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.

 

Administration

Karen DeNardo - Principal

 

Karen Robinson, Assistant Administrator and Assistant Teacher in General Studies Upper Elementary

Karen Robinson has been at Maimonides since October 2020. She relocated from North Carolina and is enjoying all of the outdoor activities available in OR. She graduated from University of Rhode Island with a degree in Chemistry and received a Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences from George Washington University. After working for many years as a chemist, she began working in the education field, in both private and public schools. She has taken on a dual-role this year at Maimonides as an administrator and classroom assistant.

Morah Devora Wilhelm 

Morah Devora Wilhelm has been the face of Maimonides Jewish Day School since its beginning. She received her Early Childhood Education certification from Beth Rivkah Teachers College New York. She began her teaching career at the Hebrew Academy Lubavitch in California, where she taught elementary and middle school students. She has taught all over the world, including in New York, L.A., and Melbourne, Australia. With the founding of Maimonides, Devora has taken on many roles, including serving as school administrator, camp director, preschool and day school teacher, and, most recently, director of development and finance. “My passion for Judaic education and love of learning is evident in my daily interactions with my students, our school’s board of directors, and teaching staff,” Morah Devora says.

Andrea Alvarado Cadena, Office Administrator

 

Staff

Joanie Krug, Behavioral Coach

Joanie has had a rich and diverse background as a special educator. For more than 30 years, she has leaned on her experience and expertise from many challenging circumstances to ensure positive learning opportunities for students and staff alike. She’s served as director of student support for Le Monde Immersion School, a Portland Public School charter program, and as special education facilitator in the Beaverton School District. These roles required key problem-solving skills for work with teachers, parents, and administrators to develop and provide a continuum of special education services to her student charges. She says her mantra is, “All children want to succeed, behavior is communication, and it is essential that we support the development of a child’s positive identity as a learner and a student.”

 

Christina Schelske - General Studies Lower Elementary Teacher

 

Sara Doherty - General Studies Upper Elementary

 

 

Becky Seidner - Teaching Assistant General Studies Lower Elementary

Becky Seidner joined the Maimonides Family this year. She received her BA in Education/English. She is a native Portlander and her skills include being a musician and graphic artist. She also considers herself a "backyard bird enthusiast".

 

Rabbi Menachem Orentstein, Judaic Studies Upper Elementary

A graduate of the South African Institute for Rabbinical Training, Rabbi Orenstein has been involved in education in New York for the past 5 years including extra curricular activities. He is also the Program Director for the Gan Israel Day Camp here in Portland. “I’m looking forward to joining the Maimonides students and staff in providing personal and quality Judaic Studies,” Rabbi Orenstein says. 

 

Lucie Sorel - Teaching Assistant Lower and Upper Elementary

Lucie Sorel is a native of New York and recently moved to the Portland area to be closer to her sister and family.  She has been a teacher of the arts and academic support for children aged 1-10 years old. Lucie enjoys spending her time reading, writing poetry, dancing, singing and drawing.  She also loves traveling and experiencing new cultures. She has a Bachelor's degree in communications from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY. She is thrilled to be an assistant teacher at Maimonides this year.

 

Mirit Vered - Hebrew Language Lower and Upper Elementary

Born in Israel, Mirit Vered has a background in education. As the school's Ivrit teacher, Mirit infuses Hebrew into everything she does with and for the students: grammar lessons, conversations, songs, and activities. “I especially enjoy using a variety of techniques to keep the children actively involved in their Judaic learning, and I really  love sharing stories with them in my native language,” Mirit says.

 

Chaya Orenstein - Judaic Studies Lower Elementary

Chaya Orenstein has been teaching Hebrew reading for the past 10 years. She graduated from the Bais Chana teaching seminary in Tzfat Israel. Her passion is finding the way through a child's education door through exploring their individual needs and learning styles.