Our faculty is comprised of an exceptionally devoted group of professionals who are well-qualified and experienced. Each staff member is a model of the excitement of lifelong learning, and each year teachers dedicate many hours to continuing education in order to stay abreast of research-based best practice to bring to their teaching repertoire.
The commitment of MJDS teachers to each child and family does not stop at the classroom door; teachers maintain ongoing communication with parents and welcome family participation.
Who We Are
Shelley Sanders,General Studies Director: For the last six and a half years Shelley worked with the Washington County Community Action as a Program Area Supervisor for the Head Start Program. Prior to that, she served for ten years as the Early Childhood Education Director at Congregation Beth Israel. Shelley believes childhood is a time for exploration and experimentation and that parents are their child's first and best teacher. As an educator she is committed to providing quality educational support by building a strong foundation for learning, setting clear boundaries, and establishing achievable goals for all students at all ages and stages. Through developmentally appropriate practices, along with the teaching staff and leaders she respects the dignity, value and uniqueness of each individual.
Joanie Krug, Behavioral Coach. Joanie has had a rich and diverse background as a special educator, including roles as administrator, consultant, facilitator, diagnostician, teacher, mentor and advocate for children, families, educational staff and administrators. Over the past thirty years, she has used her expertise in many challenging circumstances in the attempt to insure positive learning opportunities for both students and staff. Having served as the director of Student Support for Le Monde Immersion School, a Portland Public School charter program and Special Education Facilitator in the Beaverton School District her role has frequently required problem solving with teachers, parents and administrators to develop responsive and effective programming to provide a continuum of special education services. Other significant positions that she has held included Autism Specialist at Columbia Regional Programs and Program Chair for the PPS classrooms serving residential and day treatment children at the Parry Center for Children and Adolescents. Her ongoing mantra is that all children want to succeed, that behavior is communication and it is essential that we support the development of a child’s positive identity as a learner and a student.
Rivka Schechter, Judaica Studies: Rivka comes to our school having relocated from Brooklyn, NY where she was the Program Coordinator of the Ohr HaLimud Bais Yaakov School. An Orton-Gillingham trained educational therapist, Morah Rivka adapted the approach to the teaching of Lashon Hakodesh, trained and supervised teachers, and developed the curriculum for the transitional program at Ohr HaLimud. She has over thirty years experience teaching both Academic and Judaic studies, both in the classroom and in a therapeutic setting. Morah Rivka is also certified by the Feuerstein Institute and utilizes this meta-cognitive approach to further students' understanding and facilitate transfer of their studies beyond the classroom.
Leah Wenger, General Studies: Leah Wegner is a recent graduate of Portland State University where she earned a Masters of Elementary Education in 2015. She spent the last year as a substitute teacher for Portland Public School District, Parkrose School District, and others. Coming from a background in computer science, she has always loved mathematics and is excited to join Maimonides Jewish Day School. Her hobbies include computer programming, knitting, drawing, and playing the piano. Leah believes that every student has tremendous potential and strives to work with individuals to push them to do their very best.
Tammy Schwartz, General Studies: TammySchwartz holds an Oregon elementary teaching credential with an early childhood endorsement. She has been a classroom teacher for fifteen years, and has worked directly with children in other capacities for over twenty five years in such activities as scouting and Shakespearean drama. She has a BA in Communication, and minors in Sociology and German Literature. Twelve years ago, she took ten years off from classroom teaching in order to home school her own children. She still home directs the education of her youngest, despite having returned to classroom teaching two years ago. Her own children have been very successful academically, and Mrs. Schwartz brings her homeschooling expertise back into the classroom. Having taught in public school, in private school, and in home education, Mrs. Schwartz has a well-rounded and unique perspective. This allows her to creatively differentiate instruction, and successfully manage a classroom, while providing interesting, integrated, and hands-on lessons. Mrs. Schwartz strongly believes that all children can learn, and teaches with the goal that learning should be an enjoyable, life-long activity. Mrs. Schwartz has been happily married for over 30 years, and has three children: two sons and a daughter.
Morah Simi Mishulovin, Judaic Studies. Morah Simi has been an educator for 18 years, educating children from Sydney to Michigan. She received her teaching credential from Beth Chana in Tzefat, Israel.She teaches the Kindergarten & first grade with her signature love & energy. Morah Simi feels very blessed to be a part of children's education. helping each child gain the tools to succeed in fulfilling his/her potential. Continuous learning and being up to date is a passion of hers.
Rabbi Shneur Wilhelm, Principal. A graduate of the Rabbinical College of America and Menachem Education Foundation, Rabbi Wilhelm taught at the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand, Mesivta Menachem of Staten Island and The Shluchim Online School. "Educating is connecting" says Rabbi Wilhelm, "working with each student at his/her level and using their talents and abilities to maximize student growth."
Chaya Wilhelm, Judaic Studies. Teaching Judaic Studies is a passion of Morah Chaya's. She previously taught at the Chabad Academy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Mazel Day School in Brighton Beach, New York. Through class centers and hands on activities she brings Judaism alive and active in her classroom.
Mirit Vered, Hebrew Language. Mirit was born in Israel and has a background in education. She comes into our K-1 classroom and engages the children in song and conversation in Hebrew. She especially enjoys using a variety of techniques to keep the children activity involved in their Judaic learning, and especially enjoys sharing stories.
Rabbi Dov Bialo, Judaic Studies. Born in Cleveland, Ohio Rabbi Bialo traveled the world studying under many renonwed mentors. Rabbi Bialo received his Rabbinical degree from the Rabbinical School of America in Morristown, NJ and moved to Portland, OR on Shlichus with his family to co-direct the Chabad Jewish Student Center at Reed College and SE Portland Chabad. Rabbi Bialo is in his second year of teaching at MJDS and loves every minute of it!