Meet Our Teachers
Amber Brumbaugh, Director of Bet Shalom Yeladim
Amber has worked with children since 2004 when she began working at the drop in daycare at the Sabes Jewish Community Center. During high school she continued to work in Early Childhood settings including the Early Childhood Center at the JCC with a range of ages from infants to pre- kindergartners.
Amber is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor’s degree in K-8 and a cognitive in Middle School Communication Arts and Literature. During college, Amber worked at an afterschool program in St. Cloud and then in Minneapolis where she did her student teaching. Amber subbed in five school districts from PreK – High School the year after graduating. Knowing she wanted to work with the same children everyday she accepted a full time position back at the Early Childhood Center as a short term sub for toddlers and later was hired as the Lead Infant Teacher there.
After working with a variety of ages, Amber decided to focus on working with older children in a smaller community where she could guide them in language, group play, exploration and discovering new skills. This led her to Bet Shalom Yeladim as the toddler teacher. With Amber’s leadership, dedication, knowledge and passion for the school and early education, she took on the role as the Director.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her son, Easton, her husband and family. They enjoy following St. Cloud State men’s hockey, golfing, camping and trying new things.
Aly Jones, Preschool Assistant Director, & Teacher, Toddler Room
Aly was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She grew up spending time in her mother’s preschool class and has known since a very young age that she wanted to work with children. Aly graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Family Social Science. She hopes to continue schooling in the near future by achieving a Masters in Social Work.
Since 2009, Aly has worked with 8-17 year olds as a camp counselor at various camping organizations, primarily the Union for Reform Judaism. Along with acting as a counselor, she also held various leadership positions with teens and children. Shortly before graduating college Aly began working as a Teaching Assistant at Primrose School of Lakeville North in the Early Preschool class. Aly has been working as the Youth Group Advisor and Madrichim Coordinator at Bet Shalom Congregation, which lead her to start working in the toddler room at Bet Shalom Yeladim.
Heidi Roston, Teacher, Infant Room
Heidi grew up in Crystal, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Throughout her life, she has dedicated a lot of her time teaching children. She has worked with toddlers in preschool, school age children in public school and just after college, she worked in the hospitals taking newborn baby portraits. Besides working as an infant teacher at Shalom Yeladim, she teaches third grade and is a Bar/Bar Mitzvah tutor in the Bet Shalom Religious School. She believes that some of the most important skills to have when working with children is patience, flexibility, and love. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, spending time with her family, and reading.
Katie Gitler, Teacher, Infant Room
Katie was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in a family of teachers (both grandmas, her mom and sister are all teachers). She came to Minnesota for college and has her degree in Elementary Education with a focus in art. She lived in Holland for a year with her husband and returned home to be a fourth grade teacher up until the time she had her first child. While raising her three children, Katie was very involved in Early Childhood Family Education and fell in love with learning about and teaching preschool age children. She believes young children learn best through experiencing things first hand in an environment full of art, music, books, free play, sensory experiences and love. She doesn’t mind things getting a little messy for the sake of learning! Outside of Bet Shalom Yeladim, Katie enjoys spending time with her family & dog Louie, reading books, playing cribbage, going on art dates with her husband, and baking cookies.
Maddie Kerch, Teacher, Toddler Room
Originally from Highland Park, Illinois. I came to Minneapolis for college at the University of Minnesota. I graduated in 2017 with a bachelors of science in Psychology with a focus in neuroscience. I started college being interested in research and brain development, but left with a wide range of interests and an internship that led to teaching. I worked as tutoring coordinator and assistant pre-k teacher at Prodeo Academy, a charter school in North Minneapolis, before starting at Bet Shalom Yeladim.
I have worked with kids for 12 years starting with babysitting neighbors and my younger brother, to becoming a camp counselor, youth mentor, literacy tutor, and finally pre-kindergarten teacher before falling in love with toddlers! I have always enjoyed taking care of others and love using play to assist in the learning and growth that happens so quickly in young children.
Outside of school I can be found lesson planning for future classroom fun, trying different restaurants and cafes around Minneapolis, and taking dance and fitness classes!
Amanda Goodman, Pre-K Teacher
Amanda has worked with preschoolers and in Kindergarten since 2007 in Hopkins Public Schools and has also taught in Bet Shalom’s religious school for the past seven years in Pre-K and 8th grade.
Amanda is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. A former 8th grade English teacher, Amanda discovered after she became a parent that her real passion was in teaching young children.
She is committed to ensuring the PreK children are ready for the academic demands of modern-day Kindergarten, while also meeting the social and emotional needs of 4- and 5-year olds in a caring, supportive environment.
Sarah Norsted, Float