Meet Our Teachers
Jackie has been working at The J since 2011. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Akron University in Child and Family Development. “I chose the field of Early Care and Education because I’m passionate about children and I recognize the life-long impact teachers can have on their young students and their families,” Jackie said. “I also know that brain growth is occurring so rapidly during these early years. My goal is to help children develop strong social and emotional skills – a necessity for school success, and help them cultivate a strong love of learning!”
Jackie has been a classroom teacher of toddlers, three and four-year-olds. “Teaching children of different ages has helped to expand my developmental framework and understanding. I love attuning to the unique qualities and dispositions of each age group,” said Jackie.
Jackie grew up in Solon, and currently lives in Twinsburg. “Although the end of the summer comes all too quickly, I can’t wait for school to begin – forming new relationships with children and families rejuvenates my spirit and energy each year!”
Lindsay is excited to be teaching at The J particularly because she knows first-hand how important an exceptional preschool experience can be as she is a graduate of an outstanding program herself. Lindsay is very familiar with our conscious discipline philosophy and believes learning and using techniques on how to manage emotions in children have lifelong benefits.
She is very grateful to be a part of our school family and believes every day is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Rebekah’s warmth, comfort and ease with young children are evident as soon as you meet her. Rebekah began teaching at The J in 2014.
Rebekah’s love of working with young children carried over with her as she moved with her family from Tucson, Arizona (where she worked as a camp director) to Beachwood. “One of my biggest passions in life is being in a classroom with young children where I can support, nurture and influence their positive growth,” Rebekah said. “I’m equally passionate about developing meaningful relationships with parents – we’re partners working towards a common goal to do what’s best for their children. The J is the perfect place for me to do this – the environment truly feels like a “home away from home.”
In addition to teaching, Rebekah is currently completing her degree in Early Childhood Education.
Bobbie has worked with children throughout her career. As a lifelong Clevelander, the Mandel JCC has played an important role in her life. In the past, she has worked at The J doing community outreach and program development. In addition, all three of her children have attended school and camp programs at The J. When Bobbie returned to The J to teach preschool, she felt that she was right where she was supposed to be.
Bobbie looks forward to spending every day in the classroom. She feels that when she helps children explore the world she is able to see things from a new point of view.
Deena has been working with children for many years, mostly through improv, where she has taught kids of all ages, including teaching social skills through improv to kids with autism. Deena incorporates her improv background into the classroom creating an environment of creativity, fun, and growth.
Deena has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bradley University and is thrilled to be teaching at The J, a place which has always felt like home. She believes kids must feel safe and nurtured to grow and learn, and feels privileged to provide them with what they need to thrive.
Talya is excited to join The J’s Early Childhood Team. Talya graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education and most recently, returned from a year-long program in Israel where she taught English to Hebrew-speaking children. Talya has worked for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in its Public Education Initiative where she managed reading tutors in eight different Cleveland City Schools.
Talya’s love for children began at an early age. She grew up in a close-knit family where living Jewish values and sustaining meaningful Jewish practices and traditions positively influenced and shaped the person she is today.
Talya is excited about facilitating a dynamic classroom experience where all children thrive. “Every day in the classroom is a new adventure – an opportunity for children and teachers alike to grow. It’s a two-way street – my students learn as much from me I learn from them,” she said.
Alex is delighted to be a part of The J’s Early Childhood team of educators. “The moment I entered The J, I had a wonderful feeling,” said Alex. The more I learned about the school philosophy, culture and the quality of program I knew for certain that The J and I would be the perfect fit!” Alex is the oldest of three children and carries strong family values. It comes as no surprise that our culture of “School Family” resonates so strongly with her.
Alex received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from John Carroll University and has spent a good part of her life working both formally and informally with children. Alex’s professional work includes in-home child care, working with children in a residential setting as well as tutoring local inner city youth. In every role, Alex helps all children become their best self.
In her spare time, Alex enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with family, friends and her beloved cat!
Jill has been teaching at the J since 2008 and enjoys watching her young students grow. Offering them guidance, support and encouragement is second nature to her. “It’s about building trust and connections with both parents and children,” she said. “We want parents to feel comfortable and secure in knowing that their children are receiving exceptional care while they are away from home. We all take our work seriously – and we love coming to work each day!”
Jill considers The J her “home away from home. ” It’s the exact feeling I want children to have when they come here each day,” she said.
Jill enjoys taking long walks and caring for animals. She lives in Beachwood with her son and dog Henry.
Lisa has been devoted to the Early Childhood field for over 17 years. She has worked with all ages of children from infants and toddlers to Pre-K and school aged students. Lisa holds a Child Development Associate certificate and a degree in Early Childhood Education. She was presented the Toddler Teacher of the Year award in 2005 from Tru-Mah-Col.
Lisa says, “I love being a part of children’s growth and development. They are curious and creative learners which I find fascinating to observe and foster”. Originally from Hubbard, Ohio, Lisa recently moved to the area in August. During her free time, Lisa enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, although her favorite past time is watching her two daughters perform on stage in plays and musicals.