Meet our Preschool staff!
Meet the staff of the Robert J. Wilf Preschool & Kindergarten @ the Kaiserman JCC
Amy Foster, Preschool 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 here 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 25 years! It’s definitely my home away from home! There is truly a family atmosphere here with all of our staff. We truly care about one another, our families, and our program. Amy and I work very 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 boyfriend Jason, and we live in Havertown where we first met. We have three children who all attended school here at the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. This year both our daughters will be in Haverford High School together. Emily is 14, in 9th grade and Taylor is 17, in 12th grade. They also work here as counselors during the summer at Camp Kef. Our son Trevor is 22 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!
Evin Rezavker, Director of Curriculum, Development, and Retention
I am very excited to be in my first year of working at the JCC! Before this I spent 14 years teaching in New York – in three different boroughs! The last three years I have been an Instructional Coach in North & Northeast Philadelphia. Which brings us to 2022 at the JCC where I will be working at the Preschool as a coach, assisting with the design and implementation of the Enrichment Program and ensuring that we recruit and retain the best possible staff at Camp Kef.
My husband, Vinny, and I live in a house that is filled with beautiful chaos. We have three awesome children who all attend the RJW Preschool. Ellis is 5.5, Jonah is 3.5 and Lily, aka Lil the Thrill, is 2 years old. Additionally, we share our lives with two beautiful doggies – Rosie, a 2 year old Golden Retriever and Reggie, a 2 month old Chihuahua Terrier mix.
The Teaching Staff
Lihi Moskow, Lead Teacher
My name is Lihi Moskow. I’m the mother of three wonderful kids. I have 12 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 5th year, working in the preschool and my 3rd 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!
Yadira Avendono, Assistant Teacher
Hi, I’m Yadira, I’m a psychologist and I have a master’s degree in human resources. I have worked as a teacher for 5 years in a school with children from 3 years to 12 years old, I love working with children and babies because I also have a son. I am delighted to meet all of you
Rosa Calle, Assistant Teacher
Hi, my name is Xiaoye, I am the mother of my lovely son, Kayin, who is attending the 4 yrs old class at JCC this year. Our family is new to PA and currently, we are staying in the lovely neighborhood at Wynnewood. I call our family “globalists” since in the last 10 years we have lived on 3 continents, 4 different countries, and 5 cities around the world. This global experience has allowed our family to have a good understanding of many different cultures and their human being needs. And now we look forward to the opportunity to learn about the Jewish community and its culture.
As a professional, before I became a mother, I was in the financial industry as an HR consultant, recruiter, and career coach. In the past time, my family and I enjoy going to libraries, museums, and local shops and spending time with family and friends.
Children are the future of our world, early childhood education has definitely a big impact on this. In China, we have an idiom that says “千里之行，始于足下”, which translates to, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I believe that my son’s time at JCC will have a great and positive impact on his life and for that, I am truly grateful.
It is my pleasure to work with your children and help them to learn, grow, laugh, and especially to be there for them when they need it. I look forward to meeting everyone in the JCC community and becoming friends.
Taylor Deniken, Lead Teacher
Hello! My name is Taylor Deniken and I am incredibly excited to return to the Robert J. Wild Preschool team. This will be my second year working at the JCC and my first year as a Lead Teacher in Nursery 2. 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 have been a swim instructor for over 10 years and through that experience I developed a 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.
Amanda Wilson, Assistant Teacher
Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Wiilson and I’m an assistant teacher in the infant room. I have two sons, Calvin and Caleb, who also attend this school. I am currently pursuing my AA in early childhood education at Montgomery County Community College. I love taking my boys out for fun activities, working out, and taking walks.
Samantha O’Malley, Assistant Teacher
Hello! My name is Samantha Omalley, I have worked at the JCC for 3 years and for the Jewish federation schools before that. I have 3 children, 10, 9 and almost 2, they keep me very busy! I am very involved in my children’s schools and our synagogue. In my free time I like to take hikes with our dogs, read, draw and travel. I’m so happy to be back this year!
Martina Morgan, Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Martina Morgan. This is my second year working at the JCC. I have a special love for children. I’ve worked in various school and childcare settings. I have 2 children of my own. My girls are 10 years old and an almost 11 months old. In my spare time I love to shop or spend time with family and friends. I am excited to get to know each one of you.
Elizabeth Lara, Assistant Teacher
Evelyn Avecillas, Lead Teacher
My name is Evelyn Avecillas (Miss Evii). I will be your children’s teacher this year. I am very excited to meet all your little ones and give my best this year. I’m from Ecuador and I moved to this incredible country 4 years ago. I graduated from the University of Cuenca with an early stimulation career. I started working at JCC Kaiserman 9 months ago. My intention during this year is to guide children with values, give them my attention, play with them, make art and above all take care of them. I just want your children to feel happy every day when they come to school. I appreciate for taking the time to read these words. I look forward to meeting you all and if you have any questions or concerns, I will be there to answer them. And as Oscar Wilde said, “The way to make good children is to make them happy.”
Miss Evelyn (aka: Evii)
Tiffany Teich, Assistant Teacher
My name is Tiffany, I have about 4 years of experience in childcare, I worked at the JCC in 2012-2015 as a camp counselor at Camp Kef and at the after school program Kid’s Time as a counselor. I have 2 niece’s and a nephew and have loved being an Aunt over the last 4 years. I’m a super creative person. I’m a musician and love singing and playing guitar. My goal is to help create a safe, nurturing environment for your kids to be themselves to the fullest! I’m excited for a fun year ahead!
Maria Loja, Assistant Teacher
My name is Maria Loja. I’m from Ecuador. I moved to this country about 6 years ago. My husband and I have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. I finished school and university in my country. I am very social, happy and I love to dance. I enjoy teaching and caring for children, they fill my heart with love and always bring a smile to my face. I think that being a mother is the most beautiful experience in our lives. My goal this year with the children is to make sure they feel secure, help them learn and grow and most of all play with them. I am very happy to be part of your children’s education, I hope for the best this year.
Steff Baide, Lead 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!
Steph 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.
Salam Wube, Assistant Teacher
Two-Year-Old Class 1
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, Jackie, and I have two daughters who have been at the JCC since they began their school lives. Abigail is almost six and Quinny is three. We have loved being a part of this community. I feel very invested in a great year at the JCC as both a parent and a teacher! This is my second year as a preschool teacher, but I come with decades of experience teaching and caring for children. I began my professional career as an elementary school teacher and later moved into teacher coaching, specializing in coaching literacy teachers. Before Quinny was born I was the director of literacy for a network of school in Philadelphia. I’m thrilled that two year olds have developed longer attention spans for books! When I’m not at school I love to be outside and spend as much time as possible playing with my kids and new puppy, Scout, in the yard or digging in my flower beds. 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!
Brenda Portillo, Assistant Teacher
My name is Brenda and I am an assistant teacher. This is my second year at the JCC. I love working with children! I have one son, Oliver, who is four years old and is also here at the JCC. I am originally from Honduras where I studied nursing and volunteered with the Red Cross. When I’m not at school I love to play soccer and cook. I also take English classes through the Garces Foundation. We just got a new kitten, Sonic, named after Oliver’s favorite cartoon. I am excited to work with you and your children this year!
Eliza Bronson, Assistant Teacher
Hi! I am Eliza. I love children. I also love dragons, dinosaurs, and stories. I have been working with children professionally since 2018. Prior to that I did volunteer work with children while working in the pet industry.I love to encourage curiosity and exploration. I was a curious child myself. I believe every child’s story is important, and am excited to be a part of it.In my spare time, I like to create stories of my own.
John Cherry, Assistant Teacher
Two-Year-Old Class 2
Curtisha Neal, Lead Teacher
Hello everyone, My name is Curtisha Neal and I am returning back to the JCC for another great year. This year I will be working with the two year olds as Co- Leads with Miss Adriana. We are so excited to start the year. I have 10 years of experience working with children. I have 3 children of my own which two attend the JCC, our home away from home. When I have free time I love to cook and listen to music. I am looking forward to watching your children grow and develop great personalities.
Aaron Kessler, Assistant Teacher
Hi! My name is Aaron Kessler and I’m so excited to become a member of the JCC preschool family! I graduated from Rutgers University in 2019 with a degree in both Psychology and Education. Although it’s my first year working at the JCC, I have years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities. I was a camper at Ramah Poconos and continued for 3 years as a counselor, 1 of them working in the newly formed summer special needs program. I worked at Beth Hillel’s preschool program with the 4-Year-Olds for 1 year. I also lived in Colorado as a live in Nanny for an adorable toddler. I love music and reading and doing art projects as well as being outdoors in nature and getting regular exercise such as biking and yoga. I grew up in the area and graduated from Lower Merion High School in 2013. I was raised in the conservative movement of Judaism and although I’m not strictly religious, being Jewish is a very important part of my life/identity and I love celebrating the holidays with family and friends as well as learning torah on a weekly basis. I look forward to serving this community and hope to positively impact the lives of all the kids and teachers alike.
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.
Three-Year-Old Class 1
Faye Warsavage, Lead Teacher
Aunyee Baldwin, Assistant Teacher
Hiii! My name is Aunyée, but you can call me Yay! I am so happy to be returning to the JCC preschool and Camp Kef! I have 9 years of Early Childhood experience as both a Lead and an Assistant teacher. I enjoy rainbows, unicorns, and bags! I’m so excited for what the year has in store for us and cannot wait to see the progress of our class socially, educationally and emotionally!
Three-Year-Old Class 2
Marianne Shiber, Lead Teacher
Hello! My name is Marianne Shiber. I have happily been a JCC Preschool Teacher for over 30 years! Karen and I cannot wait to spend each day with your children. I am married with three grown children who have all gone through our preschool program. We also love our dog, Jovie. She is lovable and has loads of energy. I am very excited to have a fun-filled school year with your children!
Karen Rosenfeld, Assistant Teacher
Hi, I am Miss Karen. This school year will be my 24th year at the Robert J Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. I have been married for 44 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.
Four-Year-Old Class 1
Kelly Flury, Lead Teacher
Hi! My name is Kelly Flury and I am very excited to return for my 5th year here at the JCC. I have been in early childhood education since 2007. I have my Bachelors in ECE from Eastern University. Throughout my time in education, I have moved from 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 18th 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 31 in December. We adopted her from Russia. Becky is a Staff Sergeant/Drill Sergeant in the Army at Fort Sill Oklahoma. I have an orange tabby cat named Koski. 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 2 Class
Tammy Roberts, Lead Teacher
Hi!! My name is Tammy Roberts and I am one of the 4-year-old class teachers. This is my 30th year teaching here at the JCC! 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 Tammy in the 4-year-old class. I’ve worked here at the JCC for the past 27 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.
Patrick McFillin, Assistant Teacher
Hi, My name is Patrick McFillin and I am the new assistant teacher in the Four-Year-Old class. I have been a lifeguard at the JCC pool since 2016 and I have a great time working at Camp Kef over the summer. I studied at Delaware Community College and have an Associates Degree in criminal justice. I am an avid Philly sports fan and especially a Philadelphia Eagles fan! I am very excited to get started this year and I look forward to having a great year here at the Kaiserman JCC!
Anika Ruud, Lead Teacher
Born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida, I 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 many leadership positions in my sorority, I also worked at the Jewish Community Alliance in Jacksonville, FL. I have 8 years of professional early childhood and elementary school experience, this being my 3rd year here at the JCC. Working with fourth grade, second grade and kindergarten children, I have to say that Kindergarten is my favorite! In my free time, I love walking and cycling, discovering new restaurants, and playing with my two dogs, Hank and Brady. I am so excited and ready for a fantastic, safe and fun school year! I can’t wait to meet your children so we can have an awesome year, learning and growing together.
Sandy Kassie, Assistant Teacher
I am a Northeast Philadelphia native. 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 watching movies, buying and selling 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 34 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 working in her field, and 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! I also have two fur grandbabies, Bean and Stitch.
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 17 years in both preschool 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 35 years, 27 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!
Sara Rubin, Assistant Teacher
My name is Sara Rubin, and I am so excited to work in Kindergarten 2 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!