Hillel Academy's new first grade teacher, Ms. Morgan Friedman, comes to us from Cleveland, Ohio, where she also taught at a Jewish day school. When asked about the differences she sees between Cleveland and the Steel City, she jokes: "I think the most obvious [difference] is the fact that the Cleveland Browns went 0-16 this football season and the Steelers went 13-3! Not only that, but Pittsburgh is very urban. Rather than living in neighborhoods, such as Squirrel Hill, many people [in Cleveland] live in the suburbs. Cleveland also gets a lot more snow from the lake. Pittsburgh gets the perfect amount."
Ms. Friedman finds Pittsburgh, however, much more convenient than the popular Cleveland neighborhood, Beachwood, where she previously lived. "Nobody in Beachwood walks to school or to their friend's houses," she comments - "it would be way too far!"
If you walk into the first grade classroom, you are sure to hear Ms. Friedman getting her class's attention using her favorite phrase, "Macaroni and cheese, everybody freeze!" Ms. Friedman currently teaches first grade general studies, and she loves to use the Smart Board, thanks to Ms. Langer. Ms. Friedman's favorite thing about teaching is seeing the students' creativity, as well as their social and academic growth throughout the school year.
Aside from teaching, Ms. Friedman enjoys reading, drawing, playing Candy Crush, and has found a newfound love for hockey. In middle and high school, she played basketball but because her high school was small, she decided to play softball and be a cheerleader, staying very busy. Currently, she loves supporting her Cleveland sports teams, including the Browns, but the Cavaliers remain her favorite.
Ms. Friedman is amazed by how many parents work at the school and says she absolutely loves it. "My mother worked at my school as well," she notes. When it comes to her family, Ms. Friedman provides a really cool fact about their names. "Everyone in my family has a name beginning with the letter M," she says. "My mother is Marci and she also teaches first grade general studies at a Jewish Day School. My father's name is Michael and he runs several car dealerships in Northeast Ohio. My sister, Mara, is 20 years old and studies journalism and communication at Arizona State University. She's also a photographer! I have a little brother too. Matthew is 16 years old and just left for Alexander Muss High School in Israel. He runs track and participates in Friendship Circle and NCSY. They're the best!"
Ms. Friedman's pets both have names that start with "M," too, and they sound pretty cute. "I have a dog named Macy. She's part cavalier spaniel and part bichon, like a stuffed animal! I also have a hedgehog named Maccabi. He's very photogenic, though he's not the friendliest."