Debbie Boileve is beginning her seventh year as Executive Director of Cherry Preschool. Prior to that, Debbie taught in the Yellow Room since Cherry Preschool was founded in 1992, and was a member of the Cherry Preschool Founding Board. Before becoming Director, Debbie was the curriculum coordinator for the preschool. During the 2006-07 school year, she mentored the staff through two reaccreditations by the Academy of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Debbie has a degree in early childhood and elementary education and has worked professionally with young children for over 30 years. She has worked as a day care teacher, teacher/director of a camp program, art resource instructor, curriculum coordinator for a home day care network, and preschool teacher. In 2009, Debbie was awarded a Level II Illinois Director’s Credential and was chair of the Evanston Early Childhood Directors’ Council. Debbie is the parent of two adult children.
Rhonda Cohen is beginning her 21st year at Cherry and her 17th as Child Development/Inclusion Director. In addition to her general administrative duties, Rhonda works with the staff to support the inclusion of children with special needs and children receiving outside support services. Rhonda is also available to consult with parents on issues related to their children’s development. The parent of two adult sons, Rhonda has an education degree as well as a Master’s Degree in special education and Ph.D. coursework in educational psychology, child development and speech and language acquisition. She has worked as a preschool and primary education teacher as well as a teacher of hearing impaired children. Rhonda was the recipient of the 2004 Childcare Network of Evanston early childhood award.
Lynn Fiedler begins her third year in the office as Administrative Assistant. She has been involved with Cherry Preschool since 2003. She and her husband, Brent, have three children who are all Cherry graduates. Lauren is in 7th grade at Haven, Lindsay is in 5th grade and Matthew is in 2nd grade at Willard School. During the years her children attended Cherry, Lynn was a frequent volunteer and served four years on the board as the Market Money Chair, Vice President and President.
Toni Goehring is beginning her first year at as Cherry Preschools Development Director. Toni and her husband, Eric have one child, Theo, who is in the 2 Morning Young 3′s Yellow room. Toni has worked in the fundraising and development field for 13 years starting her career at Novo1_Marketing for Non-Profits during college, then working for a short stent at a UW Credit Union, before making her way to the United Way of New York City where she managed a substantive portfolio of corporate and foundation relationships, then finally doing consulting for a few years while her son was small. Toni is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee where she received a degree in English with an emphasis in Literature, Media, and Cultural studies. In her free time, Toni loves spending time with her family, marathon watching shows on Netflix, reading, doing yoga, studying natural healing, and occasionally spinning a hoola hoop!
Maggie Hessler is beginning her 22nd year as Site Director. A member of the Cherry Preschool Founding Board, Maggie has a background in business and social work. She is the parent of three adult children, Zachary, Jeremy, and Tess (who was in the first graduating class at Cherry). In addition to managing all aspects of building operations, Maggie helps to organize the day to day operations of the school. Maggie puts her background in social work and early childhood education to good use as the administrative liaison to the Community Outreach Committee. For the past eight years, Maggie has put a great deal of time and energy into establishing and maintaining the Latino Parent/Child class, and more recently has worked as liaison to the Family Support Program of the Infant Welfare Society.
Laurie Levy, Cherry Preschool’s Founding Director, retired in May 2013. Laurie was a part of the Cherry Preschool staff for 22 years and continues to be a part of the Cherry Preschool family. Laurie paved the way for many children to experience a preschool that is inclusive, caring and respectful of all people; a preschool that brings children of all abilities and backgrounds together to play and grow. Her legacy lives on in each and every child that has attended Cherry Preschool, their parents and the Cherry Preschool staff.
Shirlene Ward, Cherry’s Financial Manager for the past 17 years, handles all the school’s bookkeeping, budget analysis and preparation, and generally anything that requires a spreadsheet. She is the parent of Dan and Paul, two Cherry alumni now in in their 20′s, and she lives in south Evanston with her sons and her husband, Kevin Kipp. In her former life, she was a music librarian at Northwestern University, and has degrees in Piano, Musicology, and Library Science. She currently devotes her volunteer hours to the board of The Orion Ensemble, a chamber music group of five remarkable women who perform in Evanston, Chicago, and Geneva.