Our Staff

We are extremely proud of our staff here at Gross Schechter Day School. Each brings their own unique skills and specialties to share with our students, which helps build a well-rounded community. Below you will find information about each staff member, as well as their email and extension.  

Laura Albert
Pre-K to 8 Art
Pre-K to 3rd Tech 
Laura received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Delaware with a concentration in painting, and continued on to pursue a Master’s degree in art education from the University of Missouri. Laura enjoys painting, scrapbooking, spending time with family and friends, traveling and attending concerts. Laura is looking forward to another great school year!
Davida Amkraut
MS Language Arts Teacher

MS Lead Teacher
Davida graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in curriculum design in 1991, and has been teaching middle school language arts ever since and can’t imagine doing anything else. She has been part of the Gross Schechter Day School family for the past 15 years.  During the summer she is a Rosh Banot at Yavneh, a Jewish residential camp in New Hampshire. Davida has three children, two Schechter alumna and one current student.
Barbie Barnholtz
Infant Care Coordinator and Infant Care Center
From mother’s helper to babysitter to nanny to daycare provider/preschool teacher to mother, Barbie’s love has always been working with babies!   Prior to moving to Cleveland in 2009, she worked at Congregation B’nai Amoona, a conservative synagogue in St. Louis where she was the camp/youth director for 81/2 years. Barbie, her husband Drew and their two daughters, Sadie and Stella love calling Cleveland their home! Barbie is looking forward to growing the Infant Care Center and helping families to transition to the larger Gross Schechter Day School Community!
Tracey Bortz
Director of Early Childhood Education
Tracey emigrated from South Africa in 2001. She graduated from the Johannesburg College of Education and then later received her Master’s degree from Siegal College of Jewish Studies. Tracey has a son and a beautiful golden retriever, and loves to spend time in Arizona with her family.
Randy Boroff 
Head of School 
Randy is a career educator and veteran superintendent. He brings over 40 years of experience to Gross Schechter. Prior to joining Gross Schechter, Randy was Superintendent for Revere Local Schools in Richfield. Additionally, he is a former Beachwood City Schools Assistant Superintendent and High School Principal. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Beachwood. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Lance Colie
Director of Development
Lance graduated from Rutgers University with a dual degree in Hebraic studies and philosophy. He has been working at Schechter since 2001, and is the father of two alumni. Lance serves as a Cantor for high holiday services, is a volunteer mentor for cancer patients and recent amputees, and loves the outdoors, music and the arts, and spending time with family and friends.
Mary Anne Donovan
Advancement Coordinator
Mary Anne is now in her 15th year at Schechter! She worked previously at Mt. Sinai and Montefiore before joining the Schechter team. Mary Anne has been married to her husband for 38 years, and has two cats and lots of nieces and nephews whom she loves!
Ora Dromi 
ECE Pre-K Judaic Studies Teacher
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Ora received her teaching degree in her native Israel. She has been teaching at Schechter for 21 years, and loves being able to see her two grandchildren attend school here.
Mandy DuBro
Guidance Counselor
Mandy obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Mandy continued her studies at Case Western Reserve University where she received her Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Most recently, Mandy was employed at Bellefaire JCB as an Intensive In-Home Family Counselor. She now works full time as our Guidance Counselor here at Gross Schechter Day School in partnership with Bellefaire JCB. Mandy enjoys exploring Cleveland, cooking, rock climbing and anything musical.
Bryan Eaton
Bryan has been with Schechter over 12 years. Originally from Cleveland, Brian likes comic books and spending time with his daughter. 
Jesse Ebner 
MS Social Studies
6th Grade GLA 

Jesse attended Villanova University for her undergraduate degree and John Carroll University for a Masters of Education and middle childhood education license. She loves integrating technology in her classes, and has been known to show up to school dressed as George Washington!
Iris Edelman 
ECE 3's General Studies Teacher 
Iris has been teaching two-year olds in Jewish preschools for the past 14 years. In addition to teaching preschool, she teaches kindergarten students in the religious school at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple. She graduated from Miami University. She is happily married to her husband, Mark, and has three amazing children who are all in college now.
Marcy Escott
ECE Pre-K General Studies Teacher 
Marcy received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1990, and then decided to go back to school to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. She graduated from Notre Dame College with her teaching degree and reading endorsement in 2009. Marcy is married with two teenagers and enjoys aerobic and spinning classes, traveling, and taking relaxing walks in her free time.
Joel Faulkner 
Physical Education/Media Center
Joel graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration/ marketing in 2008. He then received his Master of Arts degree in teaching (health education) in 2011. Joel enjoys snowboarding, bicycling, and all outdoor activities.
Amy Fishman
Sue Foley
Director of Technology
Marci Friedman 
Lower School, General Studies 1st Grade Teacher
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Marci has been teaching at Gross Schechter for 25 years. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in education.  She later received a Master’s degree in reading education from Cleveland State University. Marci enjoys exercising, cooking, reading, and spending time with her three children.
Dr. Heidi Geis
Director of Wellness
Heidi, a San Diego native, completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in biochemistry and humanities at the University of California, San Diego, followed by medical school and residency at the University of California, San Francisco. She later joined the faculties of both UCSF and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Medicine. Her first love is spending time with her husband and their four boys, but she also enjoys reading, cooking, reading Torah at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, hiking, gardening – and planning imaginary trips to Israel!
Iris Granot
ECE Pre-K Judaic Studies Teacher 
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Iris has been teaching at Gross Schechter since 2008, specializing in early childhood education.  She grew up in Israel, and loves being able to instill a bond and love for Israel in her students. Iris is married with four children, and enjoys participating in sports and spending quality time with her family!
Chana Green
Head Cook
Chana has a passion for traveling and meeting new people.  She enjoys a diverse array of music, and considers it a blessing to have been able to work with children for over fifteen years.
Rotem Green 
Kitchen Staff
Rotem has a great interest in technology. One of his favorite hobbies is listening to all kinds of music. Rotem believes there’s no greater joy than bringing someone a smile with a good meal!
Abby Greenfield
Lower School, General Studies 2nd Grade Teacher 
Abby graduated from Kent State University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In 2015 she earned her Master’s degree in literacy in education from Cleveland State University. Abby loves her job, going out to dinner, and spending time with friends and family.
Laurie Gross-Kammer
Director of Student Services
Laurie has worked at Gross Schechter for seven years. She attended The Ohio State University for her undergraduate years and received her Master’s degree from Cleveland State University. She has three children, lives in Solon, and loves her job!
Hadassa Hoff
MS Hebrew Teacher 
Hadassa was born and raised in Israel. She has a degree in education, and enjoys teaching her students Hebrew and instilling a love for the State of Israel. Hadassa is married with three wonderful kids, enjoys hiking with her family, gardening, and finding time to see comedy shows.
Loren Israelstam
ECE 3's Judaic Studies Teacher 
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Loren is the proud mother of two alumni and one current student of Schechter. Their move from South Africa nine years ago was made easier by her involvement in the Schechter community. Loren’s passion is working with children and she loves biking.
Leslie Kastner 
Director of Admissions 
Leslie received a BA in Sociology and Jewish Studies from Indiana University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She has been a Jewish communal professional doing engagement for more than 15 years in various cities around the country, including Washington, DC, Detroit, New York City, St. Louis and San Diego. She comes to Gross Schechter after having served as the Director of Admissions of the San Diego Jewish Academy. Her husband, Andy, hails from Cleveland and his roots brought them back to town. She is the proud mother of two children, Asher and Nora; they are both Gross Schechter students.
Jennifer Kercher
Jennifer has been part of the Gross Schechter Day School family for eight years, first as the Senior Accountant and more recently as the Controller. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her 4year old daughter.
Aviva Kupfer
Clinic Nurse

Rachel Lappen
Director of Institutional Advancement
(Marketing, Fundraising and Communication) 
Rachel received a BA in Music from Barnard College and a BA in Bible from the Jewish Theological Seminary and then continued on to receive her MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.  She has worked for symphony orchestras, Broadway producers, the composer Phillip Glass, the Chicago Children’s Choir and most recently was the Executive Director of Chagrin Arts. Rachel loves music, theater and spending time with her husband, Justin, and two boys, Gavi and Elliot, both Gross Schechter students.
Sandy Laserson 
Speech and Langugae  
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Sandy received her BA from the University of Michigan in Psychology-Speech and Hearing Science and her MA from Northwestern University in Speech-Language Pathology.  She has worked in the South Euclid Lyndhurst Schools, Maple Heights Schools, and in private practice.  Sandy is thrilled to be on staff at Gross Schechter Day School and enjoys playing the piano, volunteering, and spending time with her husband, Steve, and four daughters, Devra, Jannah, Tali, and Shira. 
Rachel Lawton
Lower School, Grade 5 Judaic Studies, and MS Hebrew 
Rachel grew up in Kiriat Ata, Israel and graduated from Haifa University with degrees in linguistics and comparative literature. She earned her Master’s degree in Jewish Education from Siegal College. Rachel enjoys traveling, going to the theater, and spending time with family and friends.
Lisa Loeb
Lower School, General Studies Grade 5
Lisa graduated from The Ohio State University. She taught 4th grade in Garfield Heights public schools before joining the Gross Schechter staff seven years ago. Lisa enjoys singing, taking long walks, and eating lots of chocolate.
Talia Maoz
ECE 3's  Judaic Studies Teacher 
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Talia teaches Judaic studies in the Parparim class. She moved to Cleveland from Israel last year and this is her second year at Schechter. She is the mother of two Schechter students. Her previous experiences include being a certified senior teacher in Israel and an "e-learning" program manager. She transformed staff and students into the era of computer information literacy.
Nancy Markus
Middle School Math, 5th Grade Math & 7th Grade GLA 
Nancy received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the natural sciences from Case Western Reserve University, followed by a Master of Education degree in mathematics from Kent State University. She has been teaching at Schechter for 18 years. Nancy loves gardening, knitting for charity, reading mysteries, traveling, her cats, family, and taking long walks on the beach.
DeAnna Martin
AR Admissions 
DeAnna has been working at Gross Schechter for eight years. She is in her last semester of Business Office Operations Management at Tri-C, and has already begun her Veterinarian Technology degree. DeAnna has a twelve-year-old son and several animals, including a horse.
Shanna Mitchell 
Front Office/Lunch Aide 
Shanna has been a part of Gross Schechter Day School since 1999 as a parent of three alumni, a classroom volunteer and a staff member for the past three years.  She looks forward to an exciting year in which she will get married to Howard Berlas in September and enjoy the arrival of her first grandchild and a new puppy in October.  She enjoys traveling, reading and the beach.
Donell Newman
Lower School, General Studies Grade 4 teacher 
Donell received a Bachelor’s degree in child life specialty from The University of Akron, and a Master’s in Education from John Carroll University. She has taught a wide range of grades both at Gross Schechter and in the public school system. In her free time you can find Donell reading, cooking, or watching her children play sports.
Matt Norton
Middle School Science Teacher 
Matt has worked at Gross Schechter Day School for ten years. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1985 with a Bachelor’s degree in geology and general science, and is completing his Master’s at Cleveland State. Matt loved riding a camel in Israel (he didn’t fall off!), and rides his bike whenever he has free time.
Orli Rabkin
Lower School, Judaic Studies Kindergarten Teacher 
Orli, a graduate of Schechter, has taught here for seven years. She graduated from The Ohio State University with an early childhood education degree, and earned her Master’s degree from Ursuline College. Orli loves baking, reading and spending time with her two girls.
Sara Rancman
Lower School, Judaic Studies 1st Grade Teacher

Molly Rosenberg 
Admin Assistant 

Molly joined Gross Schechter after earning her degree from The Ohio State University. Molly is a graduate Gross Schechter Day School. After Schechter, Molly did a GAP year in Israel as a part of the Nativ College Leadership Program. Molly enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing with Lucy and Poquito, her Havanese dogs.  
Megan Sakacs
Megan was born and raised in Cleveland, I am happily married and the proud mother of 2 beautiful girls.  In my free time I enjoy doing arts & crafts with my girls, Snuggling on the couch to a good Lifetime movie, and Spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy my yoga time.
Anthony Salemi

Rory Sanders

Rory has a varied background from classroom teacher to public relations to cantorial soloist to community program music director...currently serves as Program Specialist for Menorah Park...loves to garden, but was sad to not have any tomatoes this year due to the wet summer...has two adult children who live out-of-town.
Joe Santora
Middle School Math
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Joe has been a teacher for 49 years. After working at Mayfield Heights High School for most of his career, he has been working at Schechter for the past three years. Joe also enjoys coaching baseball and believes that it can relate to math and life.
Lauren Schaefer
Stephanie Schechter
Lower School,  General Studies 3rd Grade teacher 
Stephanie graduated from Miami University in 2008 with a degree in early childhood education, then moved back to her hometown and has been teaching at Schechter ever since. While some may think it was a coincidence, Stephanie intentionally married a handsome man with the last name of Schechter! In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family, sailing, running and reading.
Fredell Schnee 
ECE 2's General Studies Teacher. 
Fredell is originally from Houston, Texas and has lived in Ohio for 20 years. She has a bachelor's degrees in in both Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Tulane University.  She and her husband have two teenage sons. For approximately 20 years, she has  been working in the field of early childhood education. She loves working with preschool-aged students.
Danielle Shainker
Technology Coordinator 

Danielle was born and raised in Cleveland. She has been part of the Gross Schechter family for six yeas. She graduated from Ursuline College in 2005 with a degree in early childhood education.  She later received a Master’s degree in educational technology at Notre Dame. Danielle enjoys traveling, spending time with family and is a semi- retired “professional” babysitter.
Yehudit Sharaby
Lower School, Judaic Studies 2nd and 3rd Grade. 
Yehudit graduated from Bar Ilan University in Israel with a degree in special education, and then later received a Master’s degree from Siegal College of Jewish Studies in education, with specialization in Hebrew language curricula. She has been teaching at Gross Schechter Day School for 28 years, including seven as Judaic Studies Principal. Yehudit enjoys teaching, reading, travelling, working out, dancing, and spending time with family.
Devorah Shiffman
Lower School, General Studies Kindergarten teacher  
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Devorah is so excited to be working here at Gross Schechter. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She grew up in Cleveland and attended  a Jewish day school. She could not be more excited to return to where she considers home.
Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz
Coor. Jewish Living/MS Judaics 

Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in  East Asian Studies and minors in Chinese and music performance.  He spent six years in Israel studying in yeshiva, receiving rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman  Nechemia Goldberg, Av Beit Din of Jerusalem.  He comes to Cleveland via Minneapolis where he taught at the Minneapolis Jewish Day School and the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis.
Oudi Singer
Lower School, JS 4th Grade Teacher
Cheryl Stone
Middle School Bible
Cheryl received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in design and technical theatre from Florida State University, and has worked throughout the country at Shakespeare festivals and opera houses. After living in San Francisco, she moved to Jerusalem to study Hebrew and Judaic studies, receiving a Master’s of Jewish Education from a joint program with Hebrew College, Boston and Machon Pardes, Jerusalem. She recently married Shaul Janes and is happily living in Cleveland Heights.
Lori Sweet
ECE 3's General Studies Teacher. 
Lori graduated from Ursuline College in 2008 with a Master’s degree in early childhood education and a K-12 reading endorsement. She loves spending any chance she gets outdoors in nature. Even in the coldest winter months, Lori can be found outside enjoying time with her family.
Rivka Taub
Lower School, Judaic Studies Assistant 
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Rivka was born in Israel and came to the United States about 30 years ago.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Tri-C and a Master’s degree from Cleveland College of Jewish Studies. Rivka teaches at Case Western Reserve University’s adult lifelong learning program, and has loved every moment of her 16 years of teaching at Schechter. Her hobbies include sports, dancing and shopping.
Vicki Teitelbaum
ECE Pre-K General Studies Teacher
Vicki attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in elementary education.  She loves her husband Michael, three children (Lindsey, Allison and Brandon), and dog, Lexi.  During her free time she loves to travel, read, and play Mah Jongg.  Vicki has worked at Schechter for nine years, and thinks her job is the best!
Ellis Thompson
Ellis joined Schechter after retiring from his professional job over five years ago.  He and his wife Anna receive great joy and enjoyment from their three babies, Crackers, Sadie and Willie (their miniature schnauzers!)
Jim Walker
Jim has worked with Gross Schechter for over 13 years. Originally from Cleveland, he and his wife Chris have two sons and now call Newbury home. Jim enjoys home improvement projects and spending time with his family.
Kevin Weisenberg
Phys. Education Teacher 
Athletic Director 

Joy Yamane 
ECE 2's Assistant Teacher