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The Staff

The director and teachers set the stage for learning by creating an enriched environment to help children explore and experiment with both the familiar and unfamiliar. Daily activities and projects are carefully planned with the child’s interest in mind.

Samantha Burks – Director


Samantha was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She began working in education while earning her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. She first fell in love with early childhood teaching in a Montessori preschool in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has also worked as a high school math teacher, and as a teacher at Beth Meyer Preschool beginning in 2011. Her passion is discovering how to distill the spirit of Jewish beliefs in a way that resonates with young children.

Samantha is thrilled to be able to bring her assistant, Fiona (age 3) to work with her every day. In her free time Samantha enjoys reading, knitting and interval training.

Crystal Bass – Teacher: Peelim Aleph (1’s) Afternoon Program


Crystal was born in Raleigh, NC and has lived here her whole life. She has two wonderful children, Tyler (6th grade) and Lilly (3nd grade). Crystal has a master’s degree in History form American Public University and her Early Child Care Credential. She has worked in preschool for 9 years. She truly enjoys working with young children. Crystal enjoys reading and playing softball.

Henrietta Brunson – Teacher: Dageem (3’s), Afternoon Program and Early Drop


Henrietta is from South Carolina. She has two children, Canaan and Jordan. She has a degree in Fitness Programming with a minor in Psychology from Coker College and is currently attaining her Masters’ Degree from Liberty University in Elementary Education. She has over 12 years of experience working as a More At Four Teacher, director, infants, toddlers, and threes teacher. She has been working for Beth Meyer Preschool since February 2013.

Barbara Draper – Teacher: Peelim Bet (1’s), Afternoon Program, Early Drop, and Late Pick-Up


Barbara has a master’s degree in Human Services Crisis, Response & Trauma. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a focus in Elementary Education.  Before entering the corporate world she taught 3rd through 5th grade. She is originally from CA but has lived here with her family for almost 20 years. She has three boys: Keegan who attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Kendal who lives here in Raleigh and Kordell who attends NYU.  When she is not busy studying Barbara enjoys camping, going to the beach, and even riding with her husband on the back of his Harley.

gloriaGloria Warren – Teacher: Parparim (2’s)

Gloria Warren has been working with preschools for 9 years. She has both an Early Childhood and a Special Education Certificate. Before working at Beth Meyer Preschool, she was a medical assistant in orthopedics for many years. Gloria is a grandmother of seven!

Kelly Bloom – Teacher: Ariyot (PreK)


Kelly is a Raleigh native and UNC-CH graduate with a BFA in Fine Art and a MA in Art History. After working for several years as a graphic designer in California, Kelly took time off to stay home with her two daughters Abigail and Ella (formerly Beth Meyer Preschool students, now 7th and 6th graders). Kelly began working at Beth Meyer Preschool in 2009 with the Twos, but eventually found her way ‘home’ to the PreK class in 2011. Kelly and her husband Ryan are both actively involved in the Beth Meyer Synagogue community. Kelly continues to enjoy being creative outside the classroom by making jewelry and beaded kippot.

Deborah Goldstein – Teacher: Ariyot (PreK)


Deborah has been working with four year olds in what used to be the Dinosaur Class (and is now our Ariyot PreK class) at Beth Meyer Preschool for 23 years. Before she moved to North Carolina in 1991, Deborah earned a BA in Sociology as well as a teaching certificate in Social Studies from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and worked with adolescents in a residential care program. Deborah is extremely active in the Beth Meyer Synagogue and the Raleigh Jewish community. She teaches elementary, middle school, high school and adult students through the Beth Meyer Religious School and Adult Education programs. Deborah is passionate about social action, education, her cats and dog Sunshine, and her family.

Carolyn King – Teacher: Dageem (3’s) and Early Drop


Carolyn and her childhood sweetheart George have been married for 35 years and live in Raleigh. They are the proud parents of three fantastic adult children. Carolyn is a former nurse with a diverse background in health and wellness. In 2015, she completed the required courses to earn her early childhood credential. Carolyn is passionate about empowering others to reach their full potential and to enjoy the gift of life, regardless of their age. She brings that same passion, dedication and energy into the classroom every day. She is committed to creating a classroom and overall school environment that will best help each child to learn, grow and develop into the most secure and well-adjusted person he/she can be. Carolyn is actively involved in her church and community and is a certified travel agent who enjoys traveling the world and assisting others in creating their own incredible adventures.

Kim Kotzker – Teacher: Parparim (2’s) and Afternoons


Mikayla Mercer – Teacher: Morning Support Specialist, Afternoons and Late Pick-Up


Kim Wicksel – Teacher: Afternoons and Late Pick-Up


Diane Zamansky – Teacher: Morning Support Specialist


Beginning her tenure Spring 2016 as a substitute teacher, this year Diane joined the staff as a teaching assistant. Diane brings her love of children and learning to the classroom.  A former school librarian and teacher, Diane spent her career in the Jewish not-for-profit arena, with degrees in Library Science and Education.  She holds her Hebrew Teacher’s license and has taken post-graduate work in public relations, communications, marketing and planned giving.  Diane’s goal is to ensure that she works alongside lead teachers to enhance the daily experience of each child.