Gates of Discovery Preschool


Teachers, of course, are the heart of every school. They have the greatest impact on a child’s daily experience. A great preschool teacher will set up an environment that stimulates each child’s natural curiosity. They will see the entire child and love and nurture the best of each child in their care. Teachers work tirelessly to continually develop their own skills so that they can provide their students with the finest education. This commitment to excellence describes the teachers at Gates of Discovery: The Rose and George Teller Preschool of Shaare Tefila. Read about our teachers here and then come meet us by taking a tour of our school.

Beth Adler


I am the founding director of Gates of Discovery. This school is my vision of a community where children can learn and explore, where relationships are foundational to the learning that transpires and where teachers are inspired to provide a dynamic environment in which children thrive. I have a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. I also attended The Art and Craft of the Principalship at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I live in Silver Spring with my husband, but my children keep growing up and moving away, so luckily I am surrounded by the wonderful children each day at school. As a life-long learner, continuing education is very important to me and I regularly attend workshops, conferences, study groups and read on my own. I have been fortunate to attend two study groups to Reggio Emilia, Italy, observing the schools there and learning directly from their educators. In addition, I am inspired each day by our teachers, through our conversations and watching them interact with the children at school.

Karen Bakalis

I received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in 1979.  I worked in the field for a couple of years before going back to college.  I met my husband and raised three children.  While raising our youngest daughter, I opened a home daycare.  Later I worked in several Head Start programs as a certified teacher/site supervisor.  Recently I have been employed by Maryland Child Care Association as a co-teacher in the preschool classroom.  I love to see children succeed, and reach new plateaus.  I count myself blessed to be able to work in this field that I love for over twenty years.  I love working in a Reggio-inspired school which allows me to continue learning myself and facilitate the learning of my students.

Coral Bell

Exploration. Discovery. Joy, These words describe my love of teaching young children, I have a Masters in Education and have taught for over 20 years. Every day is new, there is always something to learn and share with the children. Along with my teaching at Gates of Discovery, I also enjoy restoring antiques, spinning wool and working with textiles. And occasionally, I enjoy a quiet afternoon to read a book.

Dilini Ediriweera

I started my career as a primary school teacher in a leading international school in Sri Lanka after I earned my diploma in Primary & Preschool Education by the International Teacher Training Institute of Sri Lanka. After relocating to the United States, I earned my Child Development Associates (CDA), and joined the World Bank Children’s Center in Washington, D.C. (a Reggio-inspired school) where I worked as a teacher for over six years. I am a mom of two kids.  During my free time, I love to read, listen to music, and explore new places. I am very excited to be a part of Gates of Discovery!

Priya Ghosh

As an educator, my exposure to the principles and practices of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education urged the desire to learn more about this philosophy of teaching. My journey began through reading, dialogue, attending seminars and reflections. But, it always left me wondering what it would be like to observe and listen to the educators in Reggio Emilia describe and explain their approach. I was privileged to go on a study tour to Reggio Emilia last fall. It expanded my idea as to what my role as a teacher should be. Now I see myself as an active player in the classroom. I’m a collaborator (with children, parents and teachers), provocateur and a scaffolder. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with children every day. They inspire me to read, think and talk and practice the essence of the Reggio Emilia approach.

Dawn Gladstone

I have been a preschool teacher in Montgomery County for over 10 years and have experience working with children 2-4 years of age. Children have amazing potential and when I am asked what I enjoy most about working with preschool children, the answer is simple: helping students find their own interest and encouraging them to think and wonder. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a child’s smiling face expressing enthusiasm and showing a sense of accomplishment.  In my spare time, I volunteer at our son’s Boy Scout chapter and high school booster club. I enjoy walking with family and friends and spending time with my husband, teenage son and Cooper, our Cavalier King Charles.