October 21, 2018 -
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Preschool Staff

Preschool Staff

Meet the staff

of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the  

 

 

 

The Directors

Amy Foster and Natalie O'Brien

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 and an adorable Yellow Lab named Harley. My daughter Emily is 25 and she works right here at the Kaiserman JCC as our Creative Services Director. My son Jeremy is 19 and he is a Sophomore at PITT.  My step-son Ben is 17 and he is senior in high school.  

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 22 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 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 11, in 6th grade at Haverford Middle School. Taylor is 14, in 9th grade at Haverford High School and our son Trevor is 19 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

Jess Grabell, Brittney Lombardi and Taylor Leonard

Jess Grabell, Lead Teacher

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 4 summers, I've worked as the Camp Kef Secretary here at the JCC.  This is my 5th year, working in the preschool and my 3rd 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

Hi my name is Brittney Lombardi. I am so excited to be the Assistant Teacher in the Nursery for my second year! In the past I have also been a substitute in the Preschool, a Counselor at Camp KEF and worked in the JCC’s after school program, Kid’s Time. I love working with children of all ages and have done so since I was 14 years old! I have a 3 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.

Taylor Leonard, Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Taylor. I am from Philadelphia. I’m very excited to be an Assistant Teacher in the Nursery this year! I have experience working with children for the past five years. I find it very rewarding watching the children learn and grow each and every day! I am looking forward to another fantastic school year at the JCC

 

Chyna Paygan, Dori Langer and Kaila Garretson

Chyna Paygan, Assistant Teacher

Dori Langer, Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Dori Eitan Langer. I moved from Israel to Philadelphia 5 years ago with my family.  I have 2 daughters; Shay is 7 years old and starts second grade at Penn Wynne school. Danielle is almost 5 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 and last year and I was the lead teacher in the Toddler class. 

I am very excited to be a lead teacher at the Nursery this year and looking forward to seeing how much the kids have grown and develop during the summer. I love being part of the JCC Staff.

Kaila Garretson, Assistant Teacher

Hello!  My name is Kaila Garretson and I will be a new Assistant Teacher in the Nursery with Dori. I have also worked as a Counselor with the Toddlers in Camp Kef for 2 years. I graduated from the University of the Arts in 2018 with a degree in Dance. In my free time I enjoy dancing as a member of a dance company.

 

Zanna Yoshida and Cindy Paul

Zanna Yoshida, Lead Teacher

I am so glad to be returning for my second year here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool. I graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in Music and Theater in 2016.  I’ve worked as a nanny, a Camp Specialist and as a Counselor for many years. I’m looking forward to the school year!

Cindy Paul, Assistant Teacher

Hello! My name is Cindy Paul, and I am very happy to be joining the Robert J. Wilf Preschool team as an Assistant Teacher! I am originally from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and I am a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Dance at Temple University. I am a passionate performer and creator, and I enjoy bringing this sense of curiosity and expression into the classroom. As a teaching artist, I have worked with children of all ages at the Bates Dance Festival Youth Arts Program, the Arden Theatre Company, and the Multicultural Academy Charter School. I look forward to deepening this practice, as well as my exploration of how artistry and teaching can inform each other, here at the JCC!

 

Sue Delaney, Adriana Huff and Karmen Tehrani

Sue Delaney, Lead Teacher

Hi, my name is Sue Delaney.  I am so excited to begin my fourth 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 17 years.  Together we have 3 children. Will is 16, Cara is 14 and Leah is 9.  When I am not working I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my family.

Adriana Huff, Assistant Teacher

Hi everyone, my name is Adriana Huff. I'm so excited to be returning for my third year at 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 can’t wait to spend my time this school year getting to know your wonderful children! I look forward to another great year here at the JCC!

Karmen Tehrani, Assistant Teacher

Hi, I am Karmen and I am the youngest staff member working in the Preschool this year! I do have a few years of experience working with children, babysitting. In my free time, I enjoy making music, listening to music, taking walks and spending time with my family!  I am very excited to start my first year here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool at the JCC! 

 

Theresa DiMartino, Bonnie Widger and Sara Rubin

Theresa DiMartino, Assistant Teacher

My name is Theresa DiMartino. I have worked here at the JCC in different capacities over the past 16 years. I was first a Camp Counselor and now I have been working as an Assistant 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! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my 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!

Bonnie Widger, Lead Teacher

Hi!!! My name is Bonnie. I have an Associate's 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 10 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 so excited to be the Two’s Teacher this year and to watch your children learn and grow. It's going to be such a fun school year!!!

Sara Rubin, Assistant Teacher

 

Marianne Shiber and Jen Graboyes

Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher

Hi friends, I am Marianne Shiber and I am one of the 2 and 3 year old Teachers.  I have been teaching here at the JCC for the past 26 years. I have been married to my husband David for 24 happy years and we have three children who all attended school here. My son Tyler is 23 and is living in Dearborn Michigan working as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. My daughter Katie is 20 and attends Loyola University. My youngest son Matthew is 17 and a senior 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

My name is Jen Graboyes. I am going to be 31 years old in November. I enjoy swimming, cooking, dancing, going on adventures, traveling and being around my friends and family. I love the beach and the sun 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 9th year working at the Robert J. Wilf 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!

 

Kelly Flury and Alex Shragis

Kelly Flury, Lead Teacher

Hi! My name is Kelly Flury and I am very excited to begin my journey 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 am newly married and have been enjoying 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!

Alex Shragis, Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Alex Shragis. I majored in History and Math at the University of Connecticut. I have spent the past two years working for the Kaiserman JCC in the Preschool, Kidstime afterschool program and Camp Kef! Since moving to Philadelphia in the summer of 2015, I have also worked for Main Line Synagogues as a USY Advisor, as an Ultimate Frisbee Instructor and as a Teacher for 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 be an Assistant Teacher in Room 204 for the second year!

 

Tammy Roberts, Ruth Santone and Nick Shander

Nick Shander, Assistant Teacher

Hello my name is Mr. Nick. 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 this preschool, I am very involved in the JCC community working in the summer camp and the 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 a 4 year old class Teacher. I have been teaching here for 26 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, 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.

Ruth Santone, Assistant Teacher

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 23 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, 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.

 

Carol Fishman and Marsha Millman

Carol Fishman, Lead Teacher

I have been teaching children from toddlers thru 5th grade for over 30 years in 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 elementary school students. Josh is a senior studying Electrical 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

Hi my name is Marsha Millman. Let me tell you about myself.  This is my 14th year working here.  During my single years I was in the dental field working as a Dental Technician and a Dental Assistant.  I have been married for 28 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 and recently became a Sergeant. 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 have a fun school year with your children!

 

Lindsay Abramowitz and Sandy Kassie

Lindsay Abramowitz, Lead Teacher

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

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 30 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. They have also both worked and attended school at the JCC!

 

Lesley Gotlib and Maria Voight

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 14 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 26, Molly Claire, age 24 and Joshua, age 22. We also have 2 loveable dogs, Rosie and Jack.

Maria Voight, Assistant Teacher

Welcome to another exciting school year! I have been a Assistant Teacher for 31 years, 22 of them spent 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!

 

Harley

Harley,Therapy Dog

Harley joins our Kindergarten 2 classroom every week for reading groups. Harley is a Certified Therapy Dog. His favorite thing to do is to sit quietly as the children read to him! This is a great way for all the children, children who are already strong readers and those children who are not confident readers to get practice and feel comfortable as they read aloud to a non-judgmental listener.