"It is the personality of the teacher which is the text that the pupils read; the text that they will never forget." - Abraham Joshua Heschel
The personality of the teacher and the relationships that s/he is able to create with students is at the heart of a successful educational experience, one that has the potential to have a lifelong impact. Heschel's insight about teachers is one that has guided our leadership team when we selected prospective educators and built our teams.
As our school continues to grow, we have spent the past six months interviewing, observing and discussing our staffing for the coming year. All of our new teachers hold teaching credentials, have classroom experience and possess that special spark that we look for. We are excited to introduce the following new educators to the Yavneh family.
Wendy Ron - Second Grade (Kitah Bet - Hitah), has over 14 years experience as a teacher in the bay area, including many years teaching second grade. She happens to have experience and expertise in many of the programs that Yavneh utilizes, including Responsive Classroom and Singapore Math. With a background in theater, Wendy has also taught performing arts to elementary and middle school students.
Elle Pann - Third Grade (Kitah Gimel), is a native of Saratoga, has a masters in education and holds a multiple subject teaching credential. She most recently taught third grade at Bullis Charter School in Los Altos where she was beloved by students, parents and administration. Elle has a true passion for teaching, and enjoys reading, hiking, and yoga.
Shelly Mizrachi - Third Grade (Kitah Gimel), hails from Kiryat Ata where she was an elementary school teacher. In recent years, she has worked in the U.S. as a shlichah/emissary-teacher of the World Zionist Organization, teaching Hebrew in both a Hebrew Charter school and a Jewish day school in the greater New York area. Shelly enjoys singing, traveling and watching movies.
Jennifer Khait - Fifth Grade (Kitah Hay), has been an educator for 12 years, having taught fifth grade for eight of those years. With a masters as well as a multi-subject teaching credential, Jennifer is passionate about utilizing innovative teaching practices to inspire children to learn and grow.
Shiran Bar Natan - Fifth Grade (Kitah Hay) and 6th grade Hebrew, recently arrived from Israel. She is a graduate of the Kibbutz Teaching Seminary and taught general studies as well as as Hebrew language at the elementary level. Shiran loves teaching and is motivated by a desire to help children grow to become responsible adults.
Please see below for a complete list of our classroom teams. Visit our website by clicking
for full bios of these and other teachers on our faculty.
I hope that you and your child(ren) will take advantage of our upcoming family conferences to get to meet your class teachers prior to the start of the school year.
I am very excited to welcome these new members to our team and look forward to a wonderful year of continued learning and growth!
Teaching Teams 2018 -19 (Teacher listed alphabetically by last name)
Kindergarten/ Gan Rimon - Nira Ben Simhon, Millie Greenberg
Kindergarten/ Gan Geffen - Michelle Mathews, Lee Weiner
Kitah Alef - Tamar (1st) - Grace Lee, Vered Zimmerman
Kitah Alef - T'enna (1st) - Tom Kerem, Yael Ross
Kitah Bet - Zayit (2nd) - Ilana Friedlander, Amy Schiff
Kitah Bet - Hitah (2nd) - Aviva Greenberg, Wendy Ron
Kitah Gimmel (3rd) - Shelly Mizrachi, Elle Pann
Kitah Dalet (4th) - Renee Fine
Kitah Hay (5th) - Shiran Bar Natan, Jennifer Khait
Language Arts - Jenessa Schwartz
Science - Maria Camissa
Jewish/Israel Curricular Integration Specialist - Jamie Zimmer
Global Research - Ted Pierce
Math - Ellen Abelar, Danielle Sapiens
Lower & Middle School shared faculty
STEAM - Vanina Sandel
Hebrew - Shiran BarNatan, Einat Freundlich, Lizi Sand
Math - Ellen Abelar, Danielle Sapiens
Art - Judy Schultz
Music/Modern Band - Lior Ben Hur, Nate Witherbee
Environmental Science - Rene Prupes
Note: Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper and Cindy Schlesinger, will also be teaching in certain classes.