Our Staff

Infant Class – Hebrew Name – T’Nokeya (Colloquialism for young child)

Ms. UD will be teaching her 7th year at CJDS and has over 25 years of experience teaching! She has a master’s degree in counseling and is now working on her doctoral degree in early childhood. Over the past years, Ms. UD has cared for infants and toddlers in private preschool programs and for five years at USC Children’s Center. Ms. UD is known for her vast knowledge of infant development and her meticulous care for each child.

Ms. Lia Stocker will start her second year at CJDS and serve as assistant teacher in the class. Ms. Lia has worked with children in summer camps and afternoon programs in Canada, Milwaukee, and California.  Ms. Lia is loving and nurturing with each child.

One-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Name – Zereh – Seeds

Ms. Hannah Hite will start her third year teaching the one-year-olds. Ms. Hannah had a great two years at CJDS where she loved and educated the children in her class. We look forward to another great year in the one-year-old class.

Ms. Maggie Cornely will start her third year teaching the one-year-olds and fourth year at CJDS. Ms. Maggie has served as a first-grade teacher, has worked at Hammond School with international students and has interned at the USC Children’s Center. The families of her students love Ms. Maggie.

Two-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Class Name – Shoresh – Root

Ms. Shalome Mangan (who goes by Ms. Sha’) has an AA degree in early childhood education and is working on her four-year degree. Ms. Sha’ has twenty-two years of experience in the early childhood field. Ms. Sha’ has worked as a lead teacher, assistant teacher, and at Edventure Museum. We look forward to another great year in Ms. Sha’s class.

Ms. Aubrey Sizemore will work with Ms. Sha’. Ms. Aubrey will start her second year at CJDS. She also  holds an AA degree in early childhood education. Ms. Aubrey is a loving teacher who goes the extra mile to communicate with each family and care for each child.

Two-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Name – Nevet – Sprouts

Ms. Sharny Barhydt holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She started her career by teaching at Burton Pack Elementary School and at the Main Street UMC Child Development Center. Ms. Sharny has taught at CJDS for the past 10 years. In these years Ms. Sharny has gained the reputation of being a great educator and is known for her loving manner.

Ms. Tracy Moore joined our staff two years ago and has become an invaluable member. Her early childhood knowhow, love of children, and organizational skills has positively impacted her classroom and the wider school. Ms. Tracy will once again partner with Ms. Sharny and help in our late afternoon care.

Three-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Name – Giv’all – Stem

Ms. Tiffayne Morris holds an AA degree in early childhood education and has twelve years of teaching experience. She has worked for five years at the Federal Child Development Center in the Strom Thurmond Building. For the past seven years Ms. Tiffayne has worked with both one and two-year olds at CJDS. Ms. Tiffayne is a highly requested teacher, as she is known for her warmth towards each child and family.

Ms. Deborah Glass holds a bachelor’s degree from USC in early childhood education with a gifted and talented certificate. Ms. Deborah is a military veteran and fluent speaker of Mandarin. Deborah will start her third year at CJDS. We are excited for Ms. Deborah and Ms. Tiffayne to team together to bring the best for each child.

Three-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Name – Alva – Leaves

Ms. Claire Beacraft will return for her second year at CJDS. Ms. Claire has a degree in education and is a registered nurse. Claire taught for three years as lead kindergarten teacher in Harmony School. She also has informal education experience working at the Jewish Community Center, Beth Shalom synagogue, and the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Her medical career had her working at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, Palmetto Health Baptist and as an emergency medical technician in Brevard County. We look forward to Ms. Claire starting her second year at CJDS.

Ms. Jennifer Whetstone Jackson will assist Claire in the classroom. Ms. Jennifer served as our PE teacher and has worked with almost every age group in CJDS. This is Ms. Jennifer’s second year with the threes. She holds a master’s degree and is known for her energy, kindness, and strong relationships with children and families. We are excited for this great team of educators to work with the threes.

Four-Year-Old Class- Hebrew Name – Tzemach – Plant

Sarah Banks Tapp is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Sarah Banks graduated Summa Cum Laude and appeared on the President’s and Dean’s multiple semesters. She has worked with young children in camp settings and in her internships in Irmo Elementary School and Rosewood Elementary School. Her references offered the advice, “Hire her now, she is an incredible educator.” We are thrilled that Sarah Banks has joined CJDS and we look forward to a great year!

Ms. Billie Green-Smith will start her sixth year at CJDS. Ms. Billie holds a master’s degree in education and has over twenty-five years in the field of early childhood education. She has served as lead teacher, center director and has worked at state agencies leading early childhood projects. Ms. Billie is excited to serve as lead teacher with the four-year-old children.

Preschool Torah Teachers

Morah Devorah and Morah Sarit will again be working with the children in the areas of Judaism and Hebrew. Morah Devorah leads the preschool Torah team and has been with the school for eleven years.

Hamorah Sarit is from Israel and has a teaching certificate from Amal Technical College in Petach-Tikva, Israel. For four years Sarit taught at a preschool in Florida. This coming year Sarit will add music to her daily routine visiting every preschool class each week. Both of these Judaic and Hebrew experts not only do a great job in their classrooms but add to the Jewish ethos of the entire school.


Ms. Becky Lourie will be teaching her 18th year at CJDS and has about 30 years of experience teaching! She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood from USC. Becky taught 2nd grade for 14 years before coming to our school and at CJDS has taught K3, K4, and is now teaching kindergarten for her 10thyear. Ms. Becky is known for her knowledge of kindergarten standards and her relaxed, nurturing disposition. Ms. Becky assistant will be announced in a future letter.

Ms. Vernetta Fogle will assist Ms. Becky. Ms. Vernetta will begin her tenth year at CJDS. She holds a master’s degree in physical education and has a wealth of experiences working with young children in many different settings. Ms. Vernetta is known as a brilliant educator! Her nurturing disposition and organization is a blessing to CJDS.

First Grade

We welcome Ms. Jill Allawos to CJDS. Jill has spent 35 years teaching in the public-school system of South Carolina. During those years, she has experience teaching grades 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and adults. She has a BA in elementary education from the University of South Carolina, and a MED from Southern Wesleyan University. She holds teaching certifications in elementary and middle school, in addition to an endorsement in gifted and talented education.  Jill also enjoys spending time with her family and her Shih Tzu mix rescue dog, Fred. She is an avid quilter and loves spending time in her sewing room.

Second Grade

Ms. Karen will start her second-year teaching second grade. She holds a degree in elementary education and is certified in early childhood along with “gifted and talented” certification. Karen has 12 years of teaching experience in second through fourth grade. Karen served as a mentor teacher in RSD1 and has expertise in classroom technology. Karen’s past principal stated, “Without a doubt the most caring and nurturing teacher I ever worked with.”

Third Grade

Ms. Valerie Hoyt has been at CJDS for eleven years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from USC and a Master’s Degree in Education/Divergent Learning from Columbia College. She is now working on writing her doctoral dissertation in curriculum studies. Ms. Valerie brings her passion for environmentalism, her love for children, and her wonderful creativity to her classroom.  Ms. Valerie has developed and led many school wide projects, including the Star Store recycling project, a school wide mail service and most recently led a mock trial.

Fourth and Fifth Grade

Ms. Robin Lourie will start her second year as the fourth and fifth grade social studies and language arts teacher. Robin holds a degree from University of Georgia. She has 14 years teaching experience and has been a national board-certified teacher for the past 10 years. Ms. Robin had a great first year at CJDS and we are excited for this upcoming school year.

Ms. Melanie Pace will start her second year as the math and science teacher. Melanie holds a degree in elementary education with a love for mathematics. Ms. Melanie did a wonderful job in her first year and we look forward to another great year.


Hamorah Vered has been teaching Hebrew to CJDS students (K-5) for fifteen years.  She was born and raised in Israel, has Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Computer Science, and is currently working on her a Master’s degree in Contemporary Jewish Studies.  Hamorah Vered uses the Tal-Am curriculum which is based on the notion that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through immersion and a variety of multi-sensory activities.  Students are encouraged to develop independent learning skills as well as a lifelong love of Jewish study.


Rabbi Hershel and HaMorah Pesha begin their third year teaching the elementary school Torah (Judaic subjects). Morah Pesha grew up in Toronto and Rabbi Hershel is from Wisconsin. Prior to teaching at CJDS they served as co-directors of Teen and Young Adult programming in Dayton, Ohio. Morah Pesha has taught in locations including New York, Ontario, and Finland.

Art and PE

Ms. Katie Seybt graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. She has always had a passion for art and a belief that art is not only everywhere but can be created by anyone. Katie played high school volleyball, softball and basketball at Stratford High School as well as collegiate softball and soccer at the University of South Carolina – Salkehatchie. She is striving to inspire children with a desire to better oneself and compassion for others through sportsmanship/teamwork in both art as well as physical education.


Ms. Angie Brady, Music Specialist, has taught music for 10 years previously in Richland One at Mill Creek Elementary School, Gymboree Play and Music and at Shannon United Methodist Preschool and Kindergarten.  She is mother of two, Michael (13) and Taylor (8), sings with the professional group, Palmetto Voices, active Booster Club member for the Westwood High Marching Band, and enjoys organizing, kayaking, reading and singing in her free time.

The Caring Team

Ms. Sinkler is in her fourteenth year at CJDS. Ms. Sinkler cares for the preschool children in after care till late in the afternoon. She has a love for gardening which is shared with the children.

Ms. Linda J is in her fifth year at CJDS. Ms. Linda cares for children in pre-care and helps with preschool classes. She is known for her love and organizational skills.

Ms. Sonja is in her fourth year at CJDS. She will care for preschool children and is one of our most requested substitutes.

Ms. Chaya will care for preschool children in the late afternoon. Chaya has most recently spent a year in Israel where she worked with children on a regular basis.

Ms. Lindsey will care for preschool children in the late afternoon. Lindsay substituted often last year and is known for her nurturing care of each child.

Ms. Ashley will care for preschool children in the afternoon. Ashley returns for her second year at CJDS. We look forward to her continued good work.

Ms. Kristen, beloved superstar teacher, will rejoin the staff caring for the first through third grade children in aftercare.