Faculty & Staff

ADMINISTRATION

HEAD OF SCHOOL – David Finell

David FinellDavid Finell has over twenty years of experience leading Jewish religious and Day Schools and spent eleven years directing Summit Middle Charter School, Colorado’s top academically performing middle school. As the former Head of School of Theodor Herzl Jewish Community Day School (Denver) and the Tehiyah Jewish Community Day School (El Cerrito, California), he has proven experience working in pluralistic environments respectful of reform, conservative, and orthodox practice. David Finell is himself a qualified leader of Jewish life and education as he holds both a Master of Arts and an Honorary Doctorate in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College, a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UC-Berkeley. EMAIL

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL – Elaine Kaplan

elkaplanElaine Kaplan has served as Rockwern’s Assistant Principal for the past three years and has taught here for the past nineteen years. In her first year as Assistant Principal, she chaired the Steering Committee for the ISACS Accreditation process. She has been responsible for General Studies in our K-8 program and in that capacity has overseen curriculum, discipline, standardized testing, and technology integration, while also teaching Language Arts in the upper grades and acting as the faculty advisor for our Student Council.  Mrs. Kaplan graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College, where she majored in American Studies. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Kaplan has taught fifth through ninth grade Language Arts and Social Studies for twenty-three years, the last nineteen at Yavneh/Rockwern. Mrs. Kaplan participated in creating Rockwern’s All-School Read program, and recently published an article about it in HaYidion, the quarterly journal for Prizmah. She and our librarian, Julia Weinstein, presented this program at the American Jewish Librarians’ national conference in 2015. For several years, Mrs. Kaplan led our school’s participation in the Jewish Court of All Time program for the Middle School and was invited to speak at their new teacher orientation at the University of Michigan in 2011. She also coached several of our award-winning Power of the Pen teams and taught after-school Creative Writing and Newspaper clubs. In 2011, Mrs. Kaplan was one of three teachers receiving the Joyce Heiman Education Excellence Award for the development and implementation of an interfaith educational program. Currently, she is studying Jewish Leadership in a program offered by Northwestern University and the Spertus Institute, and will receive a Certificate in Jewish Leadership in spring of 2017.  EMAIL

ECEC DIRECTOR – Sarah Oatney Weiler

saweiler Sarah Weiler is a long-time educator with a M.A. in Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK. She was formerly the Head of a bilingual school in Brazil for over a decade. Throughout her career she has taught preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school, as well as presented lectures at universities and international conferences. She is also the author of the new educational website: contemporaryeducation.com  EMAIL

Director of Development – Shary Levitt

Shary-Levitt1Shary Levitt is a professional fundraiser who spent much of her 20 year career working in the Jewish communities of New York, Buffalo and Cincinnati, and as a fundraising consultant for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Mrs. Levitt is a past volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Community Campaign, a former board member of JVS Career Services and Rockwern Academy. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA from Columbia University. Mrs. Levitt is dedicated to encouraging young families to send their children to Jewish day schools, Jewish camps and on peer trips to Israel. EMAIL

 BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS MANAGER – Jenny Wethington

Jenny picJenny earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Business Administration and over the years has acquired a diverse background in various business functions including: Accounting, Office Management, Real Estate, and Marketing. Most recently Ms. Wethington worked in the railroad industry where she spent over a decade in various roles at Genesee & Wyoming. EMAIL

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING – Tamar Poupko Smith

tasmith picTamar Poupko Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Communications from Yeshiva University and has been working in Jewish communities for fifteen years. Before moving with her family to Cincinnati in 2004, she was the Director of Marketing for an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. She had the same role at Jewish Vocational Service here in Cincinnati. This is her fourth year at Rockwern Academy. Tamar was the recipient of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Young Leadership Award in 2012 and the JCC Kavod Award in 2015. Tamar is a former board member at the Mayerson JCC and Congregation Shaarei Torah in Amberley Village.  EMAIL

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS & OUTREACH – Jennifer Grubbs

jennypicJennifer Grubbs earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication at the University of Cincinnati. After devoting some time to travels, Dr. Grubbs returned and earned an MA in Communication and an MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati and has a PhD in Anthropology from American University, Washington, D.C. As the Director of Admissions & Outreach, she is dedicated to building and sustaining strong community among both students and their families at Rockwern Academy. EMAIL

COORDINATOR OF JEWISH PROGRAMMING AND OUTREACH & JUDAIC STUDIES TEACHER – Etti Scheier

EttiEtti Scheier teaches Hebrew language and Judaic Studies to Rockwern’s ECEC and Kindergarten students. She is also the Rockwern Academy Coordinator of Jewish Programming and Outreach. Mrs. Scheier was the 2010-11 recipient of the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. She takes pride in enriching the lives of her students with a strong Jewish education and enjoys teaching about Israel, and the traditions and customs related to Jewish holidays through active learning and participation. Mrs. Scheier has been teaching at Yavneh/Rockwern for twenty-five years. EMAIL

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR – Jennifer Rubin

jerubinJennifer Rubin received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Behavioral Sciences from The Ohio State University and her master’s degree in school counseling from Xavier University. She has been working as our School Counselor since 2007 and thoroughly enjoys working with all of the children, Pre-K through 8th grade. EMAIL

 

DEVELOPMENT OFFICER – Maya Hirsch

maya picMaya Hirsch has over 10 years of experience in project management, program development, and marketing. Before moving to Cincinnati she served as Director of marketing & content at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.  Prior to that she worked as a project manager at Keter Books and as assistant manager of programming at Keshet Broadcasting. She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications & journalism and general and comparative literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  EMAIL

REGISTRAR – Renee DeBorde

redebordeRenee DeBorde has been with Yavneh Day School/Rockwern Academy since 1989. Ms. DeBorde oversees student records, the student directory,  Power School and other administrative duties. She enjoys working with the staff and families and seeing many former Yavneh students enroll their children at Rockwern.  EMAIL

 

SCHOOL NURSE – Polly Freeman

NOID1Y01238Polly Freeman received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco. She has been a nurse for thirty years in medical oncology, home health care and community health. She has been nursing at schools for the past fifteen years at Indian Hill, The Summit Country Day School and Cincinnati Country Day.  EMAIL

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – Rexann Roades

Rex3Rexann Roades attended WSU (formerly Western Washington State University) where she majored in History/Political Science and minored in education. She taught Science and Computers in Wasilla, Alaska for a year. She has worked at Rockwern Academy since 2003 as the Administrative Assistant and loves to greet students and families in the morning. EMAIL

 

ADMINISTRATIVE & PROGRAM ASSOCIATE – Sarah Ganson Shmoel

Sarah2Sarah Ganson Shmoel earned a Bachelor of Specialized Studies in Women and Gender Studies and Judaic Studies at Ohio University. Sarah provides support in both the front office and the development office. After spending six months in Israel on a MASA program, Sarah returned to Cincinnati and started working at Cincinnati Hillel. After two wonderful years of working with students and in the Jewish community, Sarah returned to school to earn her Master’s of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University. EMAIL

FACULTY

1535Cindy Reichman attended Indiana University and earned a B.A. in Speech Communications with a minor in Fine Arts. For the past four years, Cindy has been substitute teaching at the JCC preschool, Loveland and Mason City Schools. EMAIL1535Molly Sachs was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and is now in her second year at Rockwern Academy as a teacher assistant in the toddler room. Molly is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Additionally she has obtained minors in Psychology and Deaf Studies—allowing her to be proficient in sign language. In the fall of 2016 Molly earned a Masters of Arts in Inclusive Early Childhood education as well as her teaching Licensure. EMAIL

labass Lauren Bass is new to the Rockwern family this year, working in the ECEC as a teacher’s assistant. She recently graduated from Wittenberg University with a combined degree in early childhood education, sociology, and psychology. Lauren was born and raised on the west side of Cincinnati and in her free time enjoys hockey, swimming, and backpacking. EMAIL
debirckhead Deborah Birckhead received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from University of Arizona and has been teaching preschoolers and elementary school children for twenty-five years. Before coming to Rockwern, her teaching experience included 15 years of a “Music, Crafts and Storytime” class for preschoolers at the Alan R. Mack Parents Center at Jewish Family Service and six years at St. Vincent Ferrer School in Cincinnati. She has been teaching two year olds at Rockwern since 2006. EMAIL
elbirckhead Elizabeth Birckhead graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University in 2010 with a degree in Education. After several years of subbing and working as a teacher assistant in our ECEC,  Lizzie advanced to being a lead teacher in our two-year old class in 2014. EMAIL
brownell Toni Brownell grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Indian Hill High School. After graduating from college, she moved to Chicago where she met her husband. They came back to Cincinnati to raise their two children, Morgan and Peter. Toni graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in early childhood development. While in Chicago she worked as a teacher and director for a preschool/day care. She has taught 3 and 4 year olds for ten years and currently teaches one of our Pre-K classes. EMAIL
emcook Suzan Capozzoli graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor Degree in Education and a Master Degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Capozzoli has taught school for ten years, five of those in Florida and five in West Harford, Connecticut. She has taught all grade levels from kindergarten through fourth grade. The last six years she was a private tutor in the Sycamore School District and worked for Sycamore Special Services. She is excited to be part of the Rockwern family and looks forward to promoting a love of learning for our students now and into the future. EMAIL
aconnors Allison Connors has been a registered nurse over the last ten years, starting her career in Cleveland, Ohio working as a cardiac nurse. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. In 2011, after moving to Cincinnati with her family, she began working at TriHealth in areas of hospice and occupational health. Over the last five years, she also has worked in the Sycamore Community schools and is happy to now join the Rockwern Academy Staff. EMAIL
emcook Emily Cook is in her second year at Rockwern Academy. She is a Teacher’s Assistant in the ECEC.  Born and raised in Cincinnati, she graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts. In high school she was a lifeguard at Pleasant Ridge Community Center, where she became a swim instructor, swim team coach, and later a soccer coach.  EMAIL
judiekmeyer Judy Diekmeyer grew up in the Deer Park School district in Cincinnati and graduated from Deer Park in 1965. She attended Eastern Kentucky University for two years and then transferred to the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. Mrs. Diekmeyer immediately began teaching 6th grade in the Princeton School District and did so for six years before retiring to raise a family. In 1980, she returned to teaching at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School and remained there for twenty years. In 2000, she accepted an administrative position at Yavneh and has been teaching at Yavneh/Rockwern in various capacities ever since. Mrs. Diekmeyer currently teachers Language Arts and Math to our middle schoolers.  EMAIL
amfeldman Amber Feldman Amber Feldman has been teaching children of all ages for over 20 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Temple University  and earned her master’s of fine arts in theatre and education from the University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to Cincinnati, Amber worked with the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Atlanta, Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Alliance Theatre Education program. Her early work focused on training teachers in the classroom and on integrating the arts into the curriculum. Ms. Feldman was also a part of “Project 2000” working with the Dept. of Education to create national standards for arts education in the public schools. Since moving to Cincinnati she has taught at Playhouse in the Park, CCM Prep, Artswave and the JCC Early Childhood School. Ms. Feldman has been teaching Rockwern’s three year old class since 2013. EMAIL
mdgillotte Madeline Gillotte teaches one of Rockwern’s Pre-K classes. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ms. Gillotte, earned a Bachelor’s of Science in human development and family studies. Since graduation, she has worked for in-home daycares with children ages 3 months to 5 years. Ms. Gillotte came to Rockwern in 2013 when she became a teacher’s assistant in the preschool. She has been a lead teacher since 2015.  EMAIL
algoss Alyssa Goss was born and raised in Columbus, OH and earned bachelors of science in Early Childhood Education with a minor in special education from Miami University and is a fully licensed and certified teacher.  Ms. Goss is a teacher’s assistant in our four year old class. EMAIL
317 Kevin Guess has been a middle grades teacher for the past twenty-seven years, primarily teaching mathematics to students in grades 4-8. Mr. Guess graduated in 1991 from Berea College in south-central Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education and received his master’s degree in secondary education in 1998 from Northern Kentucky University. Mr. Guess has taught in a variety of school settings in the Cincinnati areand public schools. Mr. Guess teaches upper elementary and middle school math and science. EMAIL
shaas Sharon Haas received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Cincinnati and began teaching first grade at Swifton Primary. In 1979, after her two daughters were school age, Sharon came to Yavneh/Rockwern. She has taught second, third, and fourth grades and is now part of our ECEC staff.  EMAIL
rihouse Rita House has a bachelor’s Ddgree in education from Hofstra University. She has been teaching all ages of preschool at Yavneh/Rockwern for twenty-five years and currently teaches our three year olds.  EMAIL
caahern Carrie Konerman graduated from Tulane University in 2009 with a degree in African Diaspora Studies. She went on to attend culinary school at the Midwest Culinary Institute and earned a degree in pastry arts. Her many years of nannying, tutoring, and coaching young children led her to Rockwern, where she began her teaching career in the ECEC in 2011.  After 3 years in the ECEC, Carrie went back to school to earn her master’s degree in early childhood education from Mount Saint Joseph University.  During her studies, she worked in the Kindergarten classroom as a student teacher.  This is her second year teaching 1st grade at Rockwern  EMAIL
ckravitz Cindy Kravitz studied psychology at The Ohio State University and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Judaic Studies. She has four children who currently attend Rockwern Academy and one child who attends Mason High School, but is a proud Rockwern alumn. She began working at Rockwern Academy in 2010. She has also taught at Kehilla School for Creative Judaism and completed an internship at Rockwern Academy through the University of Cincinnati which involved tutoring students in Hebrew language. Cindy teachers our ECEC Toddler class. EMAIL
ckravitz Danielle Levine is a graduate of Indiana University and has a Bachelors of Science in English Education. Mrs. Levine is an educator with fifteen years of experience and has taught both middle school and high school. She spent the last ten years teaching in the South Orange Maplewood School District in South Orange, New Jersey. Mrs. Levine teaches Language Arts to our middle school students. EMAIL
rmendel Rachael Mendelson is thrilled to have joined the Rockwern Academy family this year. She was born and raised in Cincinnati, graduating from Sycamore High School, and even got her start here at the Rockwern Academy ECEC when she was a child. While school is not in session, Rachael spends her summers working at Camp Livingston, a regional Jewish sleepaway camp, building meaningful relationships with children in the Jewish community from the Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio areas. She has been working in Early Childhood Education since 2012 and is currently working towards her Early Childhood Education degree.  EMAIL
samountel Sally Mountel is a life-long resident of Cincinnati. After attending the University of Cincinnati, she worked in the banking industry until she began raising her family. While she was a full time mom of three, she worked a few years as a TA at the pre-school that her children attended. She worked in retail for approximately five years, but was glad to re-enter the early childhood education field. Mrs. Mountel is a TA in our ECEC since 2006. EMAIL
Idit Idit Moss holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters of Educational Administration. She has received additional training from the Jewish Community Day School Network (RAVSAK) in the Tal Am Hebrew curriculum, Project Sulam, and Judaic Studies leadership training. Idit had taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Rockwern Academy, CHDS and Sycamore and now teaches Judaic Studies to our 1st and 2nd grade.  EMAIL
D. Netanel Pic Dr. Deborah Netanel holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Rubin Academy of Music-Jerusalem, and the University of Cincinnati with areas of specialization in music, Jewish music and Judaic Studies and Holocaust Studies. She has presented papers and lectured at both national and international conferences and performed as a cellist and pianist all over the world. She is also an acclaimed composer with recent debut performances in London and New York City. Dr. Netanel lived for several years in Israel where she was trained to teach Hebrew language according to the well-known Ulpan method. Dr. Netanel has taught on the faculties of Hebrew University (Jerusalem), Wright State University, Miami University and the University of Cincinnati. She joined the faculty at Rockwern Academy in the fall of 2011 as a member of the the Judaic Studies and Hebrew language department and teaches our middle school students. In 2016, Dr. Netanel was a recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. EMAIL
yael pic Yael Newman received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation she taught Third grade for four years at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, and later she taught Fifth grade Humanities for three years at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (BZAEDS) in Chicago, Illinois. For the past three years, Mrs. Newman was a Third and Fourth grade Learning Specialist at BZAEDS, after completing her Reading Specialist degree from National Louis University. Mrs. Newman has been teaching Language Arts and Math to our 4th and 5th grade since 2015. EMAIL
marci Marcie Oliff  was an adjunct instructor through the University of Cincinnati Early Childhood program. She grew up in Cincinnati where she graduated from Sycamore High School. Her educational background includes graduating from Wheelock College in Boston, MA, with both a B.S. and M.S. in Early Childhood Education and Development. Mrs. Oliff received a Reading Endorsement Certificate through University of Cincinnati and has taught the four year old preschool children at Rockwern since 2004. EMAIL
suouziel Susan Ouziel earned her bachelor’s degree in education with a focus in math and science from the University of Cincinnati. Her interest in computer science led her back to UC to take additional classes in information processing. She has taught math, science, and computer classes for the past thirty years. EMAIL
1535 Mary Paden has been a teacher for over thirty years, with twenty-seven of them at Cincinnati Country Day school. Ms. Paden has been teaching 1st Grade at Rockwern since 2014 and graduated from Seven Hills and Ohio Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Education as well as a Reading Certificate. EMAIL
1483 Sari Schneider completed an undergraduate degree in Interior Design from The Ohio State University in 2006. She then went back to school to follow her passion of teaching children. She received her teaching license in Early Childhood Education, a Reading Endorsement and Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. Sari started her teaching career in Columbus as a Pre-K teacher. After moving back to her hometown of Cleveland she worked at the Agnon Jewish Community Day School as a Kindergarten and Second grade teacher. Ms. Schneider has been teaching second grade at Rockwern since 2014.  EMAIL
Sarah Scott Sarah Scott is in her ninth year working as a T.A. in Rockwern Academy’s Early Childhood Education Center. She also provides coverage for the school’s early morning drop off which provides a chance for her to meet the upper grade students or reconnect with her previous ECEC children. Before coming to Rockwern, Sarah also worked at the Pleasant Ridge Community center as a Preschool teacher and a camp counselor.  EMAIL
Sara Selig Sara Selig received her undergraduate degree at Indiana University, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. While living in Chicago, she earned her Masters of Elementary Education from DePaul University, and then worked for the Chicago Public Schools teaching 2nd and 3rd grade. She moved to Bloomington, Indiana with her family where she began to teach preschool at Gan Shalom Preschool, part of Congregation Beth Shalom. She worked there for 10 years, teaching ages ranging from 12 months to 5 years old. She relocated to Cincinnati ,her home town, in July of 2015. She is thrilled to part of the Rockwern community and the Jewish community of Cincinnati. She lives in Mt. Lookout with her son Drew and daughter Olivia.  EMAIL
Lisa Shapira Lisa Shapiro earned a BA from the University of Rochester after also attending Washington University in St. Louis with a major in English and elementary education. She taught at the JCC preschool in Rochester, N.Y. and the Vine Elementary School. Lisa has been teaching at Rockwern since 1987 and has served on Rockwern’s science curriculum, safety, and social studies curriculum committees. EMAIL
1536 Yoni Shear is from Philadelphia, PA and moved to Cincinnati with his family in 2015. Yoni teaches Judaic Studies at Rockwern in our Elementary and Middle School programs.  He previously taught Judaic Studies at The Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT from 2011-2014. There he developed and taught the 8th Grade Israel curriculum and attended the Israel trip. He lived in Israel for two years where he completed the Pardes Educators Program. At Pardes, Yoni focused on Tanakh studies and Jewish History while earning a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Mr. Shear also taught middle school at The Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas where he majored in Athletic Training. EMAIL
lshmalo Lauren Shmalo is thrilled to be joining the staff at Rockwern Academy, having going to Kindergarten at Yavneh, herself. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University and is a Double Gold Medalist with the United States Figure Skating Association. Around the DC metro area, and Cincinnati – Lauren has performed in over 50 Theatre Production, and has taught several hundreds of children how to ice skate. When not in the classroom, you can find Lauren teaching Pilates and Barre at the Cincinnati Sports Club. One of her hopes and dreams is to inspire and encourage her students to never give up. EMAIL
psmith Patty Smith earned her Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Later she attended the University of Cincinnati. She is certified to teach K-12. Patty has worked at various health spas and summer camps teaching exercise and physical education. She has been the Athletic Director at Rockwern Academy for the past thirty years.  EMAIL
gasperling Gail Sperling, Rockwern’s Student Resource Teacher, provides support for our students. Ms. Sperling earned a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Cincinnati, and began her career teaching kindergarten in the Milford Exempted School District. Ms. Sperling has taught at Rockwern Academy since 1979 in many different capacities. Gail is a certified Responsive Classroom trainer and consultant. She has led teacher workshops across the country and supports Rockwern staff in their implementation of Responsive Classroom strategies and techniques.  EMAIL
tistehlin Tina Stehlin has been a teacher’s assistant in the three-year-old class at Rockwern Academy since 2010. Having previously worked at St. Paul Nursery School and Norwood Service League,  Tina has twenty-five years’ experience in child care.  EMAIL
temp Ariella Toder is a native New Yorker who just relocated to Cincinnati. She has 16 years experience and training in the New York City public school system. Ms. Toder is a fully licensed, certified teacher specializing in early childhood and Kindergarten through 6th grade. She holds a Bachelor degree in Theater and English from Hunter College in New York City, a Masters in Education, also from Hunter College, as well as, 30 credits above her masters in education. Ms. Toder has a great rapport with children of all ages. Ms. Toder enjoys the arts, animals, yoga, singing, dancing, and meditation. EMAIL
juweinstein Julia Weinstein serves as the school Librarian and develops special educational and outreach programming. In addition to her day-to-day activities in the library, she has forged a cooperative partnership with the Hamilton County Public Library to greatly expand the library’s offerings. She regularly brings in guest speakers, who have included national award-winning writers and illustrators, storytellers and librarians, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and former players from the Cincinnati Reds and the Negro Leagues, among many others. She has worked with Language Arts teacher Elaine Kaplan to institute the school’s integrated “All-School Read” program. Julia played a key role in the “Three Cups of Tea” interfaith education program with the International Academy, Cincinnati’s Muslim day school, a program that garnered national attention, as well as a partnership with Pleasant Hill Academy, an inner-city CPS school. In 2011, Julia was one of three teachers to receive the Joyce Heiman Education Excellence Award. A former entrepreneur who owned and operated her own fine art photography gallery, Julia holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Washington. EMAIL
opweisberg Ophra Weisberg, Rockwern’s third grade Hebrew and Judaic Studies Teacher, received her bachelors degree from Barnard College in New York City majoring in Sociology and Education. She earned a Masters Degree in Education at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Ophra is licensed to teach grades K-8 and, except for a 3-year assignment as Principal of Judaic Studies at Rockwern Academy, she has taught almost all of those grades during her fifty years in the field of education. Ophra received the Kohl International Teaching Award in 1985 and the Greenspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2007. EMAIL
suwick Suzanne Wick earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech & Language Pathology from Miami University and her Master of Arts Degree from The University of Cincinnati. She has practiced speech language pathology for almost thirty years. Her work experience includes Cerebral Palsy Services Center at Children’s Hospital, University and Jewish Hospitals, multiple schools, and co-ownership of a private practice for 18 years. Suzanne is currently in her 13th year at Rockwern Academy as our Speech & Language Pathologist.  EMAIL
diwoloshin Diane Woloshin received her BFA in Art Education from the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Art, and Architecture (and has continued to earn more than 90 graduate credits in Art History). She has been teaching art at Yavneh/Rockwern for the past forty years. She has also taught art at Valley Temple and Adath Israel Religious schools, as well as 15 years at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.  EMAIL
swyatt Shawn Wyatt earned her Masters in Music from the University of South Florida and has taught music in private schools in both Florida and Arizona. She has also served as adjunct music faculty at Florida College and Southeastern University in Florida. One of Shawn’s most memorable experiences was serving as the rehearsal accompanist at the Zweinenberg Festival in Germany. Currently in her 10th year at Rockwern, Shawn loves her career in music and feels fortunate to be able to share her passion for music with children. EMAIL

 

STAFF

dudley coomer Dudley Coomer (Junior), a native of Hazard, KY, did farmwork, maintenance and construction before taking a job at the JCC. He worked for the JCC part-time for 15 years and 3 years part-time at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School. Junior has been at Rockwern for 18 years. In his free time he enjoys relaxing on his 10-acre farm where he keeps 7 horses, a goat, and a very fat barn cat. EMAIL
coomer James Coomer One of James’ many claims to fame is that he is Junior’s brother. James worked for Drees as a drywaller for 18 years before coming to Rockwern as a summer maintenance worker. James has been at Rockwern for seven years and serves as the head of the maintenance team. James enjoys fishing, NASCAR, and watching baseball and football. EMAIL
hampton Ed Hampton has been on Rockwern’s kitchen staff since 2006 and works with the maintenance team during the summer. He is a huge sports fan. EMAIL
Phillip Roades Phillip Roades has worked at Rockwern since 2004 in both the kitchen and maintenance department. Before coming to work at Rockwern, he worked over 20 years at Cincinnati Milacron. He loves greeting the students and families. Born and raised in the Cincinnati area, he enjoys long walks in the woods, fishing, and hiking the Alaskan wilderness. EMAIL
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