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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


Samantha was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She began working in education while earning her BA 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. She has her M.Ed. in Early Education Leadership, Policy and Advocacy from UNCW. 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 4) to work with her every day. In her free time Samantha enjoys reading, knitting and interval training.

Kelly Bloom

Assistant Director

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 8th and 7th graders). Kelly began working at Beth Meyer Preschool in 2009 with the Twos, but eventually found her way 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.

Crystal Bass

Lead Teacher

Crystal was born in Raleigh, NC and has lived here her whole life. She has two wonderful children, Tyler (7th grade) and Lilly (4th 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 10 years. She truly enjoys working with young children. Crystal enjoys reading and playing softball.

Henrietta Brunson

Lead Teacher, Summer Camp Director

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 a Master’s 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.

Gloria Warren

Lead Teacher

Gloria Warren has been working with preschools for 10 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!

Carolyn King

Lead Teacher

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

Lead Teacher

Mikayla Mercer

Apprentice Teacher

Kim Wicksel

Apprentice Teacher

Hanah Rose

Apprentice Teacher

Pilar LaSala

Apprentice Teacher

Pilar was born in Peru, where she obtained a BA in Education with emphasis on preschool education. Since 1984 she has worked continuously as a teacher. Her passion is teaching young children to reach their potential and discover their talents. She moved to Costa Rica in 1989, where she continued working as a preK teacher, computer teacher and school administrative director. She taught for several years in the religious school at B’nei Israel Synagogue in San Jose, Costa Rica. Pilar moved to Winston-Salem, NC in 2007 where she worked as a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher in a dual language immersion program. She also earned her Master’s in TESOL from Greensboro College. Pilar and her husband Steve are active members of the Beth Meyer Synagogue community. Their blended family includes their four children: Sofi, Nathan, and Talia who are at universities throughout North Carolina, and Micah who is a high school junior. Pilar loves cooking, reading, painting , and travel.

Karen Bograd

Apprentice Teacher