Hilde’s House infants
Hello, my name is Karla. I started working at the Asheville JCC in 2016 as substitute teacher in Shalom and Hilde’s House, and then was promoted to full-time floater in 2017 and then classroom teacher in 2018. I am currently enrolled at AB Tech working towards my certification in Early Childhood Education. I enjoy working with infants and toddlers, and I am learning and growing every day alongside them!
Zequoia Jordan, Olam Echad 2-3’s
My name is Zequoia, and my husband and I are both Asheville natives! We have two goofy children, Bently and Coryn. I graduated from SILSA at Asheville High School in 2010 and I am currently studying at AB Tech to earn my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have more than 14 years of experience working in early childhood education. I have worked in various programs in the area as a volunteer, substitute, floater, assistant teacher and now lead teacher. While working in these programs, I enjoyed working with a range of different aged children from infants to pre-kindergarten. I’m proud to have been a part of Shalom Children’s Center since 2011! My special interests include arts, conflict resolution, encouraging movement and dance, reading, and encouraging self-help and confidence.
Lily Kane, Ahava pre-k
My name is Lily and I am originally from western Massachusetts. I was raised by a preschool teacher and spent many afternoons volunteering at the school with my mom. I worked at throughout my adolescence and began substituting when I was on breaks from college. I received a B.A. in Dance and Psychology focusing on trust development from Marlboro College in Vermont. When I moved to Asheville, I was unsure of how long I would stay and what I would do, but I knew I wanted to work with children. Luckily, a spot opened up in the Shalom Pre-K program in 2016 and I found my place and I am happy to have roots. The JCC is such an incredible community to be a part of and the pre-k is a wonderful place to spend each day. When I am not at school, I enjoy dancing, doing yoga, cooking, reading and being outdoors.
Sherrill Knight, Reim 3’s
My name is Sherrill and I grew up in Charlotte, NC. I graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Fine Arts. Later, an interest in education took me to UNC-A for a degree in Elementary Education. I have now been teaching for over 30 years. I am the mother of two daughters, two sons, and the grandmother of five grandchildren. The heart and soul of my teaching philosophy is expressed in our class motto: “We’re all friends at school” – from the microcosm of the preschool community to the world, our island in space. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, science and nature documentaries, art, sewing, gardening and spending time with friends and family.
LaVette McDaniel, Teva 3’s
Hey everyone, my name is LaVette and I am so excited about starting my journey with the JCC family. I was born and raised here in Asheville. I am the proud mother of one beautiful daughter JeNaya and a proud Auntie of 3 beautiful nieces. I am the oldest of 2 brothers and 1 sister. I attended Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC majoring in Elementary Education. I also attended AB-Tech Community College majoring in Early Childhood Education. My love for education started as a volunteer library assistant at Hall Fletcher Elementary School. I have worked teaching kindergarten as an assistant, and then later accepted a position as the behavioral management specialist, and second grade teaching assistant. My journey continued with teaching at Childcare Network here in Asheville for 3 years as a lead 3-year-old teacher and Educational Curriculum Coordinator. My number one goal is to open up my own afterschool in memory of my beautiful mother. I also plan on finishing my Early Childhood Education degree so that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of each child that I am blessed to teach. I absolutely LOVE what I do.
Reagan Miller, Levi’im toddler-2’s
Hi! My name is Reagan. I grew up here in WNC. I began working with children in 2003 when I volunteered with a non-profit based in Waynesville called R.E.A.C.H. Once I moved to Los Angeles for college, I continued working with children. I was employed as a professional nanny for two children, and I also volunteered with a group called Red Eye. Red Eye provided me with the valuable opportunity of help young children in low income areas. While my formal education is in fashion and merchandising, my true passion has always been working with children ages 0-5. I am very grateful for this opportunity to make a career change and pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. I can’t wait to work with your children and get to know each of them. My personal interests include spending time outside with my husband and son Kingston and I love laughing.
Adam Mills, Teva 3’s
A native of Asheville, I attended the JCC as a preschooler and as a summer camp kid. I taught at Shalom from 1997 – 2011, first as an assistant teacher, then as a lead teacher beginning in 2004 after receiving my lead teacher status in North Carolina through the equivalency exam for the NC Credentials coursework. During my years as a teacher at Shalom, I was also a JCC summer camp counselor and an afterschool group leader in the Just Kids program. In August of 2011, I moved to Washington, DC, where I taught at the Washington, DC JCC. While teaching at the Washington, DC JCC, I guided preschoolers in learning experiences through a Reggio-inspired curriculum. What I appreciate most about this curriculum is the focus on children learning through exploration instead of instruction. Thus, teachers are involved in guiding children in explorations as opposed to being involved in teaching explorations. Ultimately, children are highly empowered in their learning processes. As of September of 2019, I have taught in early childhood education for 20 years, and returning to Shalom as a teacher in Teva I am very happy that I have been given the opportunity to once again be a part of Shalom and the JCC community.
Stephanie Proffitt, Taglit 2’s
I was born and raised in Marion, North Carolina. I am the mother of two boys, ages ten and 1 1/2. I have worked in licensed childcare centers since 2008. I have experience in all ages up to pre-k, but I have the most experience with infants and toddlers. I recently worked at a Montessori school in Key West and gained skills and experience that I use in my classroom of two-year-olds. I am also very close to completing my Early Childhood Associate Degree and hope to finish soon. This is my first year at Shalom, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work at JCC and getting to know the children and families.
Desiree Reynolds, Hilde’s House toddlers
Hello, my name is Desiree and I was born and raised in Asheville. I have lived in Asheville my whole life. I have two daughters by the names of Tre’Ana & Ma’Raya. In my spare time I like spending time with my girls at the park. In 2012, I volunteered at the Hillcrest Head Start, and it was a blast working with the children there. I started at the JCC as a sub working with the children at Hilde’s House and Shalom and I’m grateful to have been part of both buildings and be involved with all ages and see them grow. It’s a pleasure to be here!
Gina Romberg, Taglit 2’s
My name is Gina. I have been working with kids in one form or another since I was 12 years old. I was a professional baby-sitter as well as tutor, camp counselor, and youth group leader. After high school, I took a break before college and was a nanny full time. I graduated with my bachelors in Art in 2013. Quickly realizing that the art I wanted to do would not provide a stable income, I began work in the early childhood field as an infant room teacher. Following this position, I also worked as a floater for birth through five and a lead teacher in a two-year-old classroom. It was upon taking this position that I decided to make early childhood education my profession. In 2015, I moved to North Carolina and went back to school for early childhood. I did my internship in Wilmington, NC and taught in a 3-4 year-old classroom and obtained by B-K license. I then moved to Asheville in July 2018 and joined the Shalom Children’s Center team. Some of my interests outside of work include hiking, powerlifting, art, video games, learning, and traveling.
Leigh Schuller, Hilde’s House toddlers
My name is Leigh and I am proud to be part of the teaching team at Hilde’s House. I have worked at the Asheville JCC since 2006 and have “worn many hats”, including substitute teacher, classroom teacher for the 2’s, 3-4’s, and Pre-K age groups, interim director, BBYO youth advisor, bus driver, and Early Childhood Assistant Director. I have a large scope when it comes to the many aspects and programs the JCC has to offer. I received a Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education (k-12) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2002, and have continued my education professionally and academically in the field of Early Childhood Education (birth-Kindergarten). In 2014, I became a trained facilitator of Parenting the Love and Logic Way. I play the trumpet and guitar. I also enjoy seeing live music shows, being in nature, cooking for friends, and crocheting. I am grateful to spend my days surrounded by professional educators and curious children. In this environment, we can all grow and learn from each other.
Will Tocaben, Hilde’s House toddlers
Hi, I’m Will. I have two boys, Noah and Elliot, both of whom went to Hilde’s House and on through Shalom. They loved their experience and I was impressed with the level of care they received. I am from New York originally and moved to Asheville in 1998, and have been working at Hilde’s House with the infants and toddlers for the past five years. I play music in my spare time, focusing on the lute and early music. I have a B.F.A. In guitar and lute performance and received my early childhood education certification at AB Tech. I love working with the toddlers, playing with them, and feel honored to be a part of their lives and development.
Carrie Wax, Teva 3’s
I am so glad to be here at Shalom Children’s Center! I discovered my love of teaching 8 years ago after receiving my RYT200 yoga certification, and knew teaching children was exactly where I wanted to be each day. I continued to train and began teaching yoga classes for a non-profit in elementary schools in 2011. I got married, grew a family, and soon later came back to teaching, and became the Yoga & Mindfulness Specialist at Shalom in October 2018. I currently hold a Bachelor of Arts in English, and will be pursing my Masters in Elementary Education beginning in 2020. The time I’ve spent both on the mat or within the classroom has brought me to this seat of teacher. I am honored to be a part of this community with each of you and each one of your incredibly special children!
Amber Williams, Levi’im toddler-2’s
My name is Amber and I am excited to be at the JCC! I was born and raised here in Asheville, and I love being outdoors. I have an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and over 12 years of experience in the field. I deeply believe that children learn the most in an environment that is rich in opportunities to learn independence, self-value, and respect for themselves and others. I believe that each child has something unique and awesome to bring to the classroom and work to showcase their special qualities. I welcomed my own little bundle of joy in 2017, his name is Austin and I am overwhelmed with joy to have him. I am happy that we are part of the Shalom family!
Sara Zeller, Hilde’s House toddlers
Hi, my name is Sara! I am an Ohio native and I lived there until I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2012. I moved to Raleigh after graduating and began working in the field of early childhood about a year later. I became a certified postpartum doula in 2014 and did that work along with nannying for several years. I moved to Asheville in 2017 and started working at the JCC as a substitute teacher in October of 2017. Starting in January 2020, I will be pursuing my Early Childhood Education Certificate at AB-Tech. I now work with the infants and toddlers as a floater and absolutely love being a part of this community!
Jacqui Childs, Garden Specialist
Penny White, Judaics Specialist
Miri Massachi, Music & Movement Specialist
Substitute Teaching Staff
Suzanne “Oma” Friedrichs
Jo Ann “Savta” Kelvin