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Foundation Team

Jillian Barnett
Lead Teacher
A Miami native, Jillian received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida and her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Miami. She has worked in both private and public school settings, including five years working with three to five year olds with autism. She is married with two children, Bliss and Cooper, who are both students in the Foundation Level.
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Kim Coetzee
Lead Teacher
Kim is a Miami native, growing up in South Miami. She received her undergraduate degree in religion with a minor in women’s studies from the University of Georgia. She moved back to Miami to study law and received a juris doctorate degree from St. Thomas University. Kim has three daughters, who all attended the Foundation School. It was at this time, with her time spent in her daughters’ classrooms, that Kim found her passion for connecting with and teaching children.
Feliza D'Abreu
Lead Teacher
Feliza D’Abreu is originally from the Philippines. She holds a degree in elementary education and an associate degree in early childhood education. In addition, Feliza has earned the Child Development Associate Credential. She’s been a pre-school teacher since 2001. Feliza is married and has a son.
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Rachel Ebener
Lead Teacher
Rachel Ebener grew up in Miami and graduated from Florida International University with a degree in marketing. She has been teaching gymnastics since 2002 and working in schools since 2007.
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Monda Gjeka-Arch
Lead Teacher
Monda comes from Albania, where she lived 27 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in the art of teaching Albanian language and world literature. After graduating college, Monda worked as a high school teacher for four years before moving permanently to the US in 2001. She joined our teaching staff at Temple Beth Sholom in 2005. While working in Foundation Level, she earned the Child Development Associate Credential and completed many courses and college classes to further extend her knowledge in early childhood education.
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Diana Hyde
Assistant Teacher
Diana was born in Peru and moved to Miami when she was 14. She joined our teaching staff in 2006 when her nephew and niece were Foundation School students. Diana enjoys being part of children’s experiences and has dedicated much support and creativity to the Foundation School and summer camp programs. She has earned the Child Development Associate Credential.
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Mayra Isla Abanto
Lead Teacher
Mayra is from Peru and came to Miami in 2001. Even though her background and education was in business, she found her true love working with children and families when she moved here. Mayra started working as a substitute teacher in the Foundation Level in 2013 and joined the full-time staff in November 2015. She is currently working toward her degree in early childhood development.
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Martha Leyva
Assistant Teacher
Martha Leyva was born in Santiago de Cuba, where she lived until she was 14. She also lived in Madrid, Spain. Martha has a degree in marketing and merchandising. She enjoys traveling and has been to the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, and the Dominican Republic. Martha has a son, Johnhenry.
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Tennille Maisner
Assistant Teacher
Tennille Maisner was raised on Miami Beach and attended North Beach Elementary, Nautilus Middle School, and Miami Beach Senior High. After graduating high school, she studied for her Bachelor of Arts in music education at Miami Dade College and FIU South. Tennille has completed her Child Development Associate Credential here at Temple Beth Sholom and has been a part of all the youth programs and musical theater productions under the direction of Cantor Haas.
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Nancy Pasternak
Lead Teacher
Nancy Pasternak is an educator from Argentina with an associate degree in early childhood education and the Child Development Associate Credential. She relocated to Miami in 2000. Nancy became a teacher because of her love of working with children. She joined the Foundation Level staff in 2007. Nancy is married and has a daughter, who spent three years in the Foundation Level before graduating from pre-K.
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Giuliana Sierralta
Lead Teacher/ Assistant Director After-School
Giuliana Sierralta is from Peru and has lived in Miami since 1986. She recently graduated summa cum laude from Kaplan University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned the Child Development Associate Credential. Giuliana is the proud mother of Cole Young, who is a former student of the Foundation Level. In her free time, Giuliana enjoys the beach, running, traveling, and spending time with her son and family.
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Ruth Stein
Assistant Teacher
Ruth Stein was born in Granada, Nicaragua, and has been living in Miami Beach since 1985. She started to work at Temple Beth Sholom as a Parent/Child Center teacher from 2002 to 2004. Ruth joined The Foundation School team in 2011. She has earned the Child Development Associate Credential, and she loves working with children.
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