Meet the staff
of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the
Amy Foster, Director
I have over 25 years of experience in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Early Intervention, with many of those years in Jewish institutions. I can say without hesitation that the Robert J. Preschool and Kindergarten is the very best place to learn, grow and play. The teachers are dedicated and committed to offering children the best possible experiences. Natalie and I work together to support this program in every way possible. We have an amazing team of outstanding educators!
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Temple University and my Master's degree in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University. I am married to my wonderful husband Steve. Together we have 3 children and an adorable Yellow Lab named Harley. Emily is 23 and recently graduated from Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva NY. Jeremy is 17 and he is in his senior year at Lower Merion High School and my step-son Ben is 15 and he is in 10th grade. I have an open door policy. I can be reached by phone, email or feel free to just stop by. I am looking forward to another year of fun, learning, and happiness.
|Natalie O’Brien, Assistant Director
Hi, my name is Natalie O’Brien. I have been working at the JCC for almost 19 years. You could definitely call it my home away from home! There is truly a family atmosphere here with all of our staff. We care about one another, our families and our program! Amy and I work really hard behind the scenes to make this school the best we can and care deeply about the results of our efforts. I married my high school sweetheart, Jason and we still live in Havertown where we first met. We have three children who all attended school here at the JCC Preschool and Kindergarten. Our daughter Emily is 8 in 3rd grade at Coopertown Elementary, Taylor is 11 in 6th grade at Haverford Middle School and our son Trevor is 16 and in 11th grade at Haverford High School. I don’t have much free time but if I could choose my most relaxing thing to do, it would be sitting in a chair by the water’s edge on the beach! I’m looking forward to another great school year.
Jess Grabell and Dori Langer
Jess Grabell, Lead Teacher, Nursery
My name is Jessica Grabell. I majored in Studio Art at Albright College. Last year I worked as the Assistant Teacher in the Nursery and I am looking forward to being the Lead Teacher this year!
I’ve been a camp counselor at an overnight camp as well as Camp Shemish at Adath Israel Preschool. I have worked as a nanny for most of my summers since high school and during the past 2 summers I was the secretary for Camp KEF here at the JCC. I have worked for the Center on Central and Young Rembrandts as an office manager and a teacher, teaching art in after school programs. I love skiing, art, and working with children. I am looking forward to another great year at the JCC.
Dori Langer, Assistant Teacher, Nursery
Hello, My name is Dori Eitan Langer. I moved from Israel to Philadelphia 3 years ago with my family.I have 2 daughters; Shay is 5 years old and will be attending the Kindergarten class with Ms. Lesley and Danielle is almost 3 years old and will be in Marianne's class. I have a BPS degree in culinary art management. I was a counselor at Camp KEF this summer for the 3 year-old group. I will be joining Jess as her assistant teacher at the nursery class. I love babies and looking forward to see your baby's smiling face and to be part of the JCC Staff.
Lee Senderowitsch, Theresa DiMartino and Adva Chattler
Lee Senderowitsch, Lead Teacher, Toddlers
Hello, I am Miss Lee. This is my second year as the Lead Teacher of the young Toddlers. I have had the pleasure of working with children of all ages for the past 10 years, in varying roles in different preschools, summer camps, and after school programs. In addition to working at the preschool, I teach conversational Hebrew at Congregation Beth Israel and work at Nana’s Kitchen in our very own JCC lobby.
The JCC has been my second home for years now, as I spend most of my time with this amazing community.
I am looking forward to a great year with the Robert J. Wilf Preschool family!
Theresa DiMartino, Assistant Teacher, Toddlers
My name is Theresa DiMartino. I have worked here at the JCC in different capacities over the past 13 years. I was first a Camp Counselor and have now been working as an Assistant Teacher in the Preschool for 9 years. I love it! I’ve had the opportunity to work will all age groups. I learn something new from the children every day! I enjoy spending time with friends and family! I am actually a triplet! 3 girls! I love to shop, cook and go to the beach. I am looking forward to another great school year!!!
Adva Chattler, Volunteer Assistant Teacher, Toddlers
I am Adva Chattler and I am volunteering in the Toddler Class. I am originally from Israel. I met my husband there we and moved here a few years ago. I have a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution. As part of my Masters program, I researched peace education, specifically about teacher’s world views and beliefs. My work will be published soon! In Israel, I worked with children and adults with special needs in different programs and in summer camps.
I love working with kids and watching them progress and learn new things!
Sue Delaney, Andrew Shoemaker and Andrea Downie
Sue Delaney, Lead Teacher, 2s
Hi, my name is Sue Delaney. I am so excited to begin my second year here at the JCC! I have over 15 years of experience working in a preschool setting. I am also one of eight children so being comfortable around a large group comes easy to me. I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education in May of 1998. My husband Bill and I have been married for 14 years. Together we have 3 children. Will is 14 Cara is 12. Leah is 7. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my family.
Andrew Shoemaker, Assistant Teacher, 2s
Hi! My name is Andrew Shoemaker and I am excited to join the Robert J. Wilf Preschool at the JCC working with the 2 year olds. I have over 8 years of experience working with children through the Education Certification Program at Muhlenberg College and in a number of diverse environments including camps, internships and student teaching. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to bring my passion, energy and enthusiasm to the Preschool and to make a positive impact on the students and the community at large. I am a sports fan, a singer and a lover of music and art but most importantly, I am a strong advocate of education and supporting the lives of children. I look forward to a fabulous Winter/Spring at the JCC and beyond.
Andrea Downie, Assistant Teacher, 2s
Hello! My name is Andrea Downie, and I am happy to join the staff of the JCC. I earned a master’s degree of education from Temple University, and have had the opportunity to work as an educator for kids at all ages & stages! I started my career as a school counselor, and I am especially attentive to the social, emotional, and creative aspects of the learning environment. I am a mom and a local community member, and in my spare time I enjoy art, dance, healthy cooking, yoga, and nature! I look forward to supporting your children each day as they grow and learn.
Karen Rosenfeld & Leetal Tusia
Karen Rosenfeld, Lead Teacher, 2s
Hi, my name is Miss Karen and this year will be my 19th year teaching at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. I am also celebrating my 24th year at Camp KEF. I have been married for 38 years and have 2 wonderful children. I welcomed my first grandchild, Blake this year. I enjoy reading, going to the beach, and cheering on our Philadelphia sports teams; I am looking forward to another memorable year and consider it an honor to be with your children.
Leetal Tusia, Assistant Teacher, 2s
Hello! My name is Leetal Tusia. I am ecstatic to return to the wonderful JCC family as an Assistant Teacher! I have 11 years of experience working with children ages 2 months to 12 years old in various capacities, from babysitting to teaching at Chabad of the Main Line to being a camp counselor. I was born in Havertown and grew up in Israel with a big extended family. Through years of taking care of my younger cousins I have realized the special place children have in my heart. I feel privileged to work with them. Having attended the school as a toddler over 20 years ago, I am thrilled to be back as part of a community of which I have many fond memories. I am passionate about creating a positive learning environment where children are happy to return every day! Currently, I live in Drexel Hill. On my off time I enjoy traveling. I can most likely be found on a hiking trail exploring or by the ocean or lake. I also love reading, singing, skiing, and photography. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you!
Marianne Shiber & Jen Graboyes
Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher, 2s
Hi friends, I am Marianne Shiber and I am one of the 3 year old Teachers. I have been teaching here at the JCC Preschool for the past 25 years. I have been married to my husband David for 22 happy years and we have three children who all attended school here. My son Tyler is 21 and attending college at The University of Notre Dame. My daughter Katie is 18 and attending Loyola University. My youngest son Matthew is 15 and a sophomore at Ridley High School. I have my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and my Private School Certification. The JCC is like my second home and I am excited to be here each day!
Jen Graboyes, Assistant Teacher, 2s
My name is Jen Graboyes. I am going to be 29 in November. I enjoy swimming, cooking, dancing, going on outgoing adventures, traveling and being around friends and family. I love the beach and the sun but my favorite season is Fall. I went to West Chester University and I studied Psychology and Education. I have been working at the JCC since I was fourteen, as a Camp Counselor and have worked with ages 2 yrs. to 4th grade. This is my 7th year working at the JCC Preschool. I believe that each child is special in their own unique way and that you can learn a lot from them. Working with children is both a giving and receiving experience. I look forward to coming to work each day and interacting with the children!
Lindsay Leonard and Adriana Huff
Lindsay Leonard-Abramowitz, Lead Teacher, 3s
Hi! I am Lindsay Leonard-Abramowitz. I have been a teacher since 2009 in preschool through middle settings. I’ve held positions as a Middle School Language Arts Teacher, as well as a 2nd and 3rd grade Teacher. This will be my 4th year teaching 3’s here at the JCC. I’ve learned so much about teaching through my experiences working with children of various ages. I have a lot of experience creating fun and exciting lesson plans which both challenge and actively engage students in their learning. I am enthusiastic, dedicated, and adaptable; willing to experiment and adjust plans to the situation. I love to make a difference in the lives of children and help each child reach their full potential. I have the ability to relate well with children, staff and parents; and spark student’s interests to keep them engaged and build lifelong learners. I earned my bachelor’s degree, as well as my Teaching Certification at the graduate level, at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, which is an NCATE accredited institution that specializes in teacher preparation. I look forward to another amazing year!
Adriana Huff, Assistant Teacher, 3s
Hi everyone! My name is Adriana Huff and I'm so excited to join the Robert J. Wilf Preschool at the JCC! I attended Delaware County Community College where I received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I can't even begin to describe my love for children. I never get tired of being around them. I work at Arrowhead Day Camp in the summers. In my spare time, I love to sing, play the piano, teach and play tennis, and ski. I cannot wait to spend this year at the JCC while getting to know the wonderful kids! I look forward to a great school year!
Carol Fishman & Marsha Millman
Carol Fishman, Lead Teacher, 3s
I have been teaching children from toddlers thru 5th grade for over 30 years in the Philadelphia area private schools. At Wheelock College I earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education and received a Masters of Science in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. I have PA teaching certificates in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education and Reading Specialist. As a member of Nursing Mothers’ Network I trained as a breastfeeding counselor, volunteered as a helpline counselor and visited new moms at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. I have two big kids of my own. Rae follows in my footsteps and teaches 4th grade in Philadelphia. Josh has started his college life studying Computer Engineering at Elizabethtown College. I have a wonderful and supportive husband, Charlie, who fixes everything that breaks in the classroom!
Let’s play, learn and grow together!
Marsha Millman, Assistant Teacher, 3s
Hi my name is Marsha Millman. Let me tell you about myself. This is my 12th year working here. During my single years I was in the dental field working as a Dental Technician then as a Dental Assistant. I have been married for 26 years to my soul mate Mark. We adopted our daughter Becky from Russia when she was 2 years old. She has a degree in Athletic Training from Temple University and earned her Masters degree from Clarion University. Becky joined the army in September 2015. She is now a certified EMT. Becky is based out of Fort Campbell Kentucky. She will be studying to be a medic. I have a Bichon mix named Morey and a cat named Koshie. I love to cook, go shopping and take vacations, especially cruises.
I can’t wait to teach and have fun with your children.
Tammy Roberts, Nick Shander and Ruth Santone
Tammy Roberts, Lead Teacher, 4s
Hi my name is Tammy Roberts and I am teaching the 4 year old class. I have been teaching here for 24 years and I am looking forward to many more. I graduated from West Chester University with a BS in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I also took many Reading classes at the graduate level at the University of Delaware. My own children attended preschool at the JCC and now graduated from college. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and I also enjoy exercising daily, playing Mahjong, volunteering at my Synagogue and helping others. My motto is “It’s nice to be nice”. I try to instill that into the children that I work with daily.
Nick Shander, Assistant Teacher, 4s
Hello my name is Mr. Nick and I am thrilled to be starting off another fantastic school year! I have 10 years of experience in childcare working with children of all ages. As a former student of the preschool I am very involved in the JCC community working the summer camp and after school programs there is no other place I'd rather be. In my free time I like to travel, watch movies, and hangout with my friends. As an Education Major, I look forward to meeting many new friends and learning something new everyday.
Ruth Santone, Assistant Teacher, 4s
Hi, my name is Miss Ruth. I am very excited to be working with the Tammy and Nick in the 4 year old class. I've worked here at the JCC for the past 20 years. Prior to here, I spent 9 years working in a Kindergarten class at a different child care center. I love working here and being able to help the children grow and develop. In my personal life, I have 2 adult married children and 3 grandsons. I look forward to my weekends to spend quality time with my grandchildren. In my spare time, I enjoy catching up with family and friends over an enjoyable, relaxing dinner. I also like going for walks, especially on a perfect fall or spring day. I am a true animal lover, and I cannot wait to hear about your child's favorite animal.
Debbie Adler & Sandy Kassie
Debbie Adler, Lead Teacher, K1
My name is Debbie Adler and I teach the awesome K-1 kids. I am beginning my 23rd year of teaching kindergarten here at the JCC. I love photography, skiing, tennis, and reading a good book. I am the proud mom of three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and a proud Mom-mom to 3 ½ year old Oliver and another on the way this December! I have a degree in Elementary and Special Education from Indiana University and a Masters degree in Reading from Xavier University. I am excited to begin this year of fun and learning with my new kindergarten friends.
Sandy Kassie, Assistant Teacher, K1
I am a native of Northeast Philadelphia. I received my undergraduate degree right here in Philadelphia at Temple University. Currently, I am living in Havertown and love the fact that I am a stone’s throw away from the Kaiserman JCC. I have worked at the JCC since 1998 in various roles in the Preschool and Camp. My hobbies are movies, antique jewelry, and I also love to collect random objects. I am a seasoned world traveler, having been to Israel many times where I have extended family. I have been married to my wonderful husband Bruce for 27 years. I have a lovely stepdaughter, Lila who is an amazing French Pastry Chef. Bruce and I have 2 beautiful children; Talia and David. Talia is a Temple University graduate, and David is in his 3rd year at Drexel University. They have also both worked and attended school at the JCC
Lesley Gotlib and Maria Voight
Lesley Gotlib, Lead Teacher, K2
My name is Lesley Gotlib. I am the K2 teacher and thrilled to be part of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool family. I have been in the educational field for the past 12 years in both a preschool capacity and elementary classrooms. I have a Masters in Elementary Education and am certified as a Reading Specialist.
My educational belief is that children learn through play and I’m enthusiastic about watching and guiding your children through new experiences in our class. I look forward to this opportunity and the wonderful year a head.
I live in Delaware County with my husband, Mark, and we have 3 wonderful children Zac age 24, Molly Claire, age 22 and Joshua, age 20. We also have three loveable dogs, Lila, Rosie and Jack.
Maria Voight, Assistant Teacher, K2
Welcome to another exciting school year! I have been a Teacher’s Assistant for 30 years, 21 being spent right here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. I have been involved in many areas of development of the school and helped educate many graduates. I began my career in a babysitting service and have worked with children ranging from 2 years old to Kindergarten.
I have four adult children and five grandchildren. When I am not teaching, you can find me taking the troops out on walks or spending quality time at the playground. I enjoy cooking, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to continue in nurturing the growth of our present and future students! This is going to be a fun and exciting year. I am looking forward to learning about you and your children!
Tom Smulowitz, Substitute