October 24, 2021 -
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Preschool Staff

Preschool Staff

Meet the staff

of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the  

 

 

 

The Directors

Natalie O'Brien and Amy Foster

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 30 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, 1 grandson named Bodhi (who is the light of my life) and an adorable Yellow Lab named Harley. My daughter Emily is 27 and she works right her at the Kaiserman JCC as our Graphic Designer. My son Jeremy is 21 and he is a Junior at PITT.  My stepson Ben is 19 and he is a Freshman at the University of the Sciences.  I have an open-door policy and 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 23 years! It’s definitely 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 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 12, in 7th grade at Haverford Middle School. Taylor is 15, in 10th grade at Haverford High School and our son Trevor is 20 and works for Haverford Township. 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!

 

 The Teaching Staff

Nursery 1
Lihi Moskow Taylor Deniken    
     

Lihi Moskow, Lead Teacher

My name is Lihi Moskow. I’m the mother of two wonderful kids.  I have 11 years of experience working with children at nurseries, preschools and as a private nanny. I’m a certified sleep consultant and a parental guide through “Idan Ha’horoot” college In collaboration with ״Tel- Hai״ Academic College in Israel. This is my 4th year, working in the preschool and my 2nd year as a lead teacher in the Nursery. I love working with babies and watching them grow their own unique personality.

Winnie the Pooh said: “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart”. I’m excited to make space in my heart for all the little ones who will join us. I wish all of us a great year!

Taylor Deniken, Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Taylor Deniken and I am incredibly excited to join the team at Robert J. Wild Preschool. This will be my first year working as an assistant teacher in the nursery and I could not be more eager to start the year and get to know each of you. I come from a big family and am the oldest of four siblings. In my free time I enjoy doing yoga, reading, crocheting and hiking with my dog Hazel. I was a swim instructor for over eight years and through that experience I developed an deep appreciation for the minds of young children. Childhood is such a special and important time and I am truly grateful and honored for every opportunity I have to make a positive impact in a child’s life. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your community. I cannot wait to spend this next year learning and growing alongside you all.  

 

Nursery 2
Alex D'Antonio Steff Baide Luke Freels Eyerusalem Wube Ilana Hirsch

       

Alex D'Antonio, Lead Teacher

My name is Alex DAntonio and I have been working with children for the last 15 years. I am the mother of two young boys and come from a very big family! I have studied early childhood education and psychology, and also worked in preschools and in home daycares over the years.  This is my third year in the nursery at the JCC, and first as the lead. I am really excited to watch your children grow and learn. 

“Sometimes the littlest things, take up the most room in your heart” - Winnie the Pooh 

Estefany Baide, Assistant Teacher

My name is Estefany Adriana Murillo Baide but everyone calls me Steff. During this past summer I was a Camp KEF counselor for young toddlers which I absolutely loved. I have a large family with lots of nieces and nephews on which I have gained experience. I love working with kids it’s always a learning and unique experience. I can’t wait to watch them grow. I have a daughter she’s 3 years old and she will be attending the JCC family for the school year. I love listening to music while I cook for my family. I love reading books, I enjoy going for walks. I am happy and thankful to be here, and I look forward to getting to know your children!

Luke Freels, Assistant Teacher

Hi my name is Luke! I'm looking forward to being a part of the Preschool team this year. I'm from Havertown and am currently a nursing student at Delaware County Community College. I have two younger siblings, a brother and a sister. I've been working at the JCC in various roles since the end of high school and I'm thrilled to be joining the Preschool team this year. I have been working with children for 10+ years and have been a swim instructor at the JCC since 2015. In my free time I enjoy cooking, spending time with family and friends, and taking my dog on walks. I look forward to meeting your children and helping them grow, learn, and experience new things throughout the year!

Eyerusalem Wube, Assistant Teacher

Ilana Hirsch, Assistant Teacher

My name is Ilana Hirsch and this is going to be my first year working at the JCC as a teacher assistant in the nursery. I grew up in Bala Cynwyd and attended JCC when I was in preschool as well as many summer sessions throughout my childhood. I still have fond memories of being here. I am the youngest of three and I have been around kids since I, myself, was a kid; babysitting younger cousins, nannying in various capacities, babysitting, volunteering with kids on the autism spectrum, tutoring English to children in Tel Aviv; I have always been fascinated with children's development and I find that watching them figure things out themselves, develop, and grow into themselves as people is the most rewarding thing. I love reading, writing, art, music, riding my bicycle, hiking, going to the dog park with my Belgian Malinois, spending time with my one-year-old nephew, and learning about other cultures. I welcome this opportunity to learn from your children and help them to thrive as they learn about the world around them. 

As Dr. Seuss said, "Be who you are and say what you feel because the ones who mind don't matter, and the ones who matter don't mind." 

 

Toddlers 1
Kimber Hamilton
John Cherry
Brenda Portillo
 

     

Kimber Hamilton, Lead Teacher

Hello, families!

My name is Kimber Hamilton and I'm very excited to be your child's teacher this year.  My wife and I have two daughters, four years old and two years old, who have been at the JCC since they began their school lives.  We have loved being a part of this community and I am very happy to take the lead teacher role in the one-year-old room this year.  While this is my first year as a lead teacher here, I come with decades of experience teaching and caring for children.  I began my professional career as an elementary school teacher and, from there, moved into teacher coaching specializing in coaching literacy teachers.  Before our second daughter was born, I was the director of literacy for a network of schools in Philadelphia.  You can be sure there will be plenty of reading good books in our room this year!  I love to be outside and spend as much time as possible playing with my kids in the yard or digging in my flower beds.  I look forward to lots of fresh air play and exploration with your little ones.  

I know it can be very difficult to leave your child with someone new.  I promise to make sure your child is healthy, happy, safe, and loved every single day.  I look forward to meeting you!

John Cherry, Assistant Teacher

Hello, everyone! My name is John Brandon Cherry. I come from a family of educators, and am the eldest of four. I love music, traveling, and good food! Although this is my first year at the JCC, I was a Camp KEF counselor over the summer, and really enjoyed working with the children and aiding in providing a safe and nurturing environment for them. I'm looking forward to a wonderful school year, filled with learning, new experiences, and fun!

Brenda Portillo, Assistant Teacher

 

Toddlers 2
Brittney Lombardi Natasa Kovecevic
Rosa Calle
 

     

Brittney Lombardi, Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Brittney Lombardi. This year is my third year as the lead teacher of the young toddlers. I was the assistant teacher in the nursery 4 years ago and I also have been a substitute for the preschool, a Camp KEF counselor for the past 6 years and worked for JCC's Kids Time afterschool program for 2 years. I love working with children of all ages and have been doing so since I was 14. I have a 6-year-old son of my own and a very large family, with many nieces and nephews. Being a music and art lover, I hope to integrate that into my classroom. I am looking forward to a wonderful year with all of your children in the young toddlers class!

Natasa Kovecevic, Assistant Teacher

Hello! My name is Natasa Kovacevic. I am so excited to start my second year at JCC! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and I am currently attending graduate school at Temple University where I study Early Childhood Education. I have worked for many years with children of different ages, first as an Au Pair and later as a nanny, and now at JCC. In my free time, I love to go camping or adventure outdoors with my son Maksim, who is 10 years old, and our dog Diesel. My family and I love to travel, we love music, cooking, baking, road trips, and anything that will get us outside.

Rosa Calle, Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Rosa Calle. I am from Cuenca, Ecuador. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Aldo for 38 years. Together we have four beautiful daughters and four amazing grandchildren that I adore with all my heart. I have experience working with children of all different ages and absolutely love working with kids! I am the happiest when I can get a smile on a child’s face. This is my second year working at JCC and I am very excited for this school year!

 

Two-Year-Old Class 1
Curtisha Neal Bonnie Widger
 
 

     

Curtisha Neal, Assistant Teacher

Hello everyone. My name is Curtisha Neal and I am so excited to join The Robert J Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten family. I have 8 years of experience working with children 6 and under.  I worked in multiple Montessori schools. I have two children of my own ages 5 and 10 months. Working with young children is my calling. I love to watch them grow! I am also currently attending Strayer University online classes. I love to listen to music, cook and play games with family. 

Bonnie Widger, Assistant Teacher

Hi!!! My name is Bonnie. I have an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Neumann University and a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Springfield College. I have been working with children for over 15 years. In my spare time I enjoy crocheting and shopping for yarn. I also love to bake and have fun trying out new recipes. I'm very excited to be working in the Toddler Classroom this year.  We are going to have such a fun year. 

 

Two-Year-Old Class 2
Faye Warsavage Steph Freeman
 
 

     

Faye Warsavage, Lead Teacher

Hi!  My name is Faye and I am so excited to be the Lead teacher this year. This will be my third year at the JCC preschool.

I will be starting my associate’s degree in early childhood education this spring. I grew up in South Africa in a large family with seven amazing siblings that I love and care for deeply. My mom was a social worker and foster care parent, so I have grown up taking care of children of all ages. I was also blessed to work as a therapeutic support staff for a boy with special needs for four years and I gained so much from that experience. I also spent four years traveling South Africa and other neighboring countries doing volunteer work for children in underdeveloped communities. I can’t wait to spend the next year learning and growing with all of you!!

Stephon Freeman, Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Stephon Freeman. This will be my fifth year working at the JCC. I'm very excited for my first year as an assistant teacher in the preschool. Before I was offered this wonderful opportunity, I worked with the Kids Time program as well as the Camp Kef summer program. I am a communications major studying at Saint Joseph’s University. I specify in graphic design and music.

Teaching and assisting in a classroom is something that runs in my family. My grandmother was a teacher for most of her life. She began in highschool and then worked her way up to the college level. My mother was a teacher for 15 years at the Gesu School. Like myself, she started in preschool and worked her way to fifth grade. She then became the dean of students at the Gesu school. Now she works with families of students who attend the Cristo Rey Highschool of Philadelphia. I say this to say that I am very excited for MY TURN! I look forward to applying all of my experience and knowledge to ensure a wonderful year at the JCC.

 

Two-Year-Old Class 3
Dori Langer Karen Rosenfeld
 
 

   

Dori Langer, Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Dori Eitan Langer. I moved from Israel to Philadelphia 8 years ago with my family. I have 2 daughters; Shay is 10 years old and is entering 5th grade at Penn Wynne Elementary. Danielle is almost 8 years old and starting 2nd grade at Penn Wynne Elementary. 

I have a BPS degree in Culinary Art Management. I have worked at the JCC for 5 years. I am very excited to be the Lead Teacher in the Two-Year-Old class this year.  I am looking forward to seeing how much the kids have grown and developed over the summer. I love being part of the JCC Staff!

Karen Rosenfeld, Assistant Teacher
Hi, I am Miss Karen.  This school year will be my 23rd year at the Robert J Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. I have been married for 43 years and I have two grown children and two adorable grandchildren. In my spare time I enjoy reading and traveling. I’m looking forward to another memorable year and consider it an honor to be with your children.

 

Three-Year-Old Class 1
Marianne Shiber Jen Graboyes    
   

Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Marianne Shiber.  I have happily been a JCC Preschool Teacher for over 30 years!  Jen Graboyes and I have been a team for 11 years.  We cannot wait to spend each day with your children.  I am married with tree grown children who have all gone through our preschool program.  We welcomed a dog named Jovie to our family last year. She is lovable and has loads of energy.   I have very excited to have a fun filled school year with your children!

Jen Graboyes, Assistant Teacher

My name is Jen Graboyes. I am going to be 34 years old in November. When I am not at work I enjoy traveling, cooking, trying new restaurants in the area, taking walks and being around my friends and family. I love the beach but my favorite season is Fall. I studied Psychology and Education at West Chester University. I have been working at the JCC since I was 14 years old, as a Camp Counselor and I have worked with ages 2 yrs to 4th grade. This is my 12th year working at the Robert J. Wild Preschool. I believe children make life more fun and each one of them can teach us so much. I am so excited to start another year learning and growing with these children! 

 

Three-Year-Old Class 2
Kelly Flury
Marsha Millman
   
   

Kelly Flury, Lead Teacher

Hi! My name is Kelly Flury and I am very excited to return for my 4th year here at the JCC. I have been in early childhood education since 2007. I have my Bachelors in ECE for Eastern University. Throughout my time in education I have moved between Teacher to Administrator and now I'm back in the teaching position and I couldn't be happier! I enjoy spending time with my husband and our families. When I am not teaching, I can be found with my nieces and nephews or relaxing on the beach. I am looking forward to an amazing school year here!

Marsha Millman, Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Marsha Millman. Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m going on my 17th year working at the preschool. I was in the dental field as a dental technician making crowns and bridges. Later, I became a dental assistant. I met my best friend, my soulmate, Mark on a blind date. We have been married for 31 years! We have a daughter named Becky. She will be 30 in December. We adopted her from Russia. Becky is a Drill Sergeant in the army at Fort Steele Oklahoma. I have an orange tabby cat named Koski and a newly adopted Shih Tzu mix named Teddy. Some of my hobbies are cooking, shopping, traveling, especially cruising. I look forward to teaching and nurturing your children with games and doing projects and of course love and having fun.

 

Four-Year-Old Class
Tammy Roberts Ruth Santone Brittany Kirschner  
 

Tammy Roberts, Lead Teacher

Hi!!  My name is Tammy Roberts and am the 4 year old class teacher.  I have been teaching here at the JCC for 28 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 Instruction classes on the graduate level at the University of Delaware.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. . I enjoy jumping in the waves at the beach, playing mah jong and eating in restaurants.  I also enjoy volunteering at my synagogue.  My motto is "It's nice to be nice!"  I try to instill that into the children that I teach daily.

Ruth Santone, Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Miss Ruth. I am very excited to be working with the Tammy in the 4-year-old class.  I've worked here at the JCC for the past 24 years. Prior to here, I spent 9 years working in a Kindergarten class at a different childcare 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, 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.  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.

Brittany Kirschner, Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Brittany Kirschner. I have been working with children for the past 10 years. I have been a Preschool Teacher for the past 5 years. The children inspire me to come to work each day. This coming year is going to be very exciting for me both professionally and personally. I am getting married on November 13th, 2021.    Also, I am thrilled for my 2nd year here at the JCC!  I look forward to a wonderful year.

 

Kindergarten 1
Anika Ruud Sandy Kassie Sara Rubin  
   

Anika Ruud, Lead Teacher

I am so excited and beyond ready for a fantastic, safe and fun school year! Born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida, I recently moved to Philadelphia with my fiancé who attends Swarthmore College. I graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. While attending classes and holding leadership positions in my sorority, I also worked at the Jewish Community Alliance in Jacksonville. I have 7 years of professional early childhood and elementary school experience working with fourth grade, second grade and kindergarten children. I have to say that Kindergarten is my favorite! I am so looking forward to meeting your children so we can have an awesome year, learning together and growing together.

Sandy Kassie, Assistant Teacher

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 33 years. I have a lovely stepdaughter, Lila who is an amazing, gluten free French Pastry Chef. She has a successful business named Flakely. Bruce and I have 2 beautiful children: Talia and David. Talia is a Temple University graduate and is currently a Wedding Coordinator in Manayunk at a venue called Artesino Gallery. David is a Drexel University graduate and has started his own company called DVNC. I have two fur grandbabies, Bean and Stitch! They have also both worked and attended school at the JCC!

Sara Rubin, Assistant Teacher

My name is Sara Rubin, and I am so excited to work in K-1 this year. I grew up attending the JCC pre-school and summer camp and graduated from Lower Merion High School in 2005. I studied History and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!), then went to law school at Cardozo School of Law in NYC and worked in criminal defense. When I moved back to this area, I started working part-time at Kids Time and the pre-school, and I loved it so much that I eventually moved to full-time and am now entering my seventh year here. I’m looking forward to this being the best year yet!

Kindergarten 2
Lesley Gotlib Maria Voight Joshua Quigley  
   

Lesley Gotlib, Lead Teacher

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 16 years in both a preschool capacity and elementary classrooms. I have a Masters in Elementary Education and I 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 ahead. I live in Delaware County with my husband, Mark, and we have 3 wonderful children Zac, Molly Claire, and Joshua.

Maria Voight, Assistant Teacher

Welcome to another exciting school year! I have been an Assistant Teacher for 34 years, 24 of them spent here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. I have been involved in many capacities 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 4 adult children and 7 grandchildren. When I’m not working, 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 continuing to nurture the growth of our present and future students! This is going to be a fun year and I am looking forward to learning about you and your children!

Joshua Quigley, Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Joshua Quigley. My family has deep roots with academics dating back to my Great-Grand Father working at the University of Pennsylvania for over 50 years. I have followed in my family’s footsteps in pursuing my life’s avocation of helping others and I have found nothing so richly rewarding than enriching the lives of our future. I studied at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Music Education. I have 7 years of professional early childhood and elementary school experience. I primarily work with kindergarten to second-grade individuals. I have experience as a paraprofessional working directly with students. I have taught at the high school level as well. I am a camp counselor here at Camp Kef as well. I am here to treat your child as if they are my own. To build a better tomorrow for children today.

 

Our Substitutes
 Brenda Roth
 Adriana DeCarvelho