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Faculty & Staff

SJCS staff and faculty can be reached by email at <firstinitial><last name>@sjcs.net

Faculty


Shoshi Bilavsky

Head of School

  • At SJCS since 2010
  • 20+ years teaching
  • M.A. in Judaic Studies with an emphasis on Bible and Jewish Education, Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies
  • B.A. in Education and Judaic Studies, Bar Ilan University & Talpyot College (joint program)

“As a Jewish educator, my philosophy of education is based on the principle that each individual is created b'zelem Elokim — in God's image — and therefore of infinite worth.”


Mary Grace Lentz

Kindergarten General Studies /Student Support Specialist

  • At SJCS since 2004
  • 15+ years teaching
  • Professional Certification in Elementary Education, Pacific Oaks College
  • M.A. in Human Development, Pacific Oaks College
  • B.A. in Performance Arts and Transpersonal Psychology, Prescott College

“The beauty of education is to guide the individual on a path of self-discovery. Through a facilitated curriculum, the child explores the beauty of nature and discovers his or her place in the interconnected world through engaged interaction.”


Shoshana Stombaugh

Kindergarten Judaic/Hebrew Studies/Music Specialist

  • At SJCS since 1991
  • 25 years teaching
  • Grinspoon/Steinhardt Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient, 2012
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Seattle University
  • B.A. in Speech Communication and Theater, University of Michigan

“I believe that human beings are natural learners, and that teachers teach best when teaching from their place of passion. Children learn best when they can trust that they will be respected, heard, and honored in both emotional and learning needs.”


Cari Pittleman

1st Grade General Studies

  • At SJCS since 2016
  • 5 years teaching
  • BA in International Studies and Spanish from Virginia Tech
  • MEd in Elementary Education from Marymount University

“I believe in providing students with a nurturing environment, rigorous academics, opportunities for interpersonal growth, and engaging instructional experiences in order to cultivate self-awareness, social responsibility, and a lifelong love of learning. ”


Mihal Bat-Or

1st Grade Judaics/1st, 2nd, 5th Grade Hebrew Studies

  • At SJCS since 1994
  • 25+ years teaching
  • B.H.L (Bachelor of Hebrew Letters), Gratz College
  • B.A. in Education, Temple University

“The role of the teacher is to support and facilitate students' growth in the areas of academic achievement, social skills, study skills, mitzvot, and the cultivation of dereh eretz.”


Debbie Clement

2nd Grade General Studies

  • At SJCS since 2008
  • 20+ years teaching
  • Teacher Certification, Seattle University
  • B.A. in Society and Justice, University of Washington

“My philosophy of education is to understand each child and modify the curriculum to meet his/her needs, to provide an engaging and fun curriculum so that every child will want to learn, and to help each student make a smooth transition into the intermediate grades.”


Stefanie Somers

1st & 2nd Grade Judaic Studies

  • At SJCS since 2016


Perri Erlitz

3rd Grade General Studies

  • At SJCS since 2016


Malka Rubin

3rd Grade Judaic/Hebrew Studies

  • At SJCS since 2013

“If a child cannot learn in the way we teach,we must teach in a way the child can learn.”


Amy Duncan

3rd Grade Associate Teacher

  • At SJCS since 2013
  • 15+ years teaching
  • M. Ed with Certification in Elementary Ed., Lesley College
  • B.A. in Art History, Brown University

“As educators, it is our responsibility to create a safe learning environment for our students. It is only when children feel safe — physically, emotionally and intellectually, that they will take risks, grow and thrive.”


Jane Shay

4th Grade General Studies

  • At SJCS since 2014
  • 5 years teaching
  • Master in Teaching, Seattle University
  • Teaching Certification, Seattle University
  • BA in Philosophy, Tufts University, Medford, MA

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats


Wendy Marcus

4th Grade Judaic Studies

  • At SJCS since 2016

“Wonder is an integral element to everything we do in class. We learn by singing, dancing, creating art, discussing, reading and writing and, yes, drilling Hebrew grammar, to foster a full body love of learning. The students and I take personal responsibility for broadening and enriching our worlds.”


Rabbi Emily Meyer

5th Grade Judaic Studies and Judaic Studies Coordinator

  • At SJCS since 2013
  • BA in Classics, Connecticut College
  • Rabbinic Ordination, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

“A child is not a vessel to be filled but a lamp to be lit.” —Proverbs


Tia Rizk

5th Grade General Studies

  • At SJCS since 2013
  • 14 years teaching
  • B.A. in English, Whitman College
  • Masters in Teaching, Seattle University

“All children inherently can and want to learn, and it’s my job as a teacher to work with each individual student and help them to excel, socially and academically. I believe every child has different strengths and that together we build a diverse community that will thrive by learning from each other.”


Anthony Boyles

Physical Education & Recess Specialist

  • At SJCS since 2016


Bibi Powell

Art Specialist

  • At SJCS since 2007
  • 10+ years teaching
  • A.A. (Associate of Art) in Graphic Design, Seattle Central Community College
  • B.A. in Humanities with Emphasis on Fine Arts, Seattle University

“I believe that education is about sharing the joy of learning with children concerning the wonderful, wide world around us, simultaneously expanding our understanding and horizons.”


Beth Schustek

Science & Library Specialist

  • At SJCS since 2014
  • BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Child Psychology
  • Masters Degree in Education and Curriculum instruction
  • 15 years teaching experience

“I believe in teaching the whole child, involving the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul. Partnering with parents, respecting the students as human beings, and fostering a nurturing environment is truly the only way to prepare children for the world in front of them and all the opportunities that come with it.”


Debra J.G. Butler

Learning Specialist

  • At SJCS since 2015
  • SJCS founding Head of School
  • M.Ed.Boston College
  • Massachusetts Teaching Certificate K-8
  • B.A. Brandeis University

“The best learning is individualized, respecting a child’s interests and passions.”


Jana Miller

Head Chef & Kitchen Coordinator

  • At SJCS since 2003
  • 38 years of working in field of education
  • BS in Home Economics Education (BS HEc Ed), Oregon State University
  • Masters of Home Economics (MHEc), Oregon State University

“At SJCS I see students eager to try new foods, learn to prepare unusual and difficult recipes. It is important to make each child feel successful and allow choices in the hot lunch program to fulfill nutritional needs.”


Eddie Raskin

After-School Enrichment Director & 3rd Grade Teaching Support

  • At SJCS since 2010
  • Teaching Certification, University of Washington - Bothell
  • B.A. in Anthropology, University of Victoria

“I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas.”


Staff


Yael Sachs

Yael Sachs

Director of Operations

Leah Gotz

Leah Gotz

Admissions and Marketing Manager

Heidi Stangvik

Heidi Stangvik

Director of Administrative Services

Cristy Magill

Cristy Magill

Development Manager

Kate Speizer

Kate Speizer

Summer Camp Manager