Wendy Yesharim, Program Director
Established in 2001, the Gordon & Sklar Early Childhood Center at Temple Beth El of South Orange County is committed to the development of the whole child. We recognize that children learn best when they are in a warm, nurturing, loving, and safe environment. Our dedicated, talented, experienced staff understands that every child is an individual, and respects their needs by creating the space needed to foster healthy cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Together, parents, teachers, administrators, and clergy nurture the students in our program allowing them to actively explore their world with confidence. We integrate Jewish tradition and values, embrace creative exploration in our dynamic learning environment, and guide children to establish a strong foundation of kindness, curiosity, and a love for learning. Our teacher to child ratios are very low and we proudly serve multiple generations of families. T
Miss Beth, TBESOC ECC Lead Teacher
Beth Parker has been working at our ECC for the past 16 years. Her professional experience includes early childhood education, marketing, and management in the software industry. Beth has a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing with a minor in Psychology from San Diego State University. She also has her early childhood teaching and administrative certification from Saddleback College. Beth loves teaching at the ECC because, “All my special little people, watching each unique individual grow, develop and learn each day. Having a job that I look forward to each day. Making a difference in each child’s life and in each families experience and growth.”
Miss Patti, Pre K Teacher
Patti Shapiro came to Temple Beth El as our Kindergarten teacher 12 years ago. Patti’s work experience includes teaching kindergarten at Temple Beth David, 1st grade at Los Angeles Unified School District, 3rd – 4th grade at Hebrew Academy. Patti has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art from Cal State University Northridge and her California Teaching Credential from University of Judaism California. Patti has lived in New York, Los Angeles and Orange County. Patti loves teaching preschool because, “I can sing my way through the day.”
Miss Lana, Teacher
Lana Sorsher has been teaching at the ECC for the past 9 years. Lana holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood pedagogic and psychology. Lana has lived in Russia, Florida, Arizona and California. Her work experience includes; working as an early childhood curriculum specialist, Parent/Toddler class coordinator and facilitator, and as an early childhood teacher. Lana loves teaching preschool because she enjoys, “watching kids grow very fast; seeing kids’ sense of humor.”
Miss Kelly, Teacher
Kelly Olshane has been teaching at the ECC for 12 years. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cal State Los Angeles and early childhood education certification from Saddleback College. Kelly’s experience includes working as a paralegal and senior recruiter. Kelly has lived in Encino, Palm Springs, Newport Beach, Israel and Orange County. Kelly loves teaching preschool students because, “when I had a child of my own I realized I didn’t want to go back to corporate America. I had a desire to around preschool children and there are tremendous rewards including watching a child grow academically, socially and emotionally. This job is so rewarding.”
Miss Gabi, Teacher
Gabi Love has taught at the ECC for the past 7 years working as a shadow, an assistant teacher and now a lead teacher. Gabi attended Orange Coast College and received her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. Gabi was born and raised in San Diego and has lives in Mission Viejo with her husband and two children for the past 12 years. Gabi loves teaching because she loves watching the children experience something new every day and watching them grow and develop over the year.
Miss Samantha, Assistant Teacher
Samantha Zibeck holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, a Juris Doctor Degree from University of San Diego and her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. Samantha was an attorney at the Orange County Public Defender’s office for 16 years, was an active volunteer at Moulton Elementary School and a volunteer with the LNYSA soccer league. Most recently, Samantha has been a substitute teacher at the ECC. Samantha’s and her family have been Temple Beth El members for more than 14 years. Samantha loves working with children because she loves listening to them and watching them figure things out for themselves.
Miss Lesley, Assistant Teacher
Lesley Jacobs joined the ECC in May 2019 as a substitute teacher. Lesley and her two daughters have been Temple Beth El members since 2012. Her daughters went through the Early Childhood Center and currently attend Hebrew school and Shabbat Chai. Lesley has lived in Illinois, Newport Beach, Irvine, Northern California, and now Aliso Viejo. Lesley worked at the JCC in Irvine as an assistant preschool teacher. She also worked at California Coast University as an Admission Counselor and Allied Business School in Admissions. Lesley attended Neve Yerushaliym, “the largest college for Jewish women in the world. Founded in 1970 to educate baalot teshuva in the why and how of living an Orthodox Jewish life.” She earned her Early Childhood Education certification from Saddleback College. She also holds certification in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) though the Irvine Police Department. “Irvine CERT program provides private citizens with the basic skills they need to protect themselves, their family, and neighbors, and to respond to the immediate needs of the community in the aftermath of a disaster when emergency services are not readily available.” Lesley’s favorite thing about teaching or working in a preschool is the love of children’s curiosity and their love of learning. “I like making a difference; I think teachers make a huge difference in helping to improve the lives of children and their families as well.”