Leadership

  • Jodi Bruce

    Head of School

    Ms. Jodi Bruce, Head of School, joined Lehrman Community Day School in 2003 as the Director of Early Childhood. Prior to becoming the Head of School she served as the Dean of Education at LCDS.

    Ms. Bruce came to Lehrman with thirteen years of teaching and administrative experience in the Miami Dade Public Schools in both Early Childhood and Intermediate Education, where she held a variety of teaching positions and administrative responsibilities. During her tenure in the public school system she was recognized with numerous honors and distinctions. Ms. Bruce is a 2010 graduate of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute, under the auspices of Brandeis University. Ms. Bruce was awarded an educational specialization in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2001. She also earned Master of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Nova Southeastern University in 1998. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Florida in 1990.

    A resident of Sunny Isles Beach, FL, Ms. Bruce grew up in North Miami Beach and is married to Rick Bruce. Personable and with a quick wit, you will find Ms. Bruce to be a warm and intelligent person. She has a busy life outside of school as well, where she enjoys reading and spending time at the beach.

  • Erica Kalish

    Early Childhood Director

    After six years in the Lehrman Early Childhood classroom, Erica was promoted to the director’s office in 2010. An inveterate story-teller, Erica loves to pop into classes to read, or tell stories from memory. As a teacher, she loved to do science experiments, especially helping kids grow in terms of their sensory development. Erica came to Lehrman from Sinai Jacobson Academy’s early childhood program. Erica was born and raised in Miami. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism and her master’s in occupational therapy. Erica and husband Ari are looking forward to the day when Spencer, their son, can join the ranks of Lehrman students. 

  • Shalom Kantor

    Director of Jewish Life

    Rabbi Shalom Kantor, who grew up on the other coast, joined us as Lehrman’s new Director of Jewish Life in 2014. Rabbi Kantor received his BA in history from Willamette and MA in Rabbinic Studies and ordination from the University of Judaism, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in California. He also studied at Hebrew University and Pardes both in Jerusalem. Rabbi Kantor’s extensive educational experience has included work at a campus Hillel (Binghampton) as well as Jewish camps (Ramah and Alonim) and Jewish day school. Rabbi Kantor’s passion is community building and he enriches our students’ Jewish studies curriculum, working on parashat hashavua, the portion of the week, prayer and other topics from Early Childhood through 5th grade. In fact, he looks enriches Jewish life throughout our Lehrman community.

  • Janet Rapp

    Chief Operating Officer

    Janet started her relationship with Lehrman Community Day School as a parent who eventually became PTA President. She has worked for Lehrman since 1993 and is now Chief Operating Officer. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Janet earned a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Endicott College. She managed, owned and operated restaurants in Massachusetts before moving to Miami in 1981. Janet and husband Michael have two children, Jennifer and Jonathan, both graduates of Lehrman. The third generation, granddaughter Logan, is following in their footsteps and is now a student at Lehrman as well. Janet loves being a grandmother, traveling, cruising and visiting with her family, but two other notable claims to fame are that her ice sculpture was selected for her college graduation awards dinner and she had a cameo appearance in the 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary.”

  • Linda Schaffzin

    Director of Admissions

    Linda’s destiny as a Jewish day school educator began at the age of 11, when she entered Akiba Hebrew Academy (now Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy) in suburban Philadelphia. After receiving her BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, Linda returned to teach middle school at Akiba. Eventually, her four children progressed through synagogue nursery school, Solomon Schechter Day School, and finally Akiba, from which they all graduated — a culmination of continuous involvement in Jewish education of 27 years. In the midst of this activity, Linda was named a Jerusalem Fellow, a fellowship for senior Jewish educators, and the family spent three years in Israel. This followed six years at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York where she and husband, Stephen, co-edited World Over Magazine, a national children’s publication. On their return to the US in 1986, Linda and Stephen founded a Jewish educational publishing business, working closely with The Jewish Agency and its Israel youth trips. In 2000, Linda was asked to head a new Reform middle school in Atlanta; that was followed by an appointment as Solomon Schechter Day School Middle School principal in Chicago. In 2007 Linda joined Lehrman as Director of Admissions. She received her MA from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Barry University.

  • Ayala Zeev

    Hebrew and Jewish Studies Director

    Ayala came to Lehrman in 2008 to teach Hebrew and head the department; she now serves as Director of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Ayala earned her BA in biology from Bar Ilan University and taught high school biology. When husband Shlomo was transferred to Venezuela, Ayala became Principal of Jewish Studies in the day school. Tel Aviv University certified Ayala to train Hebrew and Chumash teachers and she worked with teachers across Latin America.

    After coming to Miami, Ayala served as Hebrew Academy’s Head of Hebrew language and a mentor in the NETA program. She also prepared groups of girls for a collective Bat-Mitzvah, organized by WIZO.

    Ayala and Shlomo have four children, and three grandchildren. In her free time, Ayala likes to read, sing and listen to music. In her past, Ayala performed as a singer and organized choirs in Israel and Venezuela.

Administrative Staff

  • Ruth Quintana

    Administrative Assistant

    Born in Barcelona, Ruth left at six and lived in the Caribbean, Long Island, and Boca Raton before coming to Miami Beach in 1992. Ruth graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Psychology. At Lehrman since 2005, she feels she has found her dream job. In her free time, Ruth can be found at the beach, snorkeling or bike riding. She likes to read mysteries and history and wishes she had the time to read even more. Ruth is fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan, the language of Barcelona where she travels often.

  • Alvaro Sanchez

    Director of Security

    Alvaro, born in Cali, Colombia, came to New York at age 26 to join his five siblings; he moved to Miami to escape the winters! Originally Alvaro worked for a private security company who assigned him to Lehrman, but we hired him directly and it stuck! He loves soccer, mysteries and dramas and spends time at the gym. Alvaro travels frequently to Colombia, and hopes to go to Italy next. Alvaro knows every child’s name, every parent and the cars they drive. Carpool is where he rules, always keeping our children safe!

  • Stephen Schaffzin

    Director of Communications

    Stephen combines the heart of the Jewish educator, the eye of the artist and the skills of the visual communicator to the work he does for Lehrman. Add in the mix a little stand-up comedy, boundless energy and love of everything related to kids and you understand what we have come to call the ‘Lehrman look.’ Steve, who was born in New York but grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from a Jewish day school and attended the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where he received a BFA (with honors) and a MA in Art Education. He ran his own graphic design and educational publishing businesses and taught visual communications on a college level. Much of his professional work has been in partnership with his wife, Linda. They have four children and five grandchildren.

  • Amy Siama

    Administrative Assistant

    Lehrman is fortunate that Brooklyn born Amy came to Miami. Amy brought her three children to Lehrman, loved it so much that she became president of the parent association, and is now administrative assistant and teaches after school dance classes. Amy, who started dancing at the age of three and continued into her 20s, performed and taught dance for 15 years. Her current favorite is hip hop. Besides time spent with her family or on the dance floor, Amy likes to travel.

  • Renee Steinman

    Administrative Assistant

    Thirty-eight years ago Renee left Brooklyn to escape the cold and landed at Lehrman. Previously she worked for a private defense plant, but shhhh, she can’t tell you about that! When it comes to Lehrman, however, Renee is the one to ask!

     

    Renee and husband, Ed, have two children, both Lehrman alums, and four grandchildren. The Steinmans are frequent Disney World visitors. They have a living reef and a cockatiel name Floydette in their home. Renee has played Mah Jongg for 52 years and she still plays it weekly.

  • Jose Velazquez

    Accountant

    Jose has lived in many places -- born in Cuba, studied in the Northeast, worked in the Caribbean and the Southeast --and then he came to Lehrman in 2000 to man our accounting department with his cheerful optimism and endless patience.  Jose has two grown daughters, Solange–Marie and Nicole-Suzette. His wife, Marcia, is an expert in special education. Outside of work Jose enjoys sports and TV, and he reads self help books and biblical-related literature.

Faculty

Elementary

  • Karen Alvarez

    Third Grade Teacher

    Although born in Buffalo, Karen Freedman Alvarez grew up in Columbus, Ohio, becoming a Buckeyes fanatic. Karen moved to Miami and Lehrman in 1983 and never looked back. She loves her students, treating them as if they are her own children. Outside of school, Karen spends time with family, walks the beach, plays tennis, and fishes on the family's flats boat.  Son Eddie, a Lehrman alum, who was a Bar Mitzvah on Thanksgiving, Karen’s favorite holiday, now often returns to the school to serve as a counselor on school trips.

  • Michele Baron

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Michele, or Ms. Baron, grew up in the Bronx (New York) and has been living in Florida for over 30 years. She is a proud Gator with a BA from the University of Florida. Michele taught kindergarten  at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-el for 17 years where she was a founding teacher. She joined Lehrman in 2012 with her creative teaching style and her passion for maintaining a special bond with students and their families. Michele has two wonderful grown sons, and is now a doting grandmother. She enjoys sports, traveling, crafts, reading and exercising.

  • Esther Ben Shalom

    Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Jerusalem born Morah Etti served in the military police in the Israeli army, occasionally guarding prisoners. She came to America to visit her brother; the visit turned into forever when she met and married Adam. Etti earned her Master’s in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education from Siegal College and taught for 15 years in Jewish day schools in Atlanta, serving as a pilot teacher in the TaLAm program. Etti enjoys reading and computers, and of course family, which includes three sons who are now Lehrman students.

  • Suzanne Faith

    First Grade Teacher

    Originally from the Northeast, Suzanne has taught in Atlanta, London, and at the RASG Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach. While working at Lehrman part-time, Suzanne fell in love with the school and transferred her girls Ella and Chloe, where they have been happily learning and growing. Ms. Faith earned her BS in Education from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and became a certified Developmental Specialist through FAU. Ms. Faith finds joy and inspiration working with children of all ages. When not teaching, Suzanne can be found enjoying nature at the park with her dogs Moka and Molly.

  • Laurie Farber

    Jewish Studies Teacher

    Laurie Farber’s life-long passion for teaching began in high school when she tutored Hebrew at Temple Emanu-El, donating community-service hours. She went on to receive an M.A. in Jewish Education with a major in Bible studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Mrs. Farber has served as both day school teacher and administrator at Greenfield and Hochberg day schools. When not teaching, or playing with grandchildren (she and Rabbi Ed Farber have three children who have so far provided 11 grandchildren), she relaxes with her dogs, works her garden, reads or does crafts.

  • Janet Fein

    Fourth Grade Teacher

    Janet is Lehrman’s resident Brit and so it is no surprise that she loves to teach the European history component of the 4th grade Core Knowledge curriculum! Her favorite activity is the 'Wax Museum’ project. Janet began teaching at Lehrman in 1981 and her children, Amanda and Jeremy, are both Lehrman graduates.  She has a bachelor’s degree from FIU and a master’s in education from Nova Southeastern University and Janet serves as Lehrman’s Core Knowledge coordinator.

  • Judi Fishkin

    Fifth Grade Teacher

    Judi is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University and has been at Lehrman for eight years. She has taught a variety of age groups -- fifth grade, second grade as well as writing across the curriculum and across the grades. When she teaches writing, which she loves doing, she always completes the assignment, modeling the sharing with the students. Judi’s identical twin daughters, Marti and Dani, attended Lehrman from toddlers through upper elementary. Outside of school, Judi enjoys spinning, running, cooking and reading.

  • Mimi Folwell

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Ms. Mimi began teaching in Lehrman’s Early Childhood Department in 1980, with an AA degree in Early Childhood and a BA in liberal studies. She sought elementary certification, moved into the elementary school and never looked back. Now she especially enjoys the history component of the Core Knowledge curriculum, as her students act out the first Thanksgiving or the Boson Tea Party. Before migrating from her native New York, Mimi owned and taught in a ceramics studio. Mimi officially retired in 2015, but she returns to do long-term substituting when she can. 

  • Chelsea Franco

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Chelsea was born and raised in Miami.  She began her work at Lehrman as a first grade assistant in January of 2014 while working on the thesis portion of her MA in English Literature at FIU, which she received in 2015.  Next up: Chelsea intends on becoming certified to teach.

  • Shani Golan-Yafe

    Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Shani, who was born and raised in Israel, moved to Florida in 2007. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in business and human resources management. Shani comes to Lehrman with 13 years of teaching experience in elementary school, most recently at Masoret Yehudit in Hallandale Beach. She also taught in Hebrew schools. Shani and her husband have three children. Their youngest, Yali, came to Lehrman with his mother.

  • Jennifer Goodman

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Ms. Jennifer was born and raised in the Miami area. She is a graduate of Miami Country Day School and the University of Tampa, graduating in 1997 with a BS in Communications. This is actually Jennifer’s second stint at Lehrman; she worked as an elementary teaching associate from 2000 to 2002. After a sojourn in New York city, Jennifer returned to our area, working at Beth Moshe as an administrative assistant before coming home with much enthusiasm to Lehrman in 2015. When not teaching, she enjoys time with son, Brody.

  • Rachel Gozlan

    Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Rachel, a sabra, takes great pleasure in helping children develop Hebrew and Judaic skills. Mother of three and grandmother of two, Rachel began her career at Beth Torah Day School. She studied at St. Thomas University, earning her CDA in Kindergarten Education, and her Hebrew Teachers license while at Temple Menorah’s religious school. Rachel has been at Lehrman since 2000. Known for her joyful spirit, deep love for Judaism and personal connection with her students, Rachel specializes in the TaL AM and Chalav u'Dvash curricula.

  • Caren Horvitz

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Ms. Caren is originally from Philadelphia, PA, but she grew up here in Hollywood. She has a graphics degree from the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute as well as a C.D.A. and teaching credentials from Broward Community College. She came to Lehrman from Temple Beth El’s early childhood program where they recognized her ability to make education fun for her charges by providing hands-on experiences. When not working, Caren, who comes from a tight-knit family, enjoys being with her son. She is very active, is into yoga, and although she loves cooking healthy food, she is a self-professed foodie who LOVES anything with dark chocolate!

  • Lindsey Immergluck

    First Grade Teacher

    Lindsey is a Miami native and Jewish day school alumna. She graduated from Florida State University in 2013 with a BS in Early Childhood Education, and is a die-hard Seminole fan! After graduating, Lindsey returned to Miami and began teaching pre-kindergarten for the Gordon School of Beth David. She joined Lehrman in 2014 as a first grade assistant and is now a first grade teacher. Outside of school, Lindsey loves paddle-boarding, snow-skiing, sailing, and spending time with her family.

  • Susana Landman

    Third Grade Teacher

    Susana grew up in Peru and moved to Miami with her husband and young children many years ago. Susana graduated with a BS in Education from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. She has worked in many grades throughout the years, from preschool to middle school. Her goal as a teacher is to engage each of her students in learning experiences with a positive attitude. She enjoys reading and traveling, but most of all, spending time with her family. Susana is very excited to be part of the Lehrman family.

  • Betsy Levy

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Betsy, who came to Lehrman in 1994, loves meeting the Meanies, growing gumdrop trees and making crystals with kindergartners and sharing the memories with returning alums, including younger son Sam, a law student. Betsy received her degree from Florida Atlantic University and did graduate work at Barry University. Betsy, a voracious reader, feels passionate about watching a child develop into a reader, knowing that she was part of that process. Betsy enjoys antiquing, gardening, sewing and playing with her dog Dexter.

  • Tiki Marks

    Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Morah Tiki Marks came to the USA from Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee where she began her teaching career. She received her degree  at Seminar Oranim of the University of Haifa. After teaching at Lehrman from 2000-2004, she moved to Kol Ami, but Lehrman was always home. Morah Tiki teaches both Hebrew and Jewish Studies, bringing her special flavor of Israel, and imparting her deep love of the subjects she teaches. Tiki is married and has four sons and four grandchildren. She enjoys swimming, reading and films.

  • Esther Meyer

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    After finishing her education courses at CCNY, Esther moved to Florida in 1975. She concentrated on starting a business and a family, but after enrolling her children in David Posnack Hebrew Day School, her volunteer time turned into work. Since 1987, her education background put her back in the classroom doing what she loves to do. Esther’s children are now grown: her son is an Attorney, and her daughter is an Interior Designer.In her spare time, she enjoys the water, art/music festivals, traveling, reading and cooking organically.

  • Kenneth Michelson

    Third Grade Teacher

    Kenny Michelson who began his career at Lehrman in 2013 teaming up with Karen Alvarez, received his MA in Reading from Barry University. He is a veteran teacher who comes to us from David Posnack Hebrew Day School, and he also taught at our neighbor, Hochberg Prep.

  • Beri Minick

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Beri is a Miami Beach native, a mom, and here at Lehrman, a math teacher. Beri received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis and received her masters in elementary education from Fordham. Her teaching career began in New York City where she taught fifth grade for many years. Once son Brody was born, the Minicks returned to Miami where daughter Annie was born. Beri worked part time helping teachers integrate reading and writing into their curriculum at North Beach Elementary School. In 2014 Beri, and both children, were proud to join the Lehrman family.

  • April Moss

    Fifth Grade Teacher

    Before moving to Florida from Missouri in 2004, Mrs. Moss taught English, French, Gifted Studies, Computers, and General Studies. She received her M.A. in Education from Drury University in 2002. She taught at Sha'arei Bina Torah Academy and assisted Mrs. Saltzman at Beth David. After taking time off to raise her daughter and work from home as adjunct faculty for Ashford University, she returned to Mrs. Saltzman, this time at Lehrman. Now, she is a lead teacher, and a Lehrman parent to Renzi. April enjoys tennis, movies, good books, and scrolling through Google Play Store.

  • Ashleigh Muhlrad

    Second Grade Teacher

    Ashleigh, who always knew she wanted be a teacher, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Miami Beach when she married  Mark. She earned her BS in Journalism from FIU, and  earned her MS in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University. After eight years teaching 2nd grade at the RASG Hebrew Academy, Ashleigh and her two older sons, Sammy and Matthew were thrilled to join the Lehrman family. Baby Joshua soon followed. Ashleigh enjoys time with her family, traveling, and cooking.

  • Kyle Rabin

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Kyle Rabin is a teaching associate who received her MA in Educational Leadership from Barry University and BA in Elementary Education from Florida International University. She has a wealth of experience as a teacher, curriculum specialist, reading resource teacher, and as an assistant principal in Miami-Dade County.

  • Jackie Revesz

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Jackie moved from Caracas, Venezuela to the United States in 2002. She lived in Philadelphia, PA where she received her AA degree in Early Childhood Education. While living in Philadelphia, she worked in a preschool and realized she had a lot of patience and loved working with kids. In 2010, she moved to Miami. She loves being an Associate in our Kindergarten. Jackie married in the summer of 2014, and added to their family in 2015, which cut back some on her spare time activities: travel and shopping!

  • Lili Rotholz

    Second Grade Teacher

    A public school teacher for 21 years, Lili joined the Lehrman family in 2005. She received her degree in education from CCNY (City College of New York). Lili loves to read, a good trait for a teacher, and also someone who heads up Lehrman’s Accelerated Reader program. She even formed a book club populated with good friends and Lehrman colleagues. Lili has traveled to Europe three times, though she did not take her beloved dog and her two cats!

  • Julie Ruben

    Fourth Grade Teacher

    Julie, a New York native, raised her family in Miami Beach. She earned her BS in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, Boston, and her MA in Elementary Education from Queens College, New  York. Julie’s dad, a high school English teacher, encouraged her to pursue a career in education. He was her role model and inspiration, and now teaching is her passion, too. Julie has taught in both public and private schools. Introduced to Lehrman as a sub, from the moment she walked on the campus it felt like home to her. Julie loves playing with her two dogs, exercising, spending time with daughter Leigh when she is home from college, and traveling.

  • Allison Shusterman

    Second Grade Teacher

    Allison was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Drexel University. She was drawn to Lehrman based on the warmth of the school and the wonderfully nurturing family like environment. Allison is looking forward to starting her second year at Lehrman. She enjoys conducting research in the field of education and on the weekends volunteers with children who have autism. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, sailing, and traveling.

  • Haley Sklut

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Haley, a North Carolina native, received her degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She loves working with children, from summer camps to tennis lessons to tutoring. Her passion for teaching grew when she served with Americorps in 2014 as a fourth grade teaching assistant. She started working at Lehrman in 2015 as a summer camp counselor and she is excited to be part of the Lehrman community! Outside of the classroom, Haley loves baking, spending time outdoors, practicing yoga, and traveling.

  • Hope Stern

    First Grade Teacher

    Hope Stern received an MA in Arts and Education from Towson University and taught second grade for five years at Miami Country Day School, before joining us at Lehrman in 2012. Hope, who has experience working with elementary students through fifth grade, was very enthusiastic about returning to her Jewish Day School origins; she is a graduate of Krieger Jewish Day School in Baltimore, MD. Hope’s daughters Soleil and Simone are Lehrman students.

  • Angela Sulema

    Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Angela grew up in Israel where she served in the intelligence forces in the Israeli army. She earned her BA in Special Education from Levinsky College of Education, Tel-Aviv. Angela moved to Florida in 2013 after a sojourn of 11 years in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2014, with 12 years of teaching experience behind her, Angela joined Lehrman. Angela and her husband have three children; the youngest daughter, Lior, is a Lehrman student. Angela is fluent in four languages: English ,Hebrew, Russian, and Thai! She enjoys reading, cooking, dancing, and being with the family.

  • Sarah Terheyden

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Sarah, or Mrs. T., as she has been known to generations at Lehrman, came to Miami from her native Joliet, IL to study at Barry University. After graduating in 1986 she came to Lehrman and, to our good fortune, never left. All three Terheyden children are Lehrman alums: son, Jake, was Hebrew valedictorian. Mrs. T. loves everything about teaching her young students: dancing with her class every morning or planting a gumdrop tree, or making ‘elephant’s' toothpaste. When not in school she runs on the beach, does crossword puzzles, rides her tandem bike with daughter Faith, or does mud runs or obstacle courses. Sometimes she just reads or contemplates.

  • Mali Yossef

    Elementary Teaching Associate

    Mali was born and raised in northern Israel, where she served in the Israeli Air force and graduated from Kinneret College as an Industrial Engineer. Before moving to Miami, Mali lived in New York where she met her husband and started a family. While in New York, Mali tutored children in reading, writing, and speaking Hebrew. Mali’s son David is now part of the Lehrman family as well, in our early childhood program.

Early Childhood

  • Tamar Manis

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Tamar joined our Lehrman team in the 2015-2016 school year. A South Florida native, she received her bachelors degree in Public Communications from FAU in 2011. Tamar comes from a long line of Judaica teachers, including her mother who was also part of the Lehrman team in the 1980s. Tamar has always had a love for teaching early childhood and worked at the JCC for a number of years. She is excited to come back to her calling, showing students the importance of education and how much fun learning can be!

  • Penny Barr

    Early Childhood Teacher

     

    Penny Barr came to Lehrman as a fourth grader in 1990 and graduated with Lehrman forever in her heart. She remained a part of Lehrman physically throughout high school, working as a counselor at our camp. At American University in Washington, D.C., where she received a degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in education, she also tutored inner city students. After graduation, Penny wrote for TV and advertising, but her love for education brought her back to Lehrman where building children's self esteem and enthusiasm for academic and social success have been her goal.

  • Lesly Bustillo

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

  • Lucia Cortavarria

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Lucia, who was born in Brazil, came to Miami in 2000. When she was still in Brazil, she volunteered at a daycare center; it was there that she realized how much she loved working with children. Since moving here, she was in charge of the Stars Learning Day Care, and worked at Temple Menorah. She loves working at Lehrman. Her hobbies are dancing and music, and of course, spending time with her son, Aitor, who is a student at Lehrman.

  • Monica Faerverguer

    ECD & Elementary Hebrew/Jewish Studies Teacher

    Morah Monica joined Lehrman as a Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher in 2014. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monica learned to speak Hebrew and graduated with a Hebrew teacher’s degree. She taught Hebrew for 15 years in the elementary department of the Sholem Aleichem school until 2002, when she moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. There in the “Colegio Israelita” she taught in both elementary and middle school. In 2005, Monica and her family migrated to Miami where she joined Beth Moshe as an early childhood teacher.  Monica became acquainted with Lehrman as early as 2004 when her children attended the school; now she is glad to return using all her experience and skills as a teacher.

  • Carolina Ferdman

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

     

    Three years ago, Carolina began her relationship with Lehrman as a mother to students Cindy (now in elementary school) and Tommy (class of 2014). After working at Beth Moshe Congregation for four years, and an additional three years at Temple Beth-El in Hollywood, Carolina has "come home"—to Lehrman. Originally from Argentina, and currently a resident of Surfside, she loves to spend time (anywhere!) with her children, and to travel back home to visit family.

     

  • Tina Ferrer

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Tina, who has taught generations of Lehrman children, came to the school in 1987 from our neighbor, Biscayne Elementary. While teaching at Lehrman, Tina also did testing at Feinberg Fischer for ten years. A native of Cuba, Tina has two grown children and two granddaughters and a grandson. Tina loves to knit and study Bible. Tina aids abused women in a shelter supported by her church and she works weekly with delinquent teens in an effort to steer them toward more productive pursuits.

  • Ariela Hes

    Early Childhood Israeli Dance

    Ariela Jason-Hes came to Miami from Israel in 1992. She worked at the Michael Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, where she developed the Israeli Dance Program and created the International Israeli Dance Festival, Yachad. In 2002, Ariela opened her own Israeli Dance Program, “T’nuah Experience,” for children and adults to learn about Israeli culture through dance. The program has been implemented in many Jewish day schools throughout South Florida. We are fortunate to have Ariela work with our Early Childhood students on a regular basis, and our older students on special occasions. Galya and Lian, Ariela’s daughters, are both Lehrman alums.

  • Ana Hormilla

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Ana came to Lehrman in 1987, then a young mother whose children attended the school. Veronica is an Optometrist, married and a mother herself, and Luis has a degree in business administration. Ana, however, is still where she loves to be, winning the trust and hearts of Lehrman kids in her playful, yet structured way. She is known for the wonderful books the children make at year’s end, as well as the joyful photos she takes of her ‘kids.’ Each year, Ana chooses a theme which she has never repeated in all of her years at Lehrman!

  • Ingrid Jaehnig

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Ms. Ingrid, a Miami native, joined the Lehrman family in  2013. She began working in early childhood education in 2001 and her dedication to educate and nurture children only continues to grow. With a background in art and music, Ingrid enhances her classroom with her enthusiasm, creativity and curiosity.  Ingrid has a true passion for working with children, and watching them grow, learn and challenge themselves. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her four nieces and nephews, kayaking, traveling, and practicing her photography skills.

  • Lillian Karaguilla

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Lillian was born and raised in Miami, Florida and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelors degree in psychology. After spending numerous summers as a counselor at Camp Sol Taplin at the JCC in North Miami Beach, she developed a great passion for working with children, so she is very happy to be working with Lehrman children during the year. Lillian’sy hobbies include reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Jessica Leslie

    Early Childhood Teacher; Development Manager

    Jessica joined the Lehrman team in early 2015. A graduate of Barry University and a fourth generation Floridian, Ms. Jessica's philosophy is to provide a safe and positive learning environment while encouraging children to learn, explore, and express themselves. 

  • Caryn Matatof

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Caryn, a graduate of the University of Central Florida, taught at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El for six years before joining Lehrman in 2012.  Flexible, energetic, patient and caring, Caryn focuses on the strengths of each child by building confidence. She believes if you teach young children in a fun, happy environment, they tend to relate to you more and in turn develop a thirst for knowledge. Caryn enjoys being an early childhood educator and gaining knowledge through teaching.

  • Jelena Matovic

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Jelena was born in Serbia and moved to Oakdale, Long Island in 2001. It was there that she received her BA in History and Economics. We are glad that in 2005 she moved to Miami where she received her Masters Degree from FIU in Liberal Studies. Jelena, who once was a professional rower, loves beaches, parks and anything outdoors, and she especially loves spending time with her family. Jelena’s two children, Bosko and Magdalena, are Lehrman students.

  • Mika Nagli

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

  • Karen Offield

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Karen feels so fortunate to be a part of the Lehrman family; she has been in Florida since 2002. Originally from California, Karen has been teaching for thirteen years; in fact, teaching children is her passion. Karen is certified in the state of Florida to teach 0-5 (CDA ) and she earned an Associate degree in Early Childhood from Lake Tahoe Community College. Karen also loves volunteering her time with inner city youth on weekends along with her husband. She also loves reading, riding bikes, and spending time with family.

  • Jachelline Patino

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Jachelline, who came to Miami from Colombia in 2002, earned her BS in Family Professional Services. Jachelline says the best part of her job as an early childhood assistant is watching the kids learn and grow; she has been doing that at Lehrman since 2005. When not at school, Jachelline enjoys spending time with family and studying.

  • Maria Rangel

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Maria, who has a CDA Credential in Early Childhood Education, is a veteran teacher, including ten years at All Angels Academy prior to her arrival at Lehrman in 2011. She enjoys teaching the children in a loving and respectful atmosphere. Maria has two sons of her own: including one in high school and one in the Air Force. Outside of school, Maria enjoys photographing birthday celebrations, weddings, and other special events.

  • Jennifer Seretti

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Jennifer Seretti began working at Lehrman in 2012 as a part of our summer camp staff. Jen's positive attitude, infectious smile, and endless energy transforms our Turning Twos classroom into a wonderful place for children to grow and learn. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Jen hails from Pittsburgh, PA. She has a long history of working with children and came to Lehrman from Le Petit Papillon.

  • Paula Tucci

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Parents have seen Paula dancing and singing with their toddlers at Lehrman since 2003. Off campus her specialties are Zumba and salsa. In 1999 Paula came to Miami for vacation from Argentina, where she worked for a company specializing in sand production. She liked this town so much, she found herself coming back to live permanently! Paula is married to Eduardo and in her free time she enjoys having dinner with friends and playing with her beautiful shih tzu, Lola.

  • Everdina Vitiello

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Everdina was born and raised in The Netherlands. While a teen, she worked as an au-pair in Norwich, Great Britain. In 1981, Everdina moved to the USA to become an au-pair in Oakland, NJ, where she lived until she moved to Sunny Isles Beach with her husband in 2013. Everdina also worked for Headstart and the MBJCC. She joined the Lehrman team in December, 2014 where she loves working with children. Her other loves are husband Tony, daughter Kimberlee, and son Robert. In her spare time, Everdina enjoys riding her motorcycle, photography, knitting, baking, gardening, and traveling, but not necessarily in that order.

  • Natalie Volovelsky

    Early Childhood Teacher

    Natalie is a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher who began her career at the RASG Hebrew Academy, where she worked for eight years prior to coming to Lehrman. Natalie received her National CDA from Miami-Dade College.  She lived in Israel for seven years and she is married and has two adorable children. Natalie speaks three languages: English, Hebrew, and Russian.

  • Mila Yurovskaya

    Early Childhood Teaching Associate

    Mila came to the USA from Vilnius, Lithuania (the former USSR) with a degree in accounting. Only in America could her dream of working with children come true; she studied and received her CDA Certification from St. Thomas University. She also studied Behavioral Observation and Screening in Child Care at the Department of Children and Families at MDCC and Jewish Learning at Melton Academy. She came to Lehrman after 20 years at MAR JCC and Temple Sinai. As a typical “yiddishe momme,” she loves to be with children, read, bake and cook, sing, and dance.

Specialists

  • Nicole Abelson

    School Counselor

    Nicole, who came to Lehrman in 2009, was born in Tennessee and moved to St. Louis, Missouri at age 13. She received a BS degree in Business from the University of Kansas, and an MS degree in Dance Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in New York. Nicole became a South Floridian in 2004 and worked at area hospitals and rehabilitation centers, combining the arts and therapy. She also studied in London and traveled throughout Europe. When not at work, she dances as much as she can and spends time with family, including husband Scott and children, Thomas and Alexandra, both Lehrman students.

  • Daniel Barski

    Music Specialist

    Mr. Daniel, who was born in Argentina, came to the United States in 2001. He studied economics at the University of Buenos Aires and ran a company that entertained and amused children at thousands of birthday parties.  Daniel is also a composer and his “yo nunca vi” (I never saw) has more than 4 million views on youtube in its various international versions. He worked at Lehrman from 2004 to 2008 and returned in 2014. Father of two, Daniel is a soccer fan and enjoys barbecues with family and friends.

  • Deborah Brown

    Art Teacher

    Deborah’s students will tell you that there are no mistakes in art; they also put everything into their work. Deborah is an excellent role model: In between her BFA (Bachelor in Fine Arts), Magna Cum Laude and her MFA, both from the University of Miami, Deborah worked in galleries and had her own showings. She also studied art and art history in Italy, as well as ceramics at Alfred University in New York. At Lehrman Deborah has taught all ages and her students have participated and competed in competitions such as the Miami-Dade County Fair, the American Bar Association Law Day contest and the Miami Jewish Federation’s High Holiday Card Contest. She loves to bake, travel and be with family, including daughter Sarah, a Lehrman alum.

  • Luis Carreras

    Physical Education

  • Aaron Corliss

    Athletic Director

    Coach Aaron Corliss, a native Miamian, trained to be an EMT and a Paramedic. Later he returned to FIU and has coached for the City of North Miami and Village of Miami Shores. He came to Lehrman in 1998. Not surprisingly, Coach’s favorite place to be is outside: gardening, bike riding, running, swimming and going to the beach. He works out frequently and plays on a competitive Flag Football team.  Coach’s mother and brother live near by, and he is married to Danielle.

  • Michael Day

    Music/Drama Teacher

    Michael, who joined Lehrman in 2005, received his BFA from McGill University in Montreal. Michael is married to Janice and is a father of four, including one Lehrman student and one alum. He enjoys the challenge of teaching different musical instruments and engaging students in a variety of musical genres. A major passion of his is producing Lehrman’s Musical Theatre productions, which have included Oliver, Annie, Joseph, Aladdin, Fiddler on the Roof and Beauty and the Beast. Outside of school, Michael serves as professional musical director and musician. Other interests include cycling, outdoorsy stuff, reading and spending time with his family. 

  • Shea Polakow

    Science Specialist

    Shea, who is Miami-born, lived the first eight years of her life in Toronto before moving back to Miami where she received her BS degree in Biology from FIU. She and sons Chase and Cooper love camping and RV’ing together. They have been to the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, and Canada; their favorite destination is out west. They have hiked mountains and gone into bat caves and while in Georgia, they picked fruit and vegetables for Jimmy Carter’s childhood garden.
  • Diane Taub

    Technology Coordinator

    Diane became a techie before IBM developed the PC! After years in business, she taught at Bet Shira Solomon Schechter Day School and then Temple Beth Am. Diane came to Lehrman in 2006 to teach and take responsibility for all things technological. Diane uses rebuses to teach the insertion of graphics, and M & M’s to illustrate graphing. Mother of two married sons and grandmother to Julia, Ethan and Annabelle, Diane is also a past Region President of Hadassah; she currently serves as an elected member to the National Board.

  • Ilana Traub

    Media and Technology Specialist

    Ilana Traub is a graduate of Mills College (BA in Education) and Nova SoutheasternUniversity (MA Educational Technology), Ms. Traub is a veteran educator who came to us from Hochberg Preparatory School after spending 10 years at Hillel Community Day School as their Director of Educational Technology.  Ms. Traub helped us define and grow our iKnow Emporium as it develops as the hub of learning and discovery at Lehrman.  

Staff

  • Javier Almaguer

    Support Staff

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  • Joseph (Papa Joe) Galliotte

    Facilities Manager

    “Papa Joe,” beloved by generations of Lehrman kids, was born in Haiti, grew up in Brooklyn,  and moved to Miami in 1976. He has been strategizing Heats games with Lehrman students, parents and staff since 1996, but his heart has always belonged to his beloved Yankees. Papa is at Lehrman when the sun rises and he is still here way past sunset, yet he still finds time to watch sports, read, and spend time with his wife and their five children.

  • Harry Laveau

    Security Guard

    Every Lehrman student, from the tiniest to our fifth graders, loves to greet Mr. Harry as he helps them out of the cars in the morning. At pick-up, parents enjoy talking sports with Harry, who began working security for the Jewish community shortly after his arrival in Miami from Haiti in 1990. He and wife Mirlande have a son and a daughter; in his spare time Harry goes to shooting practice at the range and enjoys watching soccer, basketball and tennis.

  • Aharon Lerman

    Chef

    Aharon comes to Lehrman from IDIT catering, an Israeli catering service that pioneered a move to more diverse, healthy, and unique meals.  Aharon's responsibilities included food preparation, hiring and training all the chefs, as well as writing menus and recipe books for 30 different kitchens, providing him with plenty of experience catering for special and social events.  He is also familiar with the business sector of food management, handling purchasing and calculating food costs.  Aharon began his career as a chef working at Marie Antoinette Restaurant in Tel Aviv and Gramercy Tavern in New York.  He is fluent in Hebrew and Lehrmanourishment (a heretofore unknown area of food prep developed to provide your children with the best kosher food on the Beach). We welcome Chef Lerman to the Lehrman family! 

  • Oscar "Woody" Olea

    Support Staff

    Woody was born and raised in Miami and graduated from South Miami High School. He loves sports (his favorite team is the Miami Heat) and anything to do with the ocean, especially scuba diving and fishing. He enjoys antiques and his favorite place to spend his weekends is in Key West. Woody has two sons, Thomas and Joshua.

  • Rubina Williams

    Sous Chef

    Ruby, who has been at Lehrman since 2005, was born in South Carolina, but moved to Florida when she was five. She lived in New York for 20 years while her children finished school, but then moved back here where she has lived ever since. Ruby has three daughters and one son, and five grandchildren, all of whom live in New York; she visits them over the winter break. Away from Lehrman, Ruby spends time at church, attending services several times a day on Sundays.

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