Our Staff

about Cutler Jewish Day School

Our programs

Administration

Ms. Kristin Devers – Cutler Jewish Day School Principal

Ms. Kristin joined the CJDS family in 2019. She has 16 years of educational experience including serving as a classroom teacher and the past 11 years as an administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Master in the Art of Teaching with a focus in Science from LaGrange College. In addition, she earned her Educational Specialist Degree in Principalship and Leadership from Arkansas State University. Currently, Ms. Kristin is working on her dissertation for the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at Arkansas State.

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Ms. Kristin holds a Professional Teaching Certificate from the state of South Carolina indicating she is highly qualified in Middle Level Science, Science, and certified as Secondary Principal with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early Adolescence Science. Ms. Kristin began her educational career teaching sophomore biology in Auburn, Alabama. After moving to South Carolina, she began teaching at Longleaf Middle School in Richland School District Two where she taught 7th grade science, served as a grade level team leader and head of the science department. For the past nine years, Ms. Kristin led the School of Zoological and Botanical Studies (ZooBot) housed at Longleaf Middle School. She was named the Magnet Schools of America Teacher of the Year Representative for Richland School District Two for 2018-2019, Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District State Teacher of the Year in 2017, and Teacher of the Year for Longleaf Middle School for 2015-2016. She has been trained and certified in Learning Centered Schools, Differentiated Instruction, Understanding By Design, Project Wild, and Project Wet. Kristin has also been trained as a project-based learning coach by the Buck Learning Institute. Ms. Krisitn has presented at numerous conferences at both the state and national level including South Carolina Middle School Association, Association for Constructivist Teaching, and Magnet Schools of America. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Kristin replied, “Six years ago I chose CJDS for my daughter because it felt like home. I have never forgotten that feeling. You can feel the love as soon as you step inside the doors of this school. I am thankful to call CJDS my home now. It is truly a special place.”

Ms. Billie green smith – Preschool Director

Ms. Billie began her career at CJDS in 2006, bringing with her over 30 years of experience in the field of education and family services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois and her Master in the  Art of teaching with an endorsement for Teacher Leadership and Coaching at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.

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Ms. Billie also studied at Erikson Institute in Chicago, completing coursework related to early childhood development, program administration and program advocacy. Ms. Billie has directed several large child care programs in Chicago and worked as a training coordinator for the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She initially began substituting at CJDS after retiring from the South Carolina Department of Social Services. When Ms. Billie was asked why she chose CJDS, she responded, “My 19 year old grandson attended CJDS from kindergarten to 3rd grade; during this time I fell in love with the mission and approach to learning that the Day School offers. As a substitute, I was able to see the continuity of learning from birth to fifth grade. As I joined the team as a teacher, I was able to help engage children in learning experiences and support their overall development.”

“A social-justice-oriented, child-centered school with an emphasis on outdoor play, autonomous creativity, community building, and emotional intelligence. My daughter has been attending this school since she was one year old (currently a kindergartener), and we are constantly amazed by the skills she learns there and with how much the administrators, teachers, and caregivers value and respond to each child.”

Catherine K.

Parent

Infant – Four-Year–Old Classes

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Young Infant Class – Hebrew Name – T’Nokeya: Young Child

Ms. Sunni

Ms. Sunni joined the CJDS staff in August 2020. She has eight years of previous experience in early childhood care. Ms. Sunni was also trained by our beloved Ms. Ud. She has four teenagers of her own and loves spending time with her family and friends. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Sunni responded, “Because of the wonderful things I have heard about the active nurturing and care in the classroom. I wanted to be at a school that promotes loving children and values staff.”

Ms. Taniesha

Ms. Taniesha joined the CJDS staff in 2021. She has fourteen years of previous experience in early childhood care.

Older Infants Class – Hebrew Name – Zereh: Seeds

Ms. Shauna

Ms. Shauna came to CJDS in 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. Ms. Shauna began working with preschool children during college. She has also taught English at the elementary level while living in Israel. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Shauna replied, “Since the Jewish community in the South is small, I wanted to work somewhere that ensured I would be surrounded by Jewish values. I also love working with children to teach Judaism. CJDS gives me the best of both worlds.”

Ms. Krystal

Ms. Krystal joined the CJDS family in 2021. She has over 18 years of experience working with young children. Ms. Krystal has three young children of her own.

One-Year-Old Class (1) – Hebrew Name – Shoresh: Roots

Ms. Stephanie Boutte joined the CJDS family in 2020 after previously serving as a 3-year-old teacher at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. She also has experience working with children with special needs. Ms. Stephanie is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in Special Education at South Carolina State University.  When Ms. Stephanie was asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, she replied, “I chose to work at CJDS in order to grow with these future leaders in many ways. I look forward to spreading knowledge and teaching respect for others and nature. Everyone should realize that we are all the same as humans yet we all have different purposes. CJDS is a wonderful place that uses a wonderful self-driven curriculum.”

Ms. Lynn Cassidy is happy to be part of the team at CJDS. She joined the staff at CJDS in January of 2016 as a substitute and in 2019 became an assistant teacher.

Prior to moving to Columbia in 2015 from Maryland, Ms. Lynn was the office manager for a successful dental practice for 18 years. She iis a native Pittsburgher and you will see her in her Steeler, Penguin and Pirate t-shirts throughout the school year. She shares her love of cross stitching with her students.

She has a kind and nurturing soul and adores working with all ages of children but the ones hold a special place in her heart. When asked why she chose to work at CJDS, Ms. Lynn replied, ”The teachers at CJDS are my role models and every day is a learning experience”.

One-Year-Old Class (2) – Hebrew Name – Shoresh: Roots

Ms. Niomi

Ms. Niomi joined the CJDS family in 2020. She has several early childhood credentials and has been teaching in early childhood education for eight years. When asked why she chose to come to CJDS, Ms. Niomi responded, “One of the reasons I chose to work at CJDS is because I believe the curriculum to be one of a kind. Another reason is the fact that there is great emphasis on outdoor play/activities for the children (I also love the outdoors and nature) And most importantly there is a great degree of love, care, and acceptance given here at CJDS.”

Ms. Sequoia

Ms. Sequoia joined the CJDS family in 2021. She was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Ms. Sequoia has been in childcare for the past fourteen years. She has worked at multiple childcare facilities including Brookland Academy, Saint Michaels ELC, and St. Paul Lutheran. Ms. Sequoia holds her ECD101 certificate in childcare as well as her SCPITC (South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care) certificate. She is currently attending the University of Phoenix to obtain her bachelor’s degree.

Two-Year-Old Class – Hebrew Name – Giv’all: Stems

Ms. Holly McCall came to CJDS in 2019 after serving as an educator at Trenholm Road United Methodist Preschool and After school Care for 8 years, working with infants to school-age children. She received her Associate’s degree in Early Care and Education from Midlands Technical College. Ms. Holly holds a Bachelor of Humanities Degree in Behavioral Science from Columbia College. She is currently in school to earn a Master of Science Degree in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University.  Ms. Holly has received credentials in South Carolina Early Childhood, South Carolina Special Needs, and South Carolina Preschool. She has been trained at the ChildCare Education Institute, South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children and First Steps. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Holly replied, “I chose CJDS because of the progressive and growing nature of the school. The school is a representation of our society, having multiple cultures that are merged together for one common goal: Educating young minds.”

Ms. Ana joined the CJDS staff in 2020. She previously worked at a Jewish school in Myrtle Beach where she learned to speak Hebrew. Ms. Ana holds a certificate in Early Care and Education. She comes to CJDS with six years of working in the childcare field with infants to school-age children. When asked why she chose to work at CJDS, Ms. Ana replied, “I believe in diversity and supporting children through their developmental growth. CJDS promotes these ideas every day.”

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

Ms. Kenzie was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. She joined the CJDS family in 2021 with seventeen years of experience working with young children. She has previously worked at Asbury Methodist PresechooI, Big Blue Marble Academy, and student taught at both Shandon Child Development Center and Brockman Elementary. Ms. Kenzie holds a degree in Early Childhood and Education. When asked why she chose to work at CJDS, Ms. Kenzie replied “I am happy that I’ll be working at Cutler Jewish Day School because it will be a new experience for me and I can grow as a teacher.”

Ms. Amy joined CJDS again in August 2021 this year. She previously taught at CJDS before moving to Tennessee. Ms. Amy graduated from the University of South Carolina where she was one of Rabbi Meir’s former students. She used to teach the three-year-old class with Ms. Vernetta leading them in amazing inquiry projects including a detailed study of the symphony and a protest march to study about civil rights. Ms. Amy is expecting her first child in December.

Three-Year-Old Class Hebrew Name – Perech: Blossom

Ms. Lindsey Feder began her career at CJDS in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Education from the University of South Carolina. Ms. Lindsey has received training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy and has over 4 years of experience working with a wide range of ages of children with various behavioral needs. She teaches children during the Creative Fit and Fun Camp housed at CJDS during the summer. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, she replied: “I choose to teach here, because I love the students and getting to help them learn as they grow.”

Ms. Barbara joined the CJDS family in 2021. She brings over 33 years of experience working with children to our school. Ms. Barbara has previously worked in ABC Quality and NAEYC accredited schools. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and multiple certificates in this area. Ms. Barbara enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and sharing her love of learning with them. Ms. Barbara believes teaching is a work from the heart.

PreK/K Class Hebrew Name – Peirot: Fruit

Ms. Shalome Mangan has been at CJDS since 2014. She has 25 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. Ms. Shalome has an Associates degree in Early Care and Education from Midlands Technical College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia College and is currently working on her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Shalome has been certified in Project Learning Tree of South Carolina. In addition, she has earned certifications in SC Early Childhood, Preschool and Special Needs Credentials, Infant and Toddler Care, Social & Emotional Development, and NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children.) Ms. Shalome has been trained in Health & Safety, Health & Nutrition, and NAEYC Code of Ethics.  She has educated children at the at Apple Tree Early Learning Center, Family Christian Academy, Children’s Place at the University of South Carolina, Lake Carolina Early Learning Center, and Edventure Children’s Museum and Afterschool Program. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Shalome answered, “I choose to teach here at CJDS because I love to watch children develop and grow, through inquiry which helps them think for themselves as well as develop new ideas. As a teacher, it is my job to make sure that I connect with my students and families as I serve them. It is through my positive interaction and positive influence that connects with them as they grow. CONNECT – SERVE – GROW”

Four-Year-Old Class Hebrew Name – Tzemach: Plants

Ms. Sharny Barhydt joined the CJDS family in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Winthrop University. Prior to serving our students at CJDS, Ms. Sharny taught 4k and 3rd grade at Burton Pack Elementary for 10 years. She also spent time as an educator with all age groups of children while working at Main Street Developmental Center. In 2014,  Ms. Sharny completed the South Carolina Program for Infant and Toddler Care Training. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Sharny responded, “I started at CJDS because it seemed like such a wonderful atmosphere to work in. I then fell in love with the community and educational philosophy as I enrolled my own children and continued to work here for going on 11years!”

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Preschool – 5th Grade Classes

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Preschool Torah Teachers

Morah Mushka will again be working with the children in the areas of Judaism and Hebrew.

Morah Mushka joined the CJDS staff in 2021. She has vast experience in teaching Judaism to children. She spent one year of teaching seminary in Italy and another year teaching seminary in Ukraine. Morah Mushka student taught in ohr Avner day school and volunteered in an orphanage while in Ukraine. She has served as a preschool assistant in several schools. Morah Mushka also has been a counselor and staff member in various Jewish day camps and overnight camps during the past ten years. She also led a birthright trip to Israel in 2014. Morah Mushka and her family moved to Columbia from California where she spent 5 years teaching elementary ages in the Hebrew Academy of Orange County. Morah Mushka shared that she looked forward to teaching at CJDS this year.

Kindergarten

Ms. Vernetta Fogle came to CJDS in 2007 and has been in the field of education for more than 30 years. She has served as an educator to special needs children at both the elementary and middle school level in Cumberland County School Systems in Fayetteville, North Carolina. During this time she coached girls track, softball, basketball, volleyball, and refereed youth basketball.  Ms. Vernetta also substituted in both Richland One and Two school districts as well as working for Montessori Schools in Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Sports/Exercise Science from The University of North Carolina. Ms. Vernetta also earned a Master of Arts degree in Sports Administration from The University of North Carolina. When asked why she chose CJDS she responded, “I enjoy working with all children. CJDS is unique and I want to be a continuing part of its excellence. I thrive to contribute to its continued success.”

First Grade

Ms. Melanie Pace came to CJDS in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.  Ms. Melanie holds a Professional Teaching Certificate from the state of South Carolina in Elementary Education. She is a member of Pi Lambda Theta, an honor society and professional association for educators.  She was a student teacher at Cutler Jewish Day School and continues to participate in professional development opportunities through organizations such as the Alliance for Climate Education and the Association for Constructivist Teaching. Previously, Ms. Melanie worked at the Jewish Community Center as the Member Services Manager. In that role, Ms. Melanie directed spring and winter break camps and after school program with tutoring, recreational and sports activities varying in ages from two to fifteen years old.  When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Melanie replied, “I chose to work at CJDS because the philosophies of teaching and pillars of the school are important to her. I felt this school was the most welcoming and nurturing. I believe the best practices in education are evident at CJDS – meeting individual needs of students, project-based learning and constructionist theory, and integrating social justice issues.”

Ms. Lianna came to CJDS in 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina.  Ms. Lianna holds a Teaching Certificate from the state of South Carolina in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She was the 2021 recipient of the Early Childhood Social Justice Award for her work in antiracist education.  Ms. Lianna developed a passion for teaching at a young age and began working with children in various recreational, religious, and academic settings in 2015. She worked as an early childhood educator in her home state of Massachusetts for 3 years, serving as a lead teacher in the 2-year-old room and in the preschool.  Ms. Lianna was a student teacher at CJDS and has continued her professional development through Orton Gillingham training. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Lianna replied, “I absolutely fell in love with the culture of CJDS. I love the way the teachers and families come together to individualize each child’s educational experience. The integration of Judaic studies, academics, and social justice into nurturing constructivist classrooms is truly magical and I feel honored to have the opportunity to work here.”

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Second Grade

Ms. Karen Counts came to CJDS in 2017 after teaching kindergarten through fourth grade in both Florida and South Carolina public schools. She also spent three years as a lead teacher at The Children’s Center at the University of South Carolina. Ms. Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from Columbia College with additional Gifted and Talented credit from Coastal Carolina University. She holds a Professional Teaching Certificate from the State of South Carolina in Elementary Education and  Early Childhood Education with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement. When Ms. Karen was asked why she chose CJDS, she responded, “I came to teach at CJDS because of the reputation it holds in inquiry-based education. I love the family atmosphere, students, staff, and administration’s outlook toward student collaboration promoting learning. Students and teachers are highly valued at CJDS.”

Multiage First/Second

Third Grade

Ms. Rachel joined the CJDS family in 2020. She has been teaching for over 15 years, including teaching for 3 years in South Korea, and a year in Germany.  She has taught in both public and private daycares, academies, and schools and all over the country and the world. Ms. Rachel is duly certified in both Early Childhood and Elementary. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, Excelsior College, and the ITeachTX program. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Rachel responded, “I wholeheartedly believe every child can learn and that kids learn best when they investigate their world around them in project-based, inquiry, hands-on learning. At CJDS kids are not only encouraged to explore their own passions but enabled.  The wonderful teacher of nature, family, and culture are celebrated here.  The ideals of the school echo my personal beliefs in how to best help and guide children to desire lifelong learning and I can’t wait to be a part of such a learning, loving family.”

Fourth Grade

Ms. Valerie  Parrish-Hoyt began teaching at CJDS in 2007. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina. She was awarded her master’s degree in education from Columbia College. Her thesis explored student-led conferences within a kindergarten classroom. Ms. Val has earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of South Carolina. Her dissertation was focused on the implementation of a Forest School Approach in a third grade classroom. She has presented at many state, regional and national conferences sharing her expertise in  Project Based Learning and the implementation of Forest School principles within classroom curriculum. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Val responded, “At CJDS I am given the opportunity to teach without limits or restrictions.” 

Fifth Grade

Ms. Robin Lourie came to CJDS in 2016 after being a public school teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Georgia. Ms. Robin earned her teacher certification in both Georgia and South Carolina. She is also recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher. Ms. Robin taught ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for one year at Conder Elementary School in Richland School District Two. After that, she moved into teaching fourth grade. She has also taught at Bethel-Hanberry and Bridge Creek Elementary Schools.  When asked why she chooses to teach at CJDS, Ms. Robin says, “My teacher education program focused on the Constructivist theory of teaching. It was a delight to find a school that practices this belief in children building their own knowledge. When I walked in the doors I felt the magic and love and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to be a part of this learning community.”

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“Student centered learning through inquiry and projects, focus on nurturing and embracing individual needs of each child, teaching them to be kind and helpful. a wonderful place to learn and grow.”

Melanie A.

Hebrew & Torah Teachers

Hebrew

Hamorah Vered has served the students at CJDS since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Computer Science from Bar Ilan University as well as completing all Masters’s degree requirements for Contemporary Judaism.  Morah Vered has been to multiple Tal am training institutes for grades 1-5 as well as iTalam grade 2 curriculum. She completed the “People, Place & Self” Teacher Training Institute through the David Project. In association with Emory University, Morah Vered attended Modern Israel’s History, Politics, and Culture Seminar through the Center for Israel Education. She has also completed the Legacy Heritage Teacher Institute through LHF and the Hebrew University.  When asked why she chose CJDS, Morah Vered responded, “Because it is a Jewish school whose mission and needs align with my core beliefs and abilities. For me teaching Hebrew is a way to bridge between my student’s contemporary world and the Jewish history and it’s a wealth of wisdom and lessons it can teach us today.”

Hamorah Sarit came to CJDS in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Accounting 1 & 2 from the Technical College Amal. Morah Sarit has been trained and earned numerous certifications such as Early Literacy for Children Age Birth to Three,  ASQ for the Developing Child, Facility Rules & Regulations, Health, Safety, & Nutrition, Abuse & Neglect Recognition, Child Growth & Development, Behavioral Observations & Screening, and Special Needs Appropriate Practices. She served students at a preschool in Florida before moving to South Carolina. When Morah Sarit was asked why she chose  the Cutler Jewish Day School, she responded, “I chose to work at CJDS not only because I can share my first language but also to encourage kids that they can always learn new things in a safe, fun, and positive way.”

Torah

Rabbi Hershel: Administrator of Jewish Studies came to CJDS in 2016. He received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbinical College of Pretoria, South Africa in 2010 as well as an advanced rabbinical ordination by the Av Bet Din of Toronto, Canada. Rabbi Hershel was previously Co-Director of Teen and Young Adult Programming at Chabad of Greater Dayton and before that a  Researcher for the Yahadus Curriculum for Jewish Schools. He also has multiple years of experience in informal Jewish education. When asked why he chose CJDS, Rabbi Hershel responded, “I love teaching at CJDS! our school has a philosophy of unconditional love for every student, which is reflected in every room and every interaction.”

 

HaMorah Pesha: Administrator of Jewish Studies started at CJDS in 2016. She graduated from Teaching Seminary Chaya Mushka of Tzfat Israel. She completed a teaching internship in Helsinki Finland in 2011. Morah Pesha was a teaching assistant at Cheder Chabad of Thornhill in Ontario, Canada. She also served as a teacher at Preschool of the Arts at Chabad of York Mills in Toronto and DUMBO Preschool in Brooklyn, New York. In addition, Morah Pesha was the Co-director of Teen and Young Adult Programming of Chabad of Greater Dayton and the Director of Camp Leah Rivkah, which specializes in informal Jewish education. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, Morah Pesha replied, “CJDS gives unconditional love to every child that walks through the doors and strives to bring out the full potential of every student. It is a great honor to teach at CJDS!”

Jewish Studies

Rabbi Mendy joined the CJDS family this year. He grew up in Montreal, Canada, and has five years of experience teaching Jewish Studies. Prior to coming to CJDS, Rabbi Mendy taught at the Hebrew Academy of Huntington Beach in California. He holds a Rabbinical degree from the Rabbinical College in Brooklyn, NY, and completed training programs in both California and New York. When asked why he chose CJDS, Rabbi Mendy replied, “At CJDS we don’t just say we are a family, we truly treat each other as a family.”

Extra Curriculars

Dance

Natalia Bostic is a native of Florence, SC, and currently resides in Columbia with her husband  Nicholas and children Jaiden and Nina.  She is a 2001 honor graduate of Florence School District One.  Natalia continued her studies at Winthrop University earning her Bachelors’s degree in Spanish with a double minor in Dance and Vocal Performance.   As a student,  Natalia was afforded the opportunity to study Advance Language,  Business,  and Flamenco Dance at the Universidad de Salamanca.

Natalia earned her Masters of Education in Secondary Education and ESL from the American College of Education.  She holds teacher licensure in the states of Indiana and South Carolina and is so proud to have used her knowledge as an educator with 15 years of experience in Florence,  Orangeburg, Lexington, and Richland County Schools.

Natalia currently serves as director of the Jai Spark Academy After- School and as of 2001 a  Dance instructor for Cutler Jewish Day School. As a teacher, it is Natalia’s firm belief that you must continually wear the hat of a student.   In order to grow one has to be willing to learn.   Being a member of the CJDS team, even for this short time, has already taught so much and it is exciting to know that there is much more in store.

The Caring Team

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Ms. Shemaine Thorton

Ms. Shemaine Thornton came to CJDS in 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Columbia College with additional graduate work in History from the University of South Carolina. She holds a Professional teaching certificate from the state of South Carolina in Elementary Education. Ms. Shermaine spent the majority of her career in education teaching  Science and Social Studies. She has been trained in Nature-Based Inquiry (NBI) and participated in a 3 years grant, Teaching American History. Additionally, In addition, Ms. Shermaine taught Elements of Art this past summer. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, Ms. Shermain responded, “ I love the caring and compassionate environment at CJDS.”

Ms. Lisa Aiken

Ms. Lisa Aiken joined the CJDS family in March 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of South Carolina. She has a wealth of experience as she has been caring for children for many years. Ms. Lisa serves as a teacher assistant in several of the preschool classrooms during the day. She also teaches during our aftercare program Ms. Lisa is also a teacher at the Creative Fit and Fun Camp housed at the Cutler Jewish Day School during the summer. When Ms. Lisa was asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, she answered, “I get to interact with many different children during the day and the leadership at CJDS is exceptional.”

Ms. Sinkler

Ms. Sinkler joined the CJDS family in 2002, as an aftercare teacher and Child Adult Care Food Program monitor. She has received training and certification from the Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC). Ms. Sinkler has also participated in the “Be Well, Care Well,” training available through South Carolina Program for Infant and Toddler Care. In addition, she is trained in both Infant and Adult CPR and first aid.  When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Sinkler replied, “I love the children at this school.”

Ms. Linda

Ms. Linda has been at CJDS since 2014 after 30 years of working in Richland One and subsequently retiring from Richland One. During her time in Richland One, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at Horrell Hill and Mill Creek Elementary as well as Dreher High School. Ms. Linda holds an associate degree from the University of South Carolina in business. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, Ms. Linda replied,  “My granddaughter attended CJDS from age 2 through 5th grade. As I would pick her up each afternoon, I saw the greatness of CJDS in so many ways. I let it be known that I would love to be a part of CJDS when I retire.”

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Ms. Jill Allawos

Ms. Jill Allawos came to CJDS in 2018 after teaching in Lexington One and Richland One public schools (grades 4-7 and Adult Education) for 36 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina and her Masters of Education from Southern Wesleyan as well as becoming certified in Elementary Education with a Gifted and Talented Education endorsement from the state of South Carolina. Ms. Jill has been trained in Coached Project and Assessment at the Paidea National Training Center. She has also received training from the Writing Improvement Network. Most recently, she attended R.I.S.E. training through Dyslexia Resource Center to assist struggling readers. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, she answered, “Cutler offered me the opportunity to teach in the way I know children learn best. Student-driven curriculum is my passion, and I find I learn every day from these children.”

Ms. Evelyn Gaton

Ms. Evelyn Gaton began her career at CJDS in 2015. She went to college for culinary arts and medical coding. Ms. Evelyn has completed Pro Solutions Training and Be Well Care Well Training. She has also been a Sunday School educator at the Tree of Life synagogue for preschool-age children. In addition, Ms. Evelyn worked Camp Gesher for preschool-age children for multiple years. She assists in all classrooms and takes care of all the supplies and our teachers. When asked why she chose the Cutler Jewish Day School, she replied, “I chose to teach at CJDS due to the quality of education, the size of the school, and being able to get to know the students on a one by one basis.”

After Care Staff

Alyssa Rhodes

Alyssa Rhodes is currently a junior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Mathematics. She is originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Throughout her four years of high school, Alyssa worked as a babysitter as well as a camp counselor during the summer. This is her second year teaching elementary aftercare at CJDS and she said she loves every minute of it!

 

Gabbie Simpson

Gabbie Simpson is originally from New Jersey and is currently in her senior year at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed her internship at CJDS in second grade with Ms. Karen. Gabbie plans on working with early elementary students when she graduates. Ms. Gabbie teaches elementary aftercare at CJDS.

Cheyenne Jones

Cheyenne is from Florence, South Carolina. She is currently a senior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Early Childhood education. Cheyenne has 2 years of experience in childcare. She teaches preschool aftercare at CJDS.

Joyce Brooks

Joyce Brooks is currently in my final year of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina. She was born in Wiesbaden, Germany due to growing up in a military family. Ms. Joyce has worked with children since she was in middle school both babysitting and junior counseling during the summer. She has also worked with taught after-school, served as a counselor during the summers, and was the step/cheer coach for an elementary school.  After graduation in May, she plans on working as a kindergarten teacher in the Richland one school district.

Marissa McCullum

Marissa McCollum is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Early Childhood Education. She was born in North Carolina but has lived in Georgia, Germany, Arizona, and now resides in South Carolina. After graduation, she plans on becoming an international teacher.

 

Kalika Bridwell

Kalika began working at CJDS in 2020 as an after care teacher. She is currently a junior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. Kalika is originally from Reidville, South Carolina. She is planning to pursue a Masters in speech-language pathology after graduation. Kalika previously worked at Miracles Learning Center. When asked why she chose to work at CJDS, Kalika replied, “I chose to work at CJDS because I missed spending time with children during COVID and I did not want to lose opportunities to gain experience in the classroom setting.”

Suzanee Perez

Ms. Suzanne joined the CJDS family as a substitute in Marcy 2020.  Ms. Suzanne is from Montana originally but grew up in an Air Force family and moved around a lot. She has been working in child care and education for thirty-two years. Ms. Suzanne has served as a teacher aide in special needs classrooms, volunteered for reading programs focused on second graders, and was employed as a teacher’s aide at Killian Elementary school. She attended the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. When asked why she chose CJDS, Ms. Suzanne replied, “I knew Ms. Kristin previously from her serving as my child’s lead teacher in ZooBot. I was excited to see what all she would do at CJDS and was happy to be asked to come to substitute and work in aftercare.”

 

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