Our Mission: The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry and respect.


Preschool Faculty


Elizabeth Gilleland
B.A., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Furman University
M.S., Applied Educational and Developmental Psychology, NCSU
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, NCSU

Elizabeth joined The Raleigh School faculty in 1997 as the Preschool Director. In her 35+ years as an educator at The Raleigh School and beyond, Elizabeth has taught and learned together with preschoolers, elementary, middle and high schoolers, college and graduate level students, and teachers and parents. Elizabeth has served the larger educational community in many non-teaching roles, including service on PTA, SIT, and BAC boards in the Wake County Public School System, founding and service on the board of the Wake-aeyc, and ten years as a member the North Carolina Childcare Commission. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for the use of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education, and in the importance of ensuring that children have ample opportunity to play and learn outdoors in the natural world. Elizabeth loves knowing and supporting the children, parents, and teachers of The Raleigh School community.


Mrs. Eisenstadt & Dr. Gilleland

TWOs CLASSES and teachers

Mrs. Markland & Mrs. Sedighi
2s MWF Half-Day Class

Mrs. Markland & Mrs. Clarke
2s T/Th Half-Day Class

Mrs. Garriga & Mrs. Brodsky
2s T/Th Half-Day Class

Mrs. Prather & Mrs. McGrath
2s T/Th Half-Day Class

THREES CLASSES and teachers

Mrs. Kirchner & Mrs. Sherali
3s MWF Half-Day Class

Mrs. Garriga & Mrs. Loaiza
3s MWF Half-Day Class

Mrs. Kirchner & Mrs. Cox
3s T/Th Half-Day Class

FOURs CLASSES and teachers

Mrs. Eisenstadt & Mrs. Cartron
4s M-F Half-Day Class

Mrs. Prather & Mrs. Battaglino
4s MWF School-Day Class

Mrs. Heames & Mrs. DeMoss
4s M-F School-Day Class


PRESCHOOL Faculty - Lead Teachers

Alison Eisenstadt
B.A., Journalism, University of South Carolina
M.A., Teaching, Elementary Education, Rhode Island College

Alison joined The Raleigh School faculty in 1998. She has worked with young children of all ages and has been teaching the five-day 4s class since 2005. Previously, Alison worked as a newspaper editor in West Palm Beach, FL, and Washington, DC. She also taught ballet, tutored, and worked in elementary and middle schools in Rhode Island. She enjoys running, hiking, and being outdoors.

Nila Garriga
B.A., Psychology-Child Development , K-6 Education Certification

Nila joined The Raleigh School in 2017. Her prior experience includes teaching third grade in North Carolina for 10 years in the public school system and working with lower socio-economic preschoolers and elementary aged school children for 5 years prior. Nila has two boys, Dash and Lincoln, who currently attend The Raleigh School. She also runs and operates Nila Garriga Photography. Nila enjoys running and spending time outdoors with her family.

Amy Heames
A.A.S., Early Childhood Education, Wake Tech

Amy joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2001. She has worked with three and four year olds and has been working with the original School Day 4s class since its inception in 2002. Previously, Amy studied photography and graphic design, working in commercial photography studios in both Washington, D.C. and Raleigh. She also taught childbirth classes and was a certified doula. Amy has a special interest in art and design and is an avid photographer, music enthusiast, gardener, and animal lover.

B.A., Elementary Education, SUNY Geneseo

M.A., Educational Leadership, Bank Street College

Donna joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2000. During that time, she has been happy to teach the two-year-olds and three-year-olds. Over the past 35 years, Donna has worked with teachers, children and their families. She is also the past Executive Director of Child Care Resource and Referral of Wake County. Donna enjoys gardening, reading, hiking and knitting. She has presented at both state and national NAEYC conferences.

Debbie Markland
B.A., Elementary Education, PreK-8 Education Certification

Debbie is new to The Raleigh School this year- 2023-2024. Her prior experience includes teaching middle school and elementary school in North Carolina for 7 years in the public school system. She was a stay at home mom for several years until reentering the field of education as a preschool teacher after she and her family moved to Atlanta, GA. She taught preschool there for 12 years before moving back to Raleigh with her husband. She has also worked as a preschool teacher trainer and has written articles for an educational magazine in New York.  She has three adult children who live in Georgia, South Carolina and Colorado.  In her free time she loves to walk, exercise, do Pilates, hike, read, and travel.

Rebecca Prather
B.S., Child Development, Campbell University

Rebecca joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2000. She has taught all preschool ages but most recently has worked with the 3s and 4s classes. Rebecca enjoys playing tennis, reading, and going to the beach.



PRESCHOOL Faculty - Assistant Teachers

Lauren Battaglino
B.S., Health Service Management, East Carolina University

Lauren is overjoyed to be joining the faculty community as a Preschool Assistant Teacher after having been part of the TRS community since 2019 as an active parent and committee member. She spent the last 13+ years working in the Healthcare industry but has always dreamed of working with children. The transition and beginning of a new career path in Early Childhood education is very exciting for Lauren. She has two children enrolled at TRS and has loved being an involved TRS parent as a helping parent, substitute teacher and volunteer, and looks forward to co-chairing the Elementary Library committee in the coming school year. Lauren's interests outside of everything "mommy-ing" include reading, spending time with friends and family and never turning down a coffee date! "Being part of The Raleigh School community has had a profoundly positive impact on our family. I am thrilled and honored for the opportunity to build new relationships with children and their families.

Jacque Brodsky
B.S., Deaf Education and Interpreting, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Jacque has served The Raleigh School Preschool community as a parent, substitute, and active committee member since 2017. She began as a preschool parent in the Parent/Child class, then became Room Parent for the 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s. Jacque has two boys, Fletcher and Spencer, who currently attend The Raleigh School. Jacque has worked for the past 20 years as a nationally certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter around the state, and specializes in educational interpreting with her K-12 national certification. She is also a dance/fitness instructor in the Triangle. Jacque enjoys being with her family and friends during her free time, listening to music, and looks forward to her annual summer trips back home to New York.  

Kim Cartron
Master of Public Administration, UNC-Chapel Hill
B.A., Political Science, Davidson College

Portrait of Kim CartronKim taught at The Raleigh School preschool from 2007-2019 and is thrilled to return to a teaching assistant role in such a beloved and personally significant community: her daughter Sadie Grace went to the Raleigh School, parent-child class all the way through 5th grade. Kim worked in nonprofit policy advocacy on issues of social justice as the Director of the NC Budget and Tax Center prior to teaching young children.  She loves laughing with children, finding vintage clothing treasures, visiting art museums, listening to music, watching Alabama football, walking in the woods, reading great writing and most of all watching Sadie Grace dance.

Laura Clarke
M.A., Elementary Education, West Virginia University

Portrait of Kim CartronIn 2024, Laura joined The Raleigh School as a teacher assistant. Her previous experience includes teaching kindergarten and first grade in Alaska and Colorado. Laura enjoys spending time with her family, particularly creating art and reading with her daughter. Her hobbies include cycling, yoga, skiing, tennis, reading, writing, and walking her dogs.

Llael Cox
Master of City and Regional Planning, UNC-Chapel Hill
Early Childhood Education Certificate, Wake Tech (in progress)

Llael has been active in The Raleigh School Preschool as a parent, substitute, and active committee member since 2018. She fell in love with The Raleigh School community when her son began in the 2s class and is delighted to now be joining the faculty. She loves spending time with young children and believes in the value of play, outdoor exploration, and respecting children. Previously, she worked for the Environmental Protection Agency for 7 years before becoming a stay-at-home parent. Llael has one son who currently attends The Raleigh School. She enjoys swing dancing, biking, and reading in her spare time and is a 3 Dan in kendo.

Tori DeMoss
Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Arizona State University

Tori has been active in the The Raleigh School community as a parent, substitute teacher, and committee chair since 2012. She joined the faculty in 2017, assisting with the school day 4s class. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with children of all ages as a teacher, competitive swim coach, and swim school director. Tori is passionate about helping children gain confidence by learning and mastering new skills. She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, skiing, running and other outdoor activities.

Christina Loaiza
B.A., Public Policy, Duke University

Christina is an active member of The Raleigh School Community, engaging as a parent, substitute teacher, and committee chair since 2017. Inspired by her son's experience at Park West Cooperative Nursery School, Christina witnessed the profound impact of early childhood education on her children's development, sparking her curiosity to explore young learners' unique needs and potential. With prior experience as a financial analyst at an investment bank and managing a Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, Christina brings diverse professional expertise. Outside of work, Christina enjoys family time, tennis, Pilates, and traveling. Committed to fostering a nurturing and stimulating learning environment, she eagerly aims to make a positive impact on students and The Raleigh School community.

Larissa McGrath
B.A., French/Spanish, N.C. State University
Spanish K-12 teaching certificate, N.C. State University

Larissa started her teaching career as a Spanish teacher in elementary school with Wake County Public Schools. She joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2001, assisting with 2s and later on 3s. Larissa teaches Pilates at a local studio. She also enjoys running, hiking, yoga, walking with her dogs and being outdoors. She is an avid Wolfpack fan.

Soroor Sedighi
B. A., English to Persian Translation (Tehran)
Early Childhood Education, CDA Training (In progress) 

Soroor has been active in The Raleigh School as a parent, substitute teacher and a committee member since 2018. Her passion for being a teacher started when her son began in the 3s class and she's thrilled to be joining as an assistant teacher. Soroor has worked as a translator, freelancer teacher and sales manager for 10 years before becoming a stay-at-home Mom. She loves spending time with my family and friends, traveling, hiking, reading and shopping. 

Sandy Sherali
Studied Textiles and Merchandising, S.N.D.T. University, Bombay, India
A.A. Nirmala Niketan College, Bombay University, India

Sandy joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2020 and has been a TRS parent, room parent and committee chair. Her past experience is in the Pharmaceutical and Health Care sector as a recruiter and then as owner of a Home Care Agency. Sandy is an avid gardener who enjoys the outdoors. Her other joys include cooking, reading, being at the coast and spending time with her family and fur babies.


Marty Long
B.M., Music Composition, Mississippi College

Marty joined the Raleigh School in 2016. As a songwriter and composer, she has had a variety of experiences in her music career. From teaching private piano and music composition lessons to arranging and performing with Bill Leslie and the North Carolina Symphony to fronting an award winning alternative rock band, Marty has found her musical home with Raleigh School preschoolers. Her original songs, inspired by her small friends and their creative souls, are collected in the Preschool Rockstar project which she runs with her husband, Kevin. In their home, they have three children, three dogs, some chickens, and a fat little guinea pig.

Teachers and parents thoughtfully partner to ensure each child's unique capacities and learning styles are recognized and encouraged ... Every morning our children literally ran to their classrooms, thrilled by the prospect of what each new day might bring!

Mark and May Bensen, alumni parents