April 26, 2015 -
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Preschool Staff

Preschool Staff

Meet the teachers

of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the  

Amy Foster & Natalie O'Brien - Directors
Amy & Natalie
Natalie O'Brien
Hi, my name is Natalie O’Brien. I have been working at the JCC for almost 18 years. It’s my home away from home! There is truly a family atmosphere here with all of our staff and I especially enjoy working with Amy. We make a great team, we can finish each others sentences and we laugh almost everyday. 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 in the Preschool and Kindergarten. Last school year was the first time in 15 years I didn’t have any of my children here at work with me. My girls are both at Coopertown Elementary School. Emily is 7 in 2nd grade and Taylor is 10 in 5th grade. My son Trevor is 15 and in 10th 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!
Amy Foster
I have over 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Early Intervention, with many of those years in Jewish institutions. I have served in roles such as Lead Teacher, Special Education Teacher, and Director of an Early Intervention Center Based program. Additionally, I am certified to teach early childhood, elementary, and special education. 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 and we just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary this summer. Together we have 3 children. Emily is 21 and she is a Juinor at Hobart and William Smith in Geneva NY. Jeremy is 15 and he is in 10th grade at Lower Merion High School and my step-son Ben is 13 and he is in 8th 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.
Jennie Katz & Morgan Weiser - Nursery
Jennie & Morgan
Morgan Weiser, Assistant teacher
Hi everyone! My name is Morgan Weiser. I live in Conshohocken with my husband Josh, and Boarder Collie pup, Duke. I was born in New York and raised in sunny South Florida. I earned my Bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. I spend my summers at the happiest place on earth surrounded by hundreds of smiling faces, Camp Kweebec- where my husband and his family own an overnight camp for kids ages 6-16. Being at camp with the children really perpetuated my interest in teaching. In my spare time I love to cook, travel and spend time with my family. I am thrilled to meet all of you and share the second half of this school year watching each student grow and learn
Jennie Katz, Lead Teacher
Hello.  My name is Jennie Katz. I live in Overbrook Farms with my husband Michael and our two boys. Zachary is in Miss Carol’s 4 year old class; Simon Jack is a 2nd grader at Perelman Jewish Day School.  I was born and raised in California and I earned my Bachelors degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu.  I moved here to be closer to family 20 years ago. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many preschool families over the past years.  I am so excited to share this school year with your children and your family, (again)!  I look forward to exploring, playing, learning and growing together.  Shalom!
Kristine DeMansana & Jessica Grabell - Nursery
Kristine DeMansana & Jessica Grabell
Jessica Grabell, Assistant teacher
My name is Jessica Grabell. I majored in Studio Art at Albright College. 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 since this past summer, I have been working 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 joining the JCC community in January
Kristine DeMansana, Lead Teacher
Hello my name is Kristine DeMansana. I’ve been working at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten for 8 years. I’ve also worked at both Camp and Kids Time. I adore working with and teaching children of all ages! I am currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. My favorite past times are playing with kids, traveling and baking. I grew up in the Philippines and I moved here 13 years ago. I look forward to spending another year with you and your family. We are going to have a wonderful year together.
Alex Demuth & Brooke Jaffe-Zwerling - Toddlers
 
Alexandra Demuth, Lead Teacher

Hi there! My name is Alexandra Demuth and I am very excited to be the Assistant Teacher in the Toddler classroom.  I have my B.S. in Human Services with a minor is Psychology from Chestnut Hill College.  For the past 6 years, I have been employed by the Kaiserman JCC as the Aquatics Director and have 15 years of experience working with children of all ages.  I am excited to have the opportunity to get to know your children.  In my spare time, I am an avid runner and plan to run in the Philadelphia Love Run and hopefully Broad Street.   Many of you probably have seen me running up and down the streets of Lower Merion and Haverford Township as part of my training.  When I am not running, I am cheering on my 2 nephews Patrick and Cormac (whom I adore) at their MANY swim meets, basketball and baseball games.  Additionally, I plan on returning to Chestnut Hill College to earn my M.S. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Trauma Studies.

Brooke Jaffe-Zwerling, Assistant Teacher
Hello! My Name is Brooke Jaffe-Zwerling! I am so excited to be joining the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten family! I will be graduating with my Associates in Early Childhood education from Manor College this month and will be continuing my education at LaSalle University in Early Childhood and Special Education. I have many years’ experience and look forward to working with you and your children.  I am celebrating my 9-year wedding anniversary this November and my husband and I have three wonderful children. On the weekends, I enjoy volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility that works with children with special needs.  Our summers are spent at Camp Green Lane where I am the lead swimming instructor and the head lifeguard.  Our family also loves our pets! We have four cats and a horse! Please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have! I look forward to getting to know all of you

Karen Rosenfeld, Theresa DiMartino, 
and Ruth Santone - 2 Year Olds
Karen, Theresa, & Ruth
Ruth Santone, Assistant Teacher
Hi, my name is Miss Ruth. I am very excited to be working with the 2 year olds again this year. I've worked here at the JCC for the past 19 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 2 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.
Theresa DiMartino, Assistant Teacher
My name is Theresa DiMartino. I have worked here at the JCC in different capacities over the past 11 years. I was first a Camp Counselor and have now been working as an Assistant Teacher in the Preschool for 7 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!!!
Karen Rosenfeld, Lead Teacher
My name is Karen Rosenfeld. I have been associated with the JCC for 20 years in various capacities. My children went to school here; I have been a Camp Counselor and have worked in the Preschool for 17 years as both a Teaching Assistant and Lead Teacher. This year I am the Lead Teacher in our 2s class. The children keep me active and young. I truly enjoy being here and feel very privileged to be a part of their upbringing. I enjoy reading, going to the beach, whether down the Jersey shore, or taking trips to the Caribbean, especially Aruba. I am also one of Philadelphia’s biggest sports fans and enjoy rooting for all the home teams. I have been married for 35 years and have 2 wonderful grown up children who make me proud every day.
Marianne Shiber, Jen Graboyes, 
and Brian Toal - 2 year Olds
Marianne, Jen, Brian
Brian Toal, , Assistant Teacher
Hey there! My name is Brian Toal. October will be my 1 year anniversary at the J. So far it’s been an amazing experience. Watching my students learn and grow each day is the best part of teaching. I have always had a special connection with children, most likely because I am still a kid at heart. I attended Lock Haven University for Elementary Education, and now I've decided to focus on Early Childhood. I enjoy playing the piano, mountain biking, snowboarding, and listening to music, drawing, and traveling. Last summer I went to Italy for the first time and really enjoyed the history and art of Venice. I also traveled to California last March to visit my cousin in San Francisco. I went to Yosemite National Park and was astounded by its beauty. I am looking forward to this new school year!
Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher
Hi friends, I am Marianne Shiber and I am one of the 2 year old Teachers. I have been teaching here at the JCC Preschool for the past 24 years. I have been married to my husband David for 20 happy years and we have three children who all attended school here. My son Tyler is 19 and attending college at The University of Notre Dame. My daughter Katie is 16 and my youngest son Matthew is 13. 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
My name is Jen Graboyes. I am going to be 27 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 third grade. This is my 5th year working at the JCC Preschool. I believe that each child is special in their own unique way 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 & Jordie Rychik - 3 Year Olds
Lindsay & Jordie
Jordie Rychik, Assistant Teacher
Hi! I'm Jordie Rychik and I am so excited to be part of the JCC family this year. I graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2013 and majored in elementary education and communications. In the past year since graduation I have been working at the Gymboree in Ardmore as well as the new play spot Lulu's Casita. In past summers I have worked as a camp counselor at Har Zion preschool camp with ages ranging from 5 through 2 years old. I have been babysitting and working as a nanny for many families in the community since high school and on college breaks. I love working with kids and always knew I wanted to work in a preschool setting and I feel so grateful for this opportunity. I went to Perlman Jewish day school and my family and I are members of Lower Merion Synagogue so I can't wait use my Jewish background here at the JCC. I can't wait for a great year!
Lindsay Leonard, Lead Teacher
Hi! I am Lindsay Leonard-Abramowitz. Prior to teaching I worked in the culinary world as a pastry chef, in restaurant management and business. I have been a teacher since 2009 in preschool through middle settings. While in Florida, I held positions as a Middle School Language Arts Teacher, as well as a 2nd and 3rd grade Teacher. Last year was my 1st year teaching 3s 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!
Ruth Henninger & Sandy Kassie - 3 Year Olds
Ruth & Sandy
Ruth Henninger, Lead Teacher
Hi there! My name is Ruth and I have lived in the Philadelphia Suburbs most of my life. My B.A. in Theater from Brandeis University in Boston and my M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania afford me the opportunity to work with your wonderful children. I look forward to playing, reading and exploring together with this great group of Three year olds! My husband and I are parents to two fellow students here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. Our younger daughter Shayna is in Ms. Lindsay’s Class and she is full of energy and curiosity. Ali is enjoying Ms. Susie’s K2 where she can show off her creative and exuberant personality. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful big kids with me!
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 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. My bio would not be complete without mentioning my loving dog Lucy who is a beautiful one eyed pug. I am very excited for the year ahead!
Tammy Roberts & Nick Shander - 4 Year Olds
Tammy & Nick
Nick Shander, Assistant Teacher
Hello my name is Mr. Nick and I am thrilled to be starting off another fantastic school year! I have 8 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.
Tammy Roberts, Lead Teacher
Hi my name is Tammy Roberts and I am one of the four year old teachers. I have been teaching here for 22 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 are now Seniors in college. My husband Hunt and I are enjoying being empty nesters. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and I also enjoy reading, 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.
Carol Fishman & Marsha Millman - 4 Year Olds
Carol & Marsha
Marsha Millman, Assistant Teacher
Hi my name is Marsha Millman. I have been working at the Preschool for the past 10 years. In my single years and early marriage I was in the dental field working in a dental lab and then as a dental assistant. When my daughter Becky was older the preschool was looking for subs. Well I loved it so much the rest is history. I have been married for 24 years to my hubby Mark. We adopted our beautiful daughter Becky from Russia when she was 2 years old. Becky recently graduated from Temple University. She majored in Athletic Training. She is now at Clarion University getting her graduate degree and on staff with Clarion. We have 1 four legged boy Morey, a Bichon mix who is about 8 years old. Some of my favorite things to do are cooking, shopping, and taking vacations, especially cruises. I am looking forward to playing with and teaching your children this year.
Carol Fishman, Lead Teacher
I have been teaching for many, many years at several private elementary schools in the area as well as Play and Learn at Suburban Jewish Community Center Bnai Aaron where I taught the Twos and Fours classes for five years. My undergraduate degree is from Wheelock College where I majored in Elementary and Special Education. I have a Masters from Penn in Reading and Language Arts. My PA teacher certifications include Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education and Reading Specialist. As a member of Nursing Mothers Network in Delaware County, I was trained as a Breast-feeding counselor and am happy to provide support should you need some information or advice. I have two big kids of my own; Rae is studying Psychology and Elementary Education at Muhlenberg and Josh attends Friends’ Central. I also have a wonderful and supportive husband, Charlie, who fixes anything that breaks in our classroom! Let’s play and learn together.
Debbie Adler & Shelley Player - K1
Debbie & Shelley
Shelley Player, Assistant Teacher
Hello, I am Shelley and I am very excited to start my 5th year at the preschool and 4th year as the Kindergarten 1 Assistant Teacher. I am originally from New York where I graduated from Pace University with a BA in Communication. I plan to continue my education in the future with a concentration in education. I have 11 years of experience working with children between camp, preschool and babysitting. I look forward to the opportunity to teach and enjoy your children.
Debbie Adler, Lead Teacher
My name is Debbie Adler and I teach the awesome K-1 kids. I am beginning my 21st 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 son-in-laws, and a proud Mom-mom to 2 ½ year old Oliver! 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.
Lesley Gotlib & Maria Voight - K2
Lesley Gotlib, Lead Teacher
My name is Lesley Gotlib. I am thrilled to be part of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool family and being one of the Toddler teachers. I have been in the educational field for the past 10 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. I live in Delaware County with my husband, Mark, and we have 3 wonderful children Zac age 23, Molly Claire, age 20 and Joshua, age 18. We also have two loveable dogs, Rosie and Lila.
Maria Voight, Assistant Teacher
Welcome to another exciting school year! I have been a Teacher’s Assistant for 28 years, 19 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!