Debbie Boileve is beginning her ninth 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 24th year at Cherry and her 20th 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 sixth year in the office as Office Manager. She has been involved with Cherry Preschool since 2003. She and her husband, Brent, have three children who are all Cherry graduates. Lauren is a sophomore at ETHS, Lindsay is in 8th grade at Haven and Matthew is in 5th 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 Gift Card Chair, Vice President and President.
Toni Goehring is starting her 2nd year as Cherry Preschool’s Development Director. She has spent 15 years in the Fundraising and Development field. Toni recently completed Leadership Evanston—the signature program of the Evanston Community Foundation—and now sits on the board of LumenKids. In her free time, Toni enjoys spending time in her garden, playing with her son, Theo, who attends Cherry, and doing yoga.
Maggie Hessler is beginning her 25th 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 spearheading our community outreach efforts. For the past eleven 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.
Shirlene Ward, Cherry’s Financial Operations Manager for the past 20 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 lives in south Evanston with 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.
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.