SUBMIT INQUIRY

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

PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

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. Her prior experience includes directing other preschools in the Cary/Raleigh area and teaching at the preschool, elementary school, high school, and college levels. Elizabeth has served the educational community in many ways, including in her current role as a member of the North Carolina Childcare Commission. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for the use of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education, and she loves knowing and supporting the children, parents, and teachers of The Raleigh School community.

PARENT / CHILD TODDLERS CLASS

Mrs. Eisenstadt & Dr. Gilleland

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.

TWOs CLASSES and teachers

Mrs. Parker & Mrs. Cox
2s MWF Half-Day Class
2s T/Th Half-Day Class

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

Mrs. Kirchner & Mrs. Garrett
2s/3s T/Th Half-Day Class

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.

Donna Kirchner
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.

Stephanie Parker
B.S., Elementary Education and Spanish, Western Carolina University

Stephanie has served The Raleigh School Preschool community as a parent, substitute, and active committee member since 2013. She joined the faculty in 2016. Previously, Stephanie taught two-year olds and lead a preschool Spanish program. She also spent five years teaching first grade in the Durham Public School System. Outside of school, Stephanie loves spending time with her family, visiting her hometown in Western North Carolina, reading, exercising and shopping.

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.

Cara Garrett
B.A., Intervention Specialist K-12, Bowling Green State University
M.A., School Administration, North Carolina University

Cara joined The Raleigh School in 2019 where she was an assistant in the 2’s classroom. She is excited to rejoin The Raleigh School as an assistant in the 2/3’s classroom after a year of helping her son with virtual learning. Prior to joining TRS Cara worked for eleven years as a special education teacher for grades K-5 and received her master’s in school administration. Cara grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Raleigh in 2006. She has two children who both went to TRS for preschool. She enjoys running, traveling, and hanging out with her friends and family.

Holly Gyovai
B.A., Multidisciplinary Studies(concentration in Communication), West Virginia University
A.A.S Early Childhood Education, Wake Tech (in progress)

Holly has been a part of the TRS community as an active parent and committee member since 2018 and is thrilled to be joining as an assistant teacher. Holly began her career as a Human Resources specialist for a global healthcare organization based out of Pittsburgh, PA. She then spent the next six years as a stay-at-home parent for her two sons, who are currently enrolled in The Raleigh School. Holly’s experience on-campus as a helping parent and substitute teacher at TRS cultivated her passion for early childhood education and inspired the transition to a career path as an assistant teacher. Her interests outside of school include, reading, yoga, dancing, cycling, spending time with her family and friends, and snuggling her two dogs.


THREES CLASSES and teachers
MRS. KIRCHNER & MRS. Garrett

2s/3s Tu/Th Half-Day Class

MRS. KIRCHNER & MRS. SHERALI
3s MWF Half-Day Class

MRS. gARRIGA & MRS. GYOVAI

3s MWF Half-Day Class

MRS. PRATHER & MRS. MCGRATH

3s T/Th Half-Day Class

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.

Donna Kirchner
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.

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.


Cara Garrett
B.A., Intervention Specialist K-12, Bowling Green State University
M.A., School Administration, North Carolina University

Cara joined The Raleigh School in 2019 where she was an assistant in the 2’s classroom. She is excited to rejoin The Raleigh School as an assistant in the 2/3’s classroom after a year of helping her son with virtual learning. Prior to joining TRS Cara worked for eleven years as a special education teacher for grades K-5 and received her master’s in school administration. Cara grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Raleigh in 2006. She has two children who both went to TRS for preschool. She enjoys running, traveling, and hanging out with her friends and family.

Holly Gyovai
B.A., Multidisciplinary Studies(concentration in Communication), West Virginia University
A.A.S Early Childhood Education, Wake Tech (in progress)

Holly has been a part of the TRS community as an active parent and committee member since 2018 and is thrilled to be joining as an assistant teacher. Holly began her career as a Human Resources specialist for a global healthcare organization based out of Pittsburgh, PA. She then spent the next six years as a stay-at-home parent for her two sons, who are currently enrolled in The Raleigh School. Holly’s experience on-campus as a helping parent and substitute teacher at TRS cultivated her passion for early childhood education and inspired the transition to a career path as an assistant teacher. Her interests outside of school include, reading, yoga, dancing, cycling, spending time with her family and friends, and snuggling her two dogs.

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.

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.

FOURs CLASSES and teachers

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.



Jessica Casino

B.A., Communication, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Jessica joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2012. Jessica loves working with the 3s and has been part of the School Day 3s class since it was created in 2013. Jessica is also an active parent at the elementary school, serving as a room parent and a Science Olympiad coach. Outside of school, Jessica enjoys as much time as possible at her log cabin in Western North Carolina, as well as fostering rescue dogs and enjoying time with her family.

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.

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!

MUSIC & MOVEMENT

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

Marty joined The Raleigh School in 2016. Her prior experience includes teaching piano and music composition at the Raleigh Conservatory of Music, Ravenscroft, and in her own private studio. She has also taught Music Together for Sproutsongs Music since 2015. She has a special interest in teaching children to love being music makers. Marty enjoys writing both music and words and loves her kids, her dogs, and her chickens.


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