October 23, 2017 -
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Preschool Staff

Preschool Staff

Meet the staff

of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the  

 

Amy Foster, Director

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 have over 25 years of experience in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Early Intervention, with many of those years in Jewish institutions. 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. My daughter Emily is 24 and she works right her at the Kaiserman JCC as our Graphic Designer. My son Jeremy is 18 and he just started his first year at PITT.  My step-son Ben is 16 and he is in 11th 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 20 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 10, in 5th grade at Coopertown Elementary. Taylor is 13, in 8th grade at Haverford Middle School and our son Trevor is 18 and a recent Haverford High School graduate. 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, Lead Teacher, Nursery

My name is Jessica Grabell.  I majored in Studio Art at Albright College.  I've been working with children of all ages, for over 10 years.  I've worked as a Nanny, a counselor at an overnight camp, a couple of day camps in the area, and for the past 3 summers, I've worked as the Camp Kef Secretary here at the JCC.  This is my 4th year, working in the preschool and my 2nd year as the lead teacher in the nursery.  I enjoy watching each child grow and develop, while helping them reach milestones along the way.  The children inspire me to come to work everyday with a smile on my face. Dr Seuss would say, "A persons a person, no matter how small."  I am looking forward to another great year!

Brittney Lombardi, Assistant Teacher, Nursery

Hi my name is Brittney Lombardi. I am so excited to be the assistant teacher this year in the nursery. I have substituted before in the preschool as well as worked at Camp Kef as a counselor and at the JCC's after school program Kids Time. I love working with children of all ages and have done so since I was 14. I have a 2 year old son and a very large family with many nieces and nephews. I love art and music. I look forward to a great year with all of the babies in the nursery.

 

Dori Langer, Lead Teacher, Toddlers

Hello! My name is Dori Eitan Langer. I moved from Israel to Philadelphia 4 years ago with my family.  I have 2 daughters; Shay is 6 years old and starts first grade at Penn Wynne school. Danielle is almost 4 years old and will be at the JCC in Miss Carol and Miss Marsha's class.  I have a BPS degree in culinary art management. I have worked as an assistant at the nursery class last year and I was also a counselor at Camp Kef last summer for the 3 year-old group.  I am very excited to be a lead teacher at the toddlers' class this year and looking forward to see how much the kids have grown during the summer. I love being part of the JCC Staff.

Alexis Hagan, Assistant Teacher, Toddlers

Hi my name is Alexis Hagan! This is my first year working at the JCC and I'm excited! I always said I wanted to work with children at a young age. Something about knowing you are helping a child learn and grow is so rewarding to me. Looking forward to meeting all the children this year. Here's to a great year at the JCC!

 

 

Lee Senderowitsch, Lead Teacher, Toddlers

Hello, I am Miss Lee.  This is my third year as the Lead Teacher of the young Toddlers.  I have had the pleasure of working with children of all ages for the past ten years, in varying roles throughout different preschools, summer camps, and after school programs.   In addition to working at the preschool, I manage Nana’s Kitchen in our very own JCC lobby every afternoon. 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 another great year with the Robert J. Wilf Preschool family!

Amy Wong, Assistant Teacher, Toddlers

Hi my name is Alexis Hagan! This is my first year working at the JCC and I'm excited! I always said I wanted to work with children at a young age. Something about knowing you are helping a child learn and grow is so rewarding to me. Looking forward to meeting all the children this year. Here's to a great year at the JCC!

 Zanna Yoshida, Assistant Teacher, Toddlers

Hello, my name is Zanna Yoshida, and I am very excited to be an Assistant Teacher this year with the Toddlers and the 4's.  I graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2016 with a degree in music and theater.  I have worked in schools and summer camps as a volunteer and as a teacher for a number of years.  I am looking forward to the school year!

 

Sue Delaney, Lead Teacher, 2's

Hi, my name is Sue Delaney.  I am so excited to begin my third 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 16 years.  Together we have 3 children.  Will is 15 Cara is 13. Leah is 8.  When I am not working, I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my family.

Adriana Huff, Assistant Teacher, 2s

Hi everyone! My name is Adriana Huff and I'm so excited to be returning to 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!

 

Karen Rosenfeld, Lead Teacher, 2s

Hi, my name is Miss Karen and this year will be my 20th 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 39 years and have 2 wonderful children.  In my spare time I enjoy being with my grandson, Blake.  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.    

Andrea Miller Boyer, Assistant Teacher, 2s

Hello, my name is Andrea Miller-Boyer. I am excited to start my first year at the JCC Preschool.  I have worked with children for over 20 years in many different roles, ranging from Head Start Teacher to High School Counselor.  My passion is to encourage, nurture, and help children to reach their full potential. I have been married for 21 years and the mother of a college freshman and a high school junior. Both my sons attended the JCC. When not working, I am an avid Philadelphia sports fan. I also workout daily in the JCC Fitness Center.

Theresa DiMartino, Assistant Teacher, 2's

My name is Theresa DiMartino. I have worked here at the JCC in different capacities over the past 15 years. I was first a Camp Counselor and have now been working as an Assistant Teacher in the Preschool for 10 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!!!

 

 

Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher, 3s

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 26 years. I have been married to my husband David for 23 happy years and we have three children who all attended school here. My son Tyler is 22 and and is living in Dearborn Michigan working as n engineer for Ford Motor Company. My daughter Katie is 19 and attending Loyola University.  My youngest son Matthew is 16 and a junior 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, 3s

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!

 

Lori Waxman, Lead Teacher, 3s

Hello! My name is Lori and I am beyond thrilled to be teaching 3’s! As I start my twelfth  year of teaching, I bring with me experiences ranging from Kindergarten to Seniors in High School. After receiving my teaching certifications in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania, I began this journey as an elementary school English as a second language specialist. As opportunities came about, I had the good fortune of also teaching older kids and other subjects, most recently, courses in child development and the culinary arts. Before life in the classroom you might have seen me on stage as a professional Chorister at the Opera Company of Philadelphia or in a university production at Temple University where I received my Master’s of music in voice and opera performance.

I am so excited to be part of the school that has been such a part of our family over the years. Alex and I have a huge year planned and it's going to be FUN!

Alex Shragis, Assistant Teacher, 3s

Hi! My name is Alex Shragis and I majored in History and Math at the University of Connecticut.  I have spent the past year working for Kaiserman JCC kids programs such as KidsTime and camp Kef.  Since moving to Philadelphia in the summer of 2015, I've spent my time working for Main Line synagogues as a USY advisor, an Ultimate Frisbee instructor, and a teacher for the Sunday school and high holiday classes.  I also spent many summers working at Camp Ramah in New England as a camp counselor.  When I'm not teaching, I'm usually playing Ultimate Frisbee, or curled up with a good book and some strangely flavored seltzer.  I am very excited to start working at the Pre-School this fall!

 

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 Bas Mitzvah (13th 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 27 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.  She recently became a Sergent.  Becky is based out of  Fort Campbell Kentucky. I have a Bichon mix named Morey and a cat named Koshie.  I love to cook, go shopping and take vacations, especially cruises.  I am looking forward to teaching your children and enriching their lives through play, patience and love.

I can’t wait to teach and have fun with your children. 

 

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 25 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.  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 22 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.

Zanna Yoshida, Assistant Teacher, 4s

Hello, my name is Zanna Yoshida, and I am very excited to be an Assistant Teacher this year with the Toddlers and the 4's.  I graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2016 with a degree in music and theater.  I have worked in schools and summer camps as a volunteer and as a teacher for a number of years.  I am looking forward to the school year!

 

 

Lindsay Abramowitz, Lead Teacher, K1

Hi!  I am Lindsay 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 5th year teaching here at the JCC.  The past 4 years I taught the 3 year old class and I am looking forward to moving to K-1 this year.  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!

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, gluten free French Pastry Chef. Bruce and I have 2 beautiful children; Talia and David. Talia is a Temple University graduate, and David is in his 5th year at Drexel University. They have also both worked and attended school at the JCC!

 

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 13 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 25, Molly Claire, age 23 and Joshua, age 21. 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 6 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!