Cynthia Martinez, Pre-K Lead Teacher (Ms. Martinez)

Ms. Martinez is a native Houstonian with more than 10 years of experience working with children ages 16 months to six years old. She worked with Katy ISD in its Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities. In this education field, she enjoys helping children excel educationally in a creative and fun way that is unique to each child despite any perceived limitations. It is her passion to inspire children to challenge themselves to develop their creativity educationally. Shortly after earning her Bachelor’s degree, she began working as a licensing inspector for the State of Texas. Ms. Martinez enjoys spending time outdoors kayaking, hiking, and biking in Texas State Parks and local bayous. She is a Houston sports fan and likes travelling with her family.

Heather Purcell, Pre-K Assistant Teacher (Mrs. Purcell)

Mrs. Purcell is excited to begin her fourth year teaching Pre-K at Beth Yeshurun Day School. She graduated from the business school at The University of Texas at Austin, earning a BBA degree in Marketing. After UT, she worked in the energy industry, followed by several years being a full-time Mom. As a member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun and with fond memories of her own daughters’ years at BYDS, Mrs. Purcell was excited to reconnect with such a warm and loving school and found her calling in Pre-K. “With much love to give, my heart is happy and full as I watch each child grow, learn, and succeed.” She has been married for 22 years to her college sweetheart, Ari, and has two daughters, Alison and Dani.

Sherry Oliver, Pre-K Lead Teacher (Ms. Oliver)

Ms. Oliver is a native Houstonian and a 7th generation Texan. She attended Bellaire High School, the University of Texas and the University of Houston. Ms. Oliver taught at The Shlenker School for the last 26 years and is a dedicated volunteer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Her daughter, Cassie, is a sophomore at Bellaire, the 3rd generation in their family to attend Bellaire and her son, Walker, is a 7th grader at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. “I am thrilled to be joining the BYDS family and I’m looking forward to this new and exciting opportunity. What I enjoy the most about teaching is letting children be children.”

Morgan Gerson, Pre-K Assistant Teacher (Ms. Gerson – soon-to-be Mrs. Lewman)

Morgan was born in San Diego and moved to Texas when she was five years old (she proudly calls herself a Texan). She has worked with children for five years, ranging from infants to Pre-K. For the past two years, Ms. Gerson was Morah Morgan for the BYDS TWOs. She is grateful for the opportunity to work in a nurturing, loving environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that help to build their confidence while they play. She is very adventurous and loves to fish, hike, and try new foods. “I look forward to continued success and new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers at Beth Yeshurun Day School.”

Bonnie Suchart, Pre-K Lead Teacher (Mrs. Suchart – pronounced Shoo-cart)

Bonnie Suchart grew up in Corpus Christi, TX. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to teaching at Beth Yeshurun Day School, she taught 1st grade for 1 year and 2nd grade for 7 years. Mrs. Suchart has worked at Beth Yeshurun Day School for 26 years.  In that time, she also served as the Family Life Coordinator for 4 years with the synagogue. Mrs. Suchart and her husband Neil will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this summer. They have two grown daughters, Courtney and Megan. She and her family love Walt Disney World and enjoy making magical memories there.

Miriam Ilechukwu, Pre-K Assistant Teacher (Ms. Ilechukwu – pronounced Ill-e-choo-koo)

Originally from Nigeria, West Africa, Miriam moved to the U.S. in 1995 in pursuit of higher education. She graduated from Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a degree in Sociology and then earned her Master’s in Social Work. She has been in Houston since 2010 where she continues to focus on teaching children. Ms. Ilechukwu joined the BYDS faculty in 2017 in EDE and Early Childhood and this will be her second year in PreK. She enjoys teaching, reading, and traveling.

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