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Meet the Rice and Smith families, a 3-generation TSTI family. Jay and Ellen Rice are longtime TSTI members, while their children and their families are still connected to TSTI. Jay and Ellen’s grandson, RG, now attends the TSTI Preschool.

Tell us about your family’s connection to TSTI & the TSTI Preschool.

Ellen and I have been members of the temple since the early 1990s. Over the years I have had many roles at temple, including President of the Gates Foundation and Temple President from 2011-2014. Ellen, for many years now, has been the chairperson of the temple’s Adult Education Committee.

As President I had numerous interactions with the Preschool, including attending Preschool board meetings and the review of the Preschool budget. In fall of 2021, my grandson, RG Smith, began attending the Preschool.

Carol Paster has been the Preschool Director for more than thirty years. Do you have any special memories of working with her when you served as TSTI President?

Carol and I worked closely during my years as President. What was so impressive about Carol was her ability to think out of the box and her willingness to forgo her own short-term benefit for the benefit of the school, kids, and teachers.

You and your wife have been very engaged members for a long time. Why was this important to you?

I see TSTI as the place where so many of life’s most memorable moments occur, a true centerpiece of our community.

How have you remained engaged during the pandemic?

Ellen’s work during the pandemic has led to numerous innovative ZOOM programs to help keep our membership close to TSTI. Also, the temple’s leadership asked me to lead fundraising efforts to help offset the financial losses arising from the pandemic. This helped TSTI weather the storm.

What does your grandchild like most about the TSTI Preschool?

It would be hard to know what a 2-year-old likes most about preschool, but my grandson loves his time there. For him, every day is a new adventure.