NOT YOUR AVERAGE FACULTY

Alexandra
Carter
Alexandra Carter

TITLE AT EWS

English Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS!

about Alex

Alexandra joined EWS in 2020. A native Bostonian and graduate of New York University, Alexandra earned her Ph.D. in English from Tufts University in May 2020. She believes strongly that literary study can change the world. Alexandra’s scholarship focuses on gender, nation, and imperialism in romances by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and she has published on Margaret Cavendish’s seventeenth-century poetry. At Tufts, Alexandra tapped into her love of teaching and was awarded the Graduate Institute for Teaching Fellowship and the Robyn Gittleman Fellowship at the Experimental College. She has taught widely at the university level, including expository writing in the First-Year Writing Program at Tufts, a course on romance fiction (from The Odyssey to Lord of the Rings!), a course on literature, feminism, and sexual consent, as well as several courses on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at Emerson College in Boston. Since 2011, she has spent her summers teaching on and directing pre-college programs for high school students in London, Oxford, Florence, and Amherst, Massachusetts. At EWS her classes mash up literary giants like Homer with pop stars like Katy Perry, asking students to make connections between great works of literature and the world today. When she is not reading, writing, or teaching you can find her working on her tennis game.

MICHELLE CHAN
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Lower School

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT michelle

Michelle has been with EWS since 2015. She has previously taught mathematics from sixth to eleventh grade in public and private schools in the USA, England, and Scotland for more than two decades. Michelle teaches sixth grade mathematics and has been the mathematics department chair since 2018. Michelle is currently a graduate student at Brandeis University where she is pursuing a Master’s in Education in Teacher Leadership. Michelle loves to travel in her spare time and has visited many South American, European, and Eastern Asian countries. She also enjoys hiking with her husband or catching up with her British friends. Two plus two equals four on every continent — we are lucky to have you, Mrs. Chan!

Melissa
Cohen-nickels
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT MELISSA

Melissa joined the Emery/Weiner staff in 2017 after 10 years teaching middle school Social Studies in Fort Bend ISD. During her time in FBISD, Melissa earned Teacher of Year in 2017. Melissa currently teaches 7th grade Ancient Civilizations and hosts several student created clubs in the middle school. Melissa graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors of Arts in History. She returned to school in 2009, to earn her Master of Education degree in Dual Language Education at the University of St. Thomas. She loves to spend time with her husband and 3 kids. She also enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures in the summer. In her spare time, Melissa likes to quilt, sew, and practice photography.

JOSHUA BLICE
Joshua Blice

TITLE AT EWS

Director of Instructional Technology and Assistant Director of Operations

YEARS AT EWS

15

ABOUT JOSHUA

Joshua has been with EWS since 2005. Before arriving at EWS, Joshua taught in public schools for four years in the Houston area and prior to that he worked in retail. During his time in public schools, he was a Magnet Coordinator for an elementary school and also helped coordinate Algebra curriculum. Joshua currently oversees Blackbaud and other programs associated with it as well as assisting teachers and students 6-12 with technology used in and out of the classroom. He has taught Algebra I, Geometry, Yearbook, and Website Design in previous years. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and watching old movies.

ANGI BOUDREAUX
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TITLE AT EWS

Physical Education Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

12

ABOUT ANGIE

Never without a smile and a witty greeting, Coach Angi Boudreaux embodies what makes Emery so special. Angi strives for excellence from each of her student-athletes. She coaches middle school 🏀 and 🏐 and serves as the Middle School Athletic Coordinator, among many other things! She has had very successful 7th grade Volleyball teams and has won the GHAC Championship in 2008, 2015, and 2016. Angi has called Emery home for a dozen years and during that time has developed a passion for the Jags that is contagious! Angi brings 15 years of experience in the classroom as well as on the court and enjoys every season she coaches. When she isn’t on Stella Link, she is home spending time with her wife and 6-year-old twins, crafting with her mom, running (she’s training for her second 1/2 marathon), dancing on the Jumbotron at the @astrosbaseball games, or trying to catch a concert of her favorite band, Blue October. She also recently traveled to Israel with a group of Emery/Weiner faculty in which she gained a new passion for students as well as her commitment to Emery.

KAREN BROCK
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to back EWS, Ms. Brock!

ABOUT Karen

She’s baaaaaack! Welcome back to Stella Link, Karen Brock! After a few years away from the classroom, we’re excited that Ms. Brock has rejoined the math department at EWS. Karen first joined the EWS community in 2012 upon moving to Houston from New York City where she taught mathematics for several years. She is delighted to return to Emery where she has taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II as well as coached the JV and Varsity Golf teams. When she is not in the classroom, Karen enjoys playing tennis with friends and loves spending time with her husband, son, and dog. When asked to give a favorite Emery memory, Karen summed up the Emery Difference perfectly. It’s hard to pinpoint my absolute favorite memory but there’s definitely a common denominator … the truly unique student-teacher relationships at Emery. It’s what makes me so happy to be back!

DANA ABOULAFIA
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TITLE AT EWS

Assistant Head and Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

17

ABOUT DANA

Dana joined The Emery/Weiner School in 2003. Before joining EWS, Dana taught in a public high school and in a private Jewish day school, both in Houston. She was the recipient of the Rav Preida Award for Teaching Excellence at EWS in 2015. Dana is currently the Assistant Head of Upper School and teaches Calculus. She is also the Grade Level Coordinator for the twelfth grade. Dana enjoys spending time with her family, power walking, watching reality TV shows and sports (especially the Texans) and volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. We may already know that math is Dana's thing, but did you know that Dana is quite the dare devil? She LOVES to ride rollercoasters, and her thrill-seeking ways even inspired her to go sky-diving just last year! 

treasure
almaraz
Almaraz.jpg

TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Department Chair and Social Sciences Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT TREASURE

Treasure joined the EWS faculty in 2016. She currently teaches eighth grade Human Geography and sponsors the EWS Model United Nations Club. Prior to working at Emery/Weiner, Treasure taught Pre AP World Geography, AP Human Geography, U.S. History, Model United Nations and A.V.I.D. courses at an international studies school in Houston I.S.D. Treasure graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies and a teaching certification in Social Studies 8-12 composite. Treasure also has extensive experience leading and coordinating student trips, both locally and internationally. She is currently working on completing her graduate studies in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of St. Thomas School of Education and the National Geographic Educator Certification program. Treasure believes that education can transform and engage the next generation of young people to explore, create, and contribute to our society in meaningful ways. She enjoys facilitating learning opportunities for her students to develop these 21st skills.

April Bernard
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, April!

about April

April joined EWS in 2020. She is a native of Louisiana and now a Houston resident since 2011. Adoring her science and math classes while studying engineering, April noticed that she was a life-long learner deeply connected to humanity and elected to become a mathematics educator. Before arriving at EWS April served the Houston area public schools as a leading mathematics teacher. Teaching grades sixth through eighth intentionally; she specializes in developing algebraic reasoning and critical thinking skills with middle school students. She holds three Texas Education Certifications and several mathematics professional development certificates; most recently completing the REMI, Rice Excellence in Mathematics Instruction program. She enjoys learning new things, frolicking in nature, and playing soccer when her knees allow.

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”


Alfred Mercier

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”


AlEXANDRA K. TRENFOr

shelby culver
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Science Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

1

ABOUT SHELBY

Shelby has been with EWS since 2019. Before coming to EWS, Shelby began her teaching career at Fayetteville Public Schools in Arkansas. While there, she worked as a collaborative grant writer helping her school be recognized as a “Diamond School to Watch”. In Arkansas, Shelby also served as a Girls on the Run mentor, a program that helps young women build confidence while training for a 5k. In 2015, she was recognized by University of Arkansas as their MAT Intern of the Year. At EWS, Shelby currently teaches eighth grade Modern American History. In her free time, Shelby enjoys visiting her family in Arkansas, running, reading, and binge watching the tv show FRIENDS.

Jared curtis
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Department Chair, Science and Robotics Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

8

ABOUT Jared

As the Science Department Chair, Mr. Curtis challenges his students and fellow teachers to raise important questions and be acute in their thinking. Jared has been with EWS since 2012. He was the recipient of the Rav Preida Award for Teaching Excellence at EWS in 2016. Jared currently teaches sixth Grade Life Science, sixth Grade Life Science Honors, and Middle School Robotics. He also sponsors the middle school’s Robotics Club and Chess Club and is the founder of "Meh,” EWS’s very own staff and student ukulele band.  When asked what his biggest fear or scariest moment: alien abduction… and he’s not going to tell you which one it is.

holly Daniel
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT HOLLY

Holly has been with EWS since 2016. Before arriving at EWS, Holly taught all levels of World History in public school for 15 years. During that time she was nominated for the National Humanities Teacher of the Year Award and received an Excellence in Team Leadership Award. She also took on a dual role developing academic programming/curriculum and coaching new teachers as a Dean of Instruction at a local charter school. This year, Holly is celebrating teaching 19 years of World History to sophomores and her first year teaching Psychology to our senior class. In her free time Holly loves to travel, lesson plan, go to the movies, and spend time with her husband and 5 cats.

Steve daum
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TITLE AT EWS

Judaic Studies Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

15

about Steve

Steve joined the Emery/Weiner faculty in a part-time capacity in 2006 while serving as Education Director of a suburban Houston synagogue. Steve started teaching at Emery/Weiner full-time in the 2010-11 school year. Steve has served as the Eighth Grade Counselor at EWS, and presently teaches Eighth Grade. Steve received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a minor in Hebrew Language. Steve then earned a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the American Jewish University, in Los Angeles. Steve serves on the Board of Directors of Hillel at the University of Texas at Austin and also serves on the Camp Committee of the URJ Greene Family Camp, where he spends as much time as camp will allow each summer. Additionally, Steve teaches Haftarah as a member of the B’nai Mitzvah tutoring team and eleventh grade Religious School at Congregation Emanu El, and teaches seventh grade Religious School for Congregation Beth Yeshurun. Steve enjoys sports (watching his Longhorns, Astros and Texans), playing guitar, and spending time with family and friends.  He is married to Suzie Finger Daum and is the father of two Emery/Weiner alumni who are both studying at the University of Texas at Austin. As he begins another school year, he recounts two of his favorite EWS memories “Celebrating his childrens' (Josh ’13) & (Jenni ’16) Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s at MS Torah service and giving them a hug in the faculty tunnel at their EWS graduation.

kelly dean
Kelly Dean

TITLE AT EWS

Music Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

12

ABOUT Kelly

Kelly joined The Emery/Weiner School in 2008. He is one of Houston’s most sought-after musicians and plays a prominent role in the local music scene. Kelly has been a faculty member of the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston and the High School for Performing & Visual Arts. He is a member of The Houston Jazz Orchestra, co-leads the all-star ensemble, TKOh!, and has performed with many notable artists. Kelly has been a member of the Houston Summer Jazz Workshop faculty since 1996 under the tutelage of such notable educators as Conrad “Prof” Johnson, Bubbha Thomas, Ronald Thornton & Craig Green, and is the author of Jazz Essentials-Nuts & Bolts Instruction For The Jazz & Pop Musician. Alongside guitar/bass specialist Josh Sheiman, Kelly runs EWS’s unique music program. The curriculum uses music theory (“Music Reality”) as its core, and utilizes a multi-instrumental approach to musical education, where every student learns to play piano, guitar, bass & drums. The course is taught through the lenses of contemporary popular music, classic rock, blues, and jazz.But did you know that he worked as a professional puppeteer for 5 years just so that he could save money to purchase his treasured saxaphone? It is this commitment and passion for what he does that makes Kelly a treasured member of our faculty.

Samantha domsalla
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

6

ABOUT SAMANTHA

Samantha joined the Upper School in 2014. She has taught every level of high school, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Aquatic Science and Environmental Science during her decade in education.  Prior to her career in education, Samantha was an environmental consultant specializing in wetland and coastal ecology and coastal land use. At Emery, she brings her love of all things outdoors into her classroom, including her pet frogs, cornbread and beans. In her free time, Samantha enjoys sailing, scuba diving, and traveling with her husband and three children.

 

“Education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message.”


Steve Irwin

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”


PLATO

eileen elfezouaty
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TITLE AT EWS

Judaic Studies Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT EILEEN

Eileen Elfezouaty joined the Middle School at Emery/Weiner in 2015. She currently teaches sixth grade Judaics. Eileen graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in a joint Engineering and Psychology curriculum for a degree in Human Factors Engineering. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked for Honeywell Technology Center (HTC) in the Rotocraft Pilots Associate (RPA) program designing the cockpit for an Army attack helicopter. She was the Honeywell Lead Representative on a joint project between HTC and MD Anderson Cancer Center. She then began work at NASA redesigning the cockpit for the space shuttle and also worked on the BIOPLEX project where she was promoted to Lead Human Factors Expert. She then moved overseas. After returning to America, she received the AMS Montessori Certification and taught in both Chicago and Houston for the next eleven years. When she’s not teaching, Eileen loves hanging out with her three children (two of whom are Emery students), working with seventh grade students helping them prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and tutoring students around Houston.

bill epps
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

11

ABOUT BILL

Bill has been with EWS since 2009. Bill has been teaching history ever since graduating from Colby College in 1996. During that time he has taught at both the high school and college level, and he now teaches U.S. History and U.S. History Honors at Emery.

Walker fair
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TITLE AT EWS

Technical Fine Arts and Performing Arts Teacher

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT Walker

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” Enter, stage left, Mr Walker Fair! Walker teaches all levels of stagecraft and design and builds EWS’s theatrical productions. He graduated with a B.S. from Tulane University. Walker has worked in professional theatre, community theatre, and educational theatre venues over the past 20 years. During that time, he has produced over 100 stage productions. Before joining EWS, Walker taught technical theatre at St. John’s School. He has designed productions for Kinkaid, Episcopal, Stratford, Duchesne, and a number of churches and other organizations. He and his wife, Jessie, are the proud parents of two elementary-school aged kids. Walker serves on the board of directors for a local retirement community, is active in his church, and tinkers with technology in his spare time. 

Casey Flemming
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TITLE AT EWS

Director of Experimental Education

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Casey!

about Casey

Casey joined EWS in 2020 after 11 years at The Kinkaid School where she taught ninth, tenth, and AP Senior English and served as the Faculty Representative for the Community Service Council and Student Diversity Leadership Board. A native Houstonian, she spent her early career in international human rights and international education work in Washington, D.C. before returning home to pursue an M.F.A. in creative writing. She also worked at Rice University as the Managing Editor of Feminist Economics and is the cofounder of The Poison Pen Reading Series. When she's not teaching, Casey loves to dance — especially with her children — to read and write, and to spend time at her parents' home in Newfoundland watching humpback whales.

Brittney Ford
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TITLE AT EWS

Director of Student Life, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

3

about BRITTNey

Brittney joined the administrative staff at Emery/Weiner in 2017 and currently works as Upper School Director of Student Life and Head Cheerleading Coach. She graduated from Houston Baptist University with a double major in Business and Communications. While at HBU, Brittney was a cheerleader, vice-president of her sorority, and the recipient of the President’s Award. In 2018, she earned a Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University in Higher Ed Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Outside of work, Brittney is involved in the community through the American Cancer Society and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and is a contributing writer to a local moms blog. Brittney and her husband have three young boys.

Zach Fry
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TITLE AT EWS

Physical Education Teacher, Middle and Upper Schools

YEARS AT EWS

4

about ZACH

Zachary first became a part of the EWS family in 2013 serving as a Varsity Assistant Lacrosse Coach. Zachary returned back to EWS in 2016 and currently teaches Physical Education, Health, and Strength and Conditioning in both the Middle School and Upper School. Heavily involved with both MS and US Athletics, Zachary coaches football, wrestling, and lacrosse. Before reaching Emery/Weiner Zach served as a Paraprofessional in Katy ISD while also working as a Lacrosse Coach for the Katy Cavaliers, Klein Lacrosse Club, and Seven Lakes Lacrosse Club. Zach graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s in Science of Kinesiology where he was a highly decorated lacrosse player earing both Academic and All-American Awards. In his free time Zachary enjoys spending time with friends and family and can be found finding nuances in fitness and athletics.

“Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.”


Scott Hayden

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

 

 

Anthony J. D’Angelo

vered gadot
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TITLE AT EWS

World Language Department Chair and Hebrew Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

6

ABOUT VERED

Vered has been with EWS since 2013. With 25 years of teaching experience, Vered has taught students of all ages. She educated adults in the Milton Adult Program and in the Congregation of Beth Israel Adult Program as well as Lone Star College. Vered led over 40 workshops for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston as well as other organizations. She has served as a consultant for educational organizations, such as Ravsak. Her passion for inspiring her students in the classroom and engaging them in creative ways earned her two prestigious awards: Irving L. Samuels Outstanding Teacher Award for Judaic Studies and Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Vered also worked as the Assistant Director at the Miriam Browning Jewish Learning Center for three years before starting her current job at EWS. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and most of all spending time with her family.

Trip Galleher
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

8

ABOUT TRIP

Trip joined the Upper School at Emery/Weiner in 2011. He currently teaches twelfth grade Economics and ninth grade World History, and he has also taught ninth grade Literature and US Literature at Emery. Prior to working at Emery/Weiner, Trip taught Geography and Humanities courses at a Houston area high school and has taught every age group from ninth to twelfth grade. Trip graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a teaching certification through the UTeach program. While at UT, Trip played Rugby and was a student leader with a focus on helping students transition to college. He has a social studies composite certification and an English certification through the state of Texas and has been teaching for nearly a decade. When he’s not teaching, Trip loves hanging out with his wife and two children, the occasional trip to Galveston, reading a good book, and watching a good documentary.

Amber Gaudet
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT AMBER

Amber came to EWS in 2016, after being in public school for 10 years. Before EWS, she taught several years in both middle school and high school math. Amber is currently the Algebra 2 and Algebra 2 Honors instructor. For every year she has taught, she has also served as a coach in some fashion, including being the current Middle School girls’ soccer coach. In her free time, Amber enjoys competing in trail races and triathlons, camping, surfing, cooking, and spending time with family.

“The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character.”


dorothea dix

Kathrine Gilmer
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TITLE AT EWS

Yearbook Teacher

YEARS AT EWS

3

ABOUT KATHRINE

Kathrine has been with EWS since 2017. Before coming to EWS, Kathrine spent several years designing clothing for Abercrombie & Fitch, followed by starting her namesake lifestyle brand, Kathrine Zeren, in 2014. She also spent four years teaching art and design at a local independent high school. In addition to managing her company, she is also a founding member of Pretti.Cool, a unique design marketplace focused on well-made and beautifully designed products for the home.

Katherine 
Goldman
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TITLE AT EWS

Theater Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

2

ABOUT KATHERINE

Katherine is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was a Theater Teacher, Director, Choreographer, Actor, Singer, and Arts Administrator. She received her M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College and her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Southern California, where she had the opportunity to sing original music with Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown. She has toured throughout the West Coast and internationally, and her voice appears on several cast recordings. She has worked for many arts organizations including ArtsEmerson, ImprovBoston, California Shakespeare Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Starting Arts, Dragon Theatre Productions, California Theatre Center, Peninsula Youth Theatre, and TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley. Beyond the theatre Katherine enjoys reading, playing board games, and, of course, going to the theater.

Jacob Guidry
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

11

ABOUT JACOB

Jacob joined the Upper School at Emery/Weiner in 2006. He currently teaches Calculus II, Calculus I, Statistics, Trigonometry and Finite Math, and Pre-Calculus. He has also taught Algebra II and Geometry at EWS. Jacob has attended multiple conferences, chiefly the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, that allow him to show his love of math to his students. Before joining Emery/Weiner, Jacob taught math at private schools in Houston and his home state of Louisiana. In his free time, Jacob enjoys studying the mathematical principles behind games of chance. However, above all else, Jacob enjoys exposing his two young children to the wonders of crawfish, Mardi Gras, and the New Orleans Saints. Who Dat?!

 

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”


confucius

James Guion
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TITLE AT EWS

Technology Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

7

ABOUT JAMES

Jim has been with EWS since 2013. He has been involved with Educational Technology for more than 20 years, at all different levels, from early elementary to college. Jim now works as The Information and Media Coordinator, managing the EWS Learning Commons, providing technology support to the EWS Community, and teaching the sixth grade Digital literacy class. In his free time, Jim is avid fan of soccer and baseball, enjoys cooking, camping and playing board games with his family, and enjoys teaching his son James the finer points of Geekdom.

Kim Hart
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TITLE AT EWS

Art Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT KIM

Kim Hart joined the Upper School Art Department at Emery/Weiner during the Spring Semester of the 2015-16 school year. She currently teaches Upper School 2D Art I, Digital Imaging and Advanced Digital Imaging, and she also teaches sixth grade art Emery. Prior to working at Emery/Weiner, Kim worked in graphic and web design, and taught art and design classes at Alvin High School. While teaching at Alvin High School, Kim spent a couple of summers at a Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) program for teachers, where she won The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education award for her digital curriculum. After growing up mostly overseas, Kim graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. When not at Emery, Kim loves traveling with her husband and two children, creating anything with her hands from crochet to painting, and volunteering at her children’s schools and various local organizations.

Stephanie Hatley
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TITLE AT EWS

Librarian

YEARS AT EWS

3

ABOUT STEPHANIE

Stephanie first came to The Emery/Weiner School in 2010 and served as the librarian until 2012. She returned to EWS as the school’s librarian in 2019. She has been a school and academic librarian, serving pre-kindergarten to college students, since 2005. Before becoming a librarian, Stephanie was a classroom teacher for six years. Her accomplishments include 2019 Teacher of the Year at T. H. Rogers School and 2015 Houston ISD Librarian of the Year. Stephanie has a passion for guiding Emery/Weiner students to information and resources- whether for academic research or pleasure reading. She is an avid reader who enjoys young adult literature and volunteering at the Houston Zoo. When she is not reading or volunteering, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband and her many cats.

“Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.”


unknown

Kelsey Hughes
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT KELSEY

Kelsey has been with EWS since 2015. Prior to joining the Emery family, Kelsey honed her math skills in two very different careers. After graduating from Rice, she worked as a mechanical engineer in oil and gas, with positions ranging from design engineer for downhole equipment to materials engineering specialist in a chemical plant. She then spent several years as a professional baker and pastry chef, helping to open several premier restaurants and bakeries in Houston. Kelsey currently teaches Geometry and Geometry Honors to ninth and tenth graders. She enjoys challenging students to think in a way that is new to them. Kelsey also co-sponsors the Renaissance Festival Club, focusing on costume design and trebuchet building. In her free time, Kelsey still enjoys baking tasty treats, designing and creating costumes and other craft projects, and trying as many new restaurants as possible.

Diane hursh
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TITLE AT EWS

Associate Director of College Counseling and English Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

11

About Diane

Diane has been with EWS since 2009. Before coming to Emery, she taught English for six years in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has taught English in all grade levels (9-12) as well as Debate courses. Diane is excited to join the College Counseling team in her new role as Associate Director of College Counseling. In her past years at Emery, Diane has taught Public Speaking, English II & English II Honors, English IV Honors: Evolution of the Novel, and English IV: Writing and Rhetoric. She has worn many hats at Emery: Department Chair (2011-2015), New Teacher Coordinator (2010-2014), Freshman Grade Level Coordinator (2014-2016), and Sophomore Grade Level Coordinator (2016-2019). Diane grew up in rural Indiana and had all of the following animals as past pets: multiple dogs and cats, a pig, goats, and a lamb. She also learned how to drive a tractor well before she ever learned how to drive a car! Diane enjoys spending her free time crafting, riding her bike, and attempting calligraphy. She has travelled in her family's RV to most of the state/national parks within the 48 contiguous states in the US. She is also obsessed with her rescue dog, Monroe. Diane is a fourth-generation teacher and even has the bell that her great grandmother used to call students into her one-room school house. One of her favorite parts of working in the Emery community is fostering so many long-term relationships with Emery alumni and seeing what they do as adults in the world. Diane loves working with teenagers and cannot imagine her day without their curiosity, enthusiasm, and idealism.

Grace Iorio
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TITLE AT EWS

Athletic Trainer, Middle and Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

2

ABOUT GRACE

Grace has been with Emery/Weiner since 2018. Before arriving at EWS, she served as an athletic trainer in both public and private schools. Grace has also taught First Responder, Health Sciences, and CPR/AED courses at the high school level. She now works with the athletic teams at Emery/Weiner, keeping our Jaguars safe and healthy as they compete. Grace’s certifications in strength and conditioning and corrective exercise (NASM) supplement her sports medicine credentials in helping our athletes through the injury/recovery process. When she’s not watching sports here at EWS, Grace enjoys following the Astros and Gators, as well as participating in her own right as a softball player and Crossfitter.

“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”


CHINESE PROVERB

Julie Kerich
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TITLE AT EWS

Associate Director of College Counseling

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Julie!

ABOUT JULIE

Julie joined EWS in 2020. Before joining the EWS College Counseling team, Julie worked in the Office of Admission at Franklin & Marshall College, most recently, as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment. During her 15 years at F&M, Julie enjoyed helping high school students discover their collegiate potential and presented extensively to students, parents, and college counselors across the country. Prior to her years in college admission, Julie was the principal of a Hebrew School, a teacher, ran a calligraphy business, and worked in advertising. She is the proud parent of three children. For fun, Julie loves to spend time with her family and dogs, travel, be outside in her garden, discover new places (whether by foot, bike, or kayak), and curl up with a good book.

Brandon Kirby
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TITLE AT EWS

Department Chair, Computer Science and Technology

YEARS AT EWS

6

ABOUT BRANDON

Brandon has been with EWS since 2014. Before arriving at EWS, Brandon taught in a public and several private schools in Tennessee and Alabama. Brandon has taught a variety of high school science classes including Environmental Science, Biology, and Chemistry. In addition to teaching, Brandon has served as the sponsor for several Science Olympiad teams, assistant coach for a Trap and Skeet team, Student Government Association sponsor, and Technology Specialist. Brandon currently teaches Computer Programming I and II, Robotics I and II, and Creating Mobile Apps courses. He also works with several student groups who’ve expressed interest in web design, game design, and other STEM projects. In his free time Brandon enjoys gardening, learning new programming languages, spending time with his family, and designing experiments for home and school.

Laura Larkin
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TITLE AT EWS

Guidance Counselor, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

8

ABOUT LAURA

Laura joined the Emery/Weiner Upper School in 2012. She has an English and Social Studies composite teaching certification and a counseling certification for grades six through twelve. Prior to Emery she taught high school History and Government and worked as a high school and middle school guidance counselor for over a decade in Houston area public schools. With her background in large public schools, she has a special appreciation for the unique sense of community at Emery and the individualized attention and support the faculty can give our students. As the Upper School Counselor she provides emotional support and guidance for both students and parents. Outside of school Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, watching sports, and baking and eating sweet treats.

Ashley
Lauderdale
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TITLE AT EWS

Spanish Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

9

ABOUT ASHLEY

Ashley joined the Emery/Weiner School in 2008. She has taught everything from Spanish I - IV; on-level and honors. In 2016, she left Emery for a while to pursue her passion for health and wellness full-time and worked for Rice University as a Fitness & Wellness coordinator, yoga teacher, weight lifting instructor, and personal trainer. While at Rice she was able to serve as a bilingual liaison between the recreation center and the rest of the university and gave the Spanish-speaking community on campus access to wellness. She had a delightful time but very much missed the classroom during those three years. Since being back in action at Emery in 2019, Ashley teaches Spanish II, Spanish III, and Yoga and she is extremely happy about it. Before her first Emery stint, she was at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas where she also taught Spanish. She is also an amateur oboist, piloting fanatic, and a credentialed Hufflepuff.

Michelle law
MIchelle Law

TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

2

About Michelle

Michele joined the Emery/Weiner family after teaching in Houston public schools since 2010. During that time she has taught science courses from sixth to twelfth grade and founded a girls’ science club called Discover Her-izons. Michele currently teaches Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science. Outside of teaching, Michele loves to sew, bake, and travel. After college Michelle studied Blue Head Wrasse in Dominica, and she counts her favorite trip as traveling to the Galapagos Islands with her mom in 2009. She also thinks spending time with her husband and two kids is pretty fun. Her favorite EWS memory is the spring trip she went on in 2019. She enjoyed getting to know the students and her colleagues better and enjoyed learning with them and having fun together.

Kevin lewis
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TITLE AT EWS

Upper School Study Hall Coordinator, Basketball Coach

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS!

ABOUT Kevin

Coach Kevin Lewis maybe in his rookie year at EWS, but he's already an MVP on campus! He was a standout basketball player for SMU, and named MVP and First Team All-Southwest Conference. Upon graduation, he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. He also played with the Dallas Mavericks and the Harlem Magicians. After his playing career, Coach Lewis switched gears and moved into the role of coach. He has many years of experience training high school, college, and NBA players. “There’s just something special about Emery. I can feel it when I enter the campus. It’s a good feeling. It’s the kind of feeling you have when you know you are in a very special place.” Welcome to the EWS team, Coach Lewis!!

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”


Albert Einstein

jon lillehaugen
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

2

about JON

Jon Lillehaugen joined EWS and the Upper School Science Department in 2018. This year he is teaching Physics and Astronomy. Prior to becoming a teacher, Jon was in banking and finance for 15 years working at two Fortune 100 companies. Jon graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in Finance where he also earned 28 elective credits in advanced science courses. After leaving private industry to become a science teacher, Jon earned his master’s degree in Theological Studies from SMU to further his passion for understanding the intersections of science and theology. In his free time Jon enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with his family and friends, homemade science projects, and looking at the night sky.

David Lombardi
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TITLE AT EWS

English Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

2

about david

Dr. David Lombardi LOVES to teach! He enjoys sharing his love of literature and art to help students discover the beauty in the world AND in themselves. David joined EWS in 2018 and teaches Upper School English. He has over eight years of experience teaching English at the university and high school levels. In 2012, he received a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. He has published short stories in literary journals, as well as the anthology, Best New American Voices 2010. He is the father of two daughters, and will travel for food, coffee, and tennis courts.

Julie lorberbaum
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

12

about JULIE

Julie has been with EWS since 2008. Prior to her tenure at EWS, Julie taught biology, biochemistry, chemistry and anatomy and physiology at a private Catholic high school in Massachusetts. Julie has been teaching for the past 15 years and has taught every age group from seventh to twelfth grade. Julie graduated from Stonehill College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology while competing in Division II cross-country and track for four years. Here at EWS, Julie has coached cross-country, led our sixth through eighth grade advisory program and currently serves as the seventh grade team leader. When she’s not teaching, Julie loves hanging out with her husband and son, traveling, running and cooking

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions.”


unknown

Benjamin love
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TITLE AT EWS

English Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT BENJAMIN

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, BJ has written and taught poetry and literature for more than 15 years. In that time, he has created youth programs in Italy, led writing workshops in Sitka, Alaska, taught fiction and poetry writing for the Putney School Summer Programs in Vermont, and directed a group of young writers around Ireland. His writing has been published in many journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. BJ started teaching sixth grade English at The Emery/Weiner School in 2015.

ELAINE LUPOVITCH
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TITLE AT EWS

English Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

22

About Elaine

Elaine joined EWS in 1998 and teaches eighth grade English. She received the EWS Preida Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010. She has been a 10th grade teacher at Congregation Emanu El since 2007 and helped lead the Shirley Barish Memorial Israel Experience in 2014 and 2016. In 2005, she was a Kivunim Summer Institute fellow in Israel. In 2003 she received the Irving Samuels Outstanding Teacher Award for Judaic Studies from the Jewish Federation of Houston and the national Grinspoon – Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish education. She studied at Yad Vashem’s International School of Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem, returning in 2008 for advanced studies. She has taught ESL for foreign business executives at the University of Houston. She began her career teaching high school in the Fort Worth public schools, before working at the Fort Worth Hebrew Day School, and then in the Cy-Fair public schools. She is co-founder of Garden Dreams Texas, specializing in micro batched locally sourced jams and marmalades. She is an avid gardener and yoga enthusiast and holds a BFA in Theatre Arts and English from T.C.U., a Masters of Education from the University of North Texas, and completed post graduate studies at the University of London.

Ann Mabry
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TITLE AT EWS

Art Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT ANN

Anne has been with EWS since 2016. Before joining the EWS faculty she taught visual and theatre arts for twenty-four years at Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas. Anne came late to teaching after working for ten years as a graphic designer and for a year as a professional actor and stage manager. Although she has never used her certifications in English and Language Arts to teach writing, Anne enjoys writing and occasionally she publishes poetry, short fiction and personal essays. Anne finds that working in and teaching the visual, performing and literary arts enriches and informs her every day experience to a great degree. She hopes that involvement in the arts will do the same for her students. When not making art or teaching she enjoys reading, her pets, her friends and family, riding her bike, and hanging out and traveling with her spouse, Cliff.

ronny madar-
razinovsky
Ronny Madar

TITLE AT EWS

Hebrew Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome back, Ronny!

About Ronny

Welcome to EWS, Ronny Madar-Razinovsky! Ronny brings her love of the Hebrew language and Israel as a MS Hebrew teacher. Ronny joined EWS in 2020. Before joining The Emery/Weiner School, Ronny was a high school civics and citizenship teacher in Holon, Israel, where she is from. Prior to finding her passion for teaching, Ronny was a criminal lawyer and served on both sides of the courtroom as an assistant district attorney and as a criminal defense attorney. Ronny also spent time teaching students and preparing them for the Israeli Bar Exam, where she discovered her love and passion for teaching. Currently Ronny is an EWS middle school Hebrew teacher where she brings her love of the Hebrew language and of Israel to her students. When not teaching, Ronny loves to read a good book, listen to music, and spend time with her husband and twin daughters. 

Cheryl magzen
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

16

fAVORITE EWS MEMORY

Cheryl has shared her love of math to so many Jags! Cheryl taught at the Emery/Weiner School from 2004-2007.  She returned to Emery in 2013. She currently teaches Pre-Calculus and Algebra I. In previous years, she has taught courses in Advanced Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, Advanced Pre-Calculus, Honors Geometry, and Geometry. Prior to joining the Emery/Weiner community, Cheryl taught both Advanced Placement and On-Level courses at a large, local public high school. Cheryl holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin. While at The University of Texas, she participated in the UTeach program and subsequently earned her secondary teaching certification in mathematics. Cheryl has received several honors, one being selected as a member of Who’s Who among America’s Teachers. In her spare time, Cheryl loves spending time with her children, as well as dancing and swimming.One of her favorite EWS memories is from 2004: "A student was to play the piano at Ma'amad. He started to play and froze. The students sat silently waiting. Then, on their own, they stood up and started clapping for him. They then sat down quietly, and he played the whole piece flawlessly. It was inspirational."

erik maher
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TITLE AT EWS

English Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

2

about erik

Erik is a graduate of Rice University, where an undergraduate degree in Classical Studies taught him to appreciate established traditions, while a graduate degree in Education then encouraged him to break them. His connection to the classical world is not limited to archaic languages, but further extends to obsolete forms of warfare, as Erik is an accomplished javelin thrower in the sport of track and field. While competing for the Rice Owls, Erik earned first-team All-Conference USA honors, qualified three times for the NCAA West Regional, and was named a Rice Scholar Athlete, an award given to an athlete on each varsity team with the highest cumulative GPA. He spent two summers at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, where he taught various high school writing courses, coached volleyball, basketball, and strength and conditioning, and chaperoned student trips across New England. He will teach all levels of seventh grade English at EWS, where his teaching interests manifest in both developing student writing and engaging in close readings of literature. Erik is a star in the classroom and on the track and field course – he’s the Jan Zelezny of EWS!

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions.”


unknown

Courtney malbrue
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

5

ABOUT COURTNEY

Courtney joined EWS Upper School in 2015. Prior to coming to EWS, she taught Chemistry, Pre-AP Chemistry, and IPC in Houston Independent School District for 6 years.  During her time at Westbury High School, she helped to start the Science Club for students interested in the STEM fields.  Before teaching, Courtney worked as a Project Engineer at United States Gypsum Company so she enjoys reaching out to students about the STEM field and pursuing careers in the field.  She received her Bachelors in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Clark Atlanta University and her Masters in Paper Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech. Courtney hails originally from Baker, Louisiana and is a fan of the New Orleans Saints. She enjoys watching movies, reading, organizing parties, planning events, and spending time with her family and friends.  Courtney certainly tries to encourage others to live their best life and uses her college’s motto to drive her work ethic of “Find a Way or Make One.”

Otis McAlhany
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TITLE AT EWS

Physical Education Teacher, Middle and Upper Schools

YEARS AT EWS

2

ABOUT OTIS

Otis has been with EWS since 2018. Before joining EWS, Otis worked for Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, South Carolina as a Youth Fitness Instructor, managed a baseball/softball training facility in Easley, South Carolina, and taught Physical Education and Special Education at  schools in South Carolina and Texas. During that time Otis moved halfway across the country to Houston, Texas to pursue his dreams of living in a “big city.” Otis now makes positive impacts on students’ lives through Physical Education and Athletics, helping to make EWS better by providing a positive learning environment for students to grow physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Otis grew up on a peanut farm in Branchville, South Carolina.

Tanya Meinecke
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TITLE AT EWS

Spanish Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT TANYA

Tanya has been a member of the EWS teaching staff since 2016. She currently teaches Spanish III Honors and Advanced Spanish IV. Over the years she has taught Spanish I & II Pre-AP, Dual Credit Spanish I-IV, AP Spanish Language and Spanish for Healthcare Professionals. She has a Journalism BA and Spanish minor from Southwestern Adventist University and a Masters degree in the "Language and Culture of Spain and Spanish-Speaking Countries" from the University of Salamanca in Spain. Tanya believes that learning should be an enjoyable experience for both the teacher and the student. With mutual respect, the classroom can be a fun atmosphere because more than anything, she loves to laugh and encourage students. She learned German as a child to speak with her grandmother and learned Spanish when she moved to Venezuela at the age of eight. More than cheering for the Steelers, finding great restaurants, cooking and exploring cultures, she loves to spend time with her boys, Theodore, Oliver, and her husband Brian.

RABBI
MICHAEL MORGAN
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TITLE AT EWS

Judaic Studies Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

12

about RABBI MICHAEL

Rabbi Michael joined the Emery/Weiner School in 2008. Currently he teaches eleventh and twelfth grade electives which include: Jewish Magic and Mysticism, Jewish Ethics, Modern Jewish Philosophy, Genesis, and Comparative Religion. Michael is a Boston area native who received his undergraduate degree with honors in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania and his graduate degrees with distinction from the joint program between Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. He taught Judaism and Comparative Religion at the University of Alberta and served as Hillel Director at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After leaving Hillel, he became Dean of Jewish Studies at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School; receiving the Milwaukee Association of Jewish Education’s Teacher of the Year award in 1993. While living in Milwaukee he also served part time as Rabbi of Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha, and during the summers was the Judaism specialist at BBYO’s Chapter Leadership Training Conference in Mukwonago WI. Michael has taught all areas of Judaism and Comparative Religion. He is the Translator of an ancient Jewish magic text - Sepher Ha-Razim -The Book of the Mysteries, published by the Society of Biblical Literature. In his spare time he is a student of Science Fiction and Fantasy who is trying to figure out how to remain a Red Sox and Packers fan while living in Houston.

Jeffrey Natter
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TITLE AT EWS

Math Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

3

about jeffrey

Jeff has been with EWS since 2017. Before arriving at EWS, Jeff taught science and math in the Boston Public Schools for seven years after graduating from college. While teaching in Boston, he also coached college lacrosse at Northeastern University. Jeff currently teaches seventh grade Math and seventh grade Pre-Algebra. He also coaches the middle/high school boys Lacrosse team. When he’s not teaching, Jeff loves to hang out with his family, watch a good movie and play sports/video games.

Kirk O'Neal
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TITLE AT EWS

Social Sciences Teacher, MIddle School

YEARS AT EWS

23

About Kirk

Kirk has been with EWS since 1997. Before arriving at EWS, Kirk taught in public and private schools for several years in both Texas and Arizona. In 2004, Kirk started the highly successful Upper School 6 Man Football program. He received the Rav Preida Award for Teaching Excellence at EWS in 2014. In his free time he enjoys playing golf and traveling. His other passion is making artisan jams and jellies, which can be found in many farmers markets and restaurants in the Houston area. The Emery/Weiner School is such a big part of Kirk's life that he even got married to the love of his life, Elaine Lupovitch, on our school's campus surrounded by EWS faculty and alumni.

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”


PLATO

Justin Olitzki
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TITLE AT EWS

Middle School Dean and Hebrew Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

13

about Justin

Justin has been teaching since 2006 when he taught a class of Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. After three years at EWS, he spent two years at the Eleanor Kolitz Academy in San Antonio, TX, where he taught Judaic Studies, wrote middle school curriculum, and served as Athletics Director. He is a SuLaM Leadership fellow, and is in his sixth year as MS Dean of Students. Justin enjoys running with his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, reading historical fiction, and attending bluegrass music festivals

  

Limor Oren
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TITLE AT EWS

Hebrew Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

15

about limor

Limor has been with EWS since 2005. Before arriving at EWS, she taught Hebrew in Queens, NY at the Yeshiva of Central Queens. Prior to that she taught English, Hebrew and Social Studies in Israel for eight years. She loves her students and is still excited to see them every morning. Limor currently teaches Hebrew one, Hebrew two and Hebrew three at the Upper School and sponsors the High School’s Israel Club and End Hunger Club. She was also the recipient of the Rav Preida Award for Teaching Excellence at EWS in 2012. In her free time she enjoys watching her young daughter’s soccer games, or any good soccer. She loves long or short trips to anywhere in the world. She loves music and she is currently expending her experience on the drums.

Samuel Pearson
Samuel Pearson

TITLE AT EWS

Fine Arts Teacher

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Sam!

about SAM

Samuel joined EWS in 2020. After graduating college in 2017, Sam joined up with Teach for America to teach sixth grade Science in Houston. After his time in the classroom, Sam filled various roles supporting the production and maintenance of the STEMscopes™ digital science curriculum, while employed with Accelerate Learning, Inc. During this period, Sam was hired to consult on both the Rice University theatre department and student theatre productions, and attained professional technical credits with Landing Theatre Co. At EWS, Sam works alongside the theatre faculty, supporting the backstage efforts of the department, and serving as technical director for the middle school productions. Sam grew up in South Dakota, and now lives here in the big city with his dog, Suki.

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”


AlEXANDRA K. TRENFOr

Morgan Ramsey
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TITLE AT EWS

Learning Support Specialist, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Morgan!

ABOUT MORGAN

Morgan has been with EWS since 2020. Before joining EWS, Morgan worked at the Trinity School in Midland, Texas, where she served as the Director of Educational Support Services. She also has experience teaching in the classroom, in both learning support and instructional technology. Morgan attended Auburn University (B.S. Elementary Education) and the Pennsylvania State University (M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction), where she found a passion for cultivating a love for learning in all students through utilizing cutting-edge teaching and support strategies. Morgan’s experience also includes student teaching at Pinewood American School in Thessaloniki, Greece, teaching at The American School of Doha, Qatar, and educational leadership at Plano ISD in Plano, Texas. Outside of school she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, as well as traveling, yoga, and following college football.

  

Jason Reimers
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TITLE AT EWS

Assistant Athletic Director

YEARS AT EWS

7

ABOUT JASON

Jason Reimers joined the Emery/Weiner family in the fall of 2013 as a Physical Education and Health teacher.In 2015, he became an Assistant Athletics Director. In addition to administrative responsibilities, he also serves as Head Varsity Football Coach in the fall and assists with Track & Field during the spring. Jason attended college at Sam Houston State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Kinesiology including Secondary Teaching Certification. Prior to joining our staff at Emery, he spent three years teaching and coaching in Florida. In his spare time, Jason enjoys reading, exercising and watching sports, especially the hometown Texans!

Juanita Reyes
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TITLE AT EWS

Spanish Teacher, Middle and Upper Schools

YEARS AT EWS

4

ABOUT JUANITA

Juanita joined the Emery/Weiner family in 2016. Within her eight years of being an educator, she has taught Spanish I, PreAP, and Spanish II for Upper School. She has extensive training in Total Proficiency in Reading/ Storytelling (TPRS) and teaching standards in line with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). She has also received Spanish AP level training from Rice University’s AP/Pre-AP Institutes. Before moving to Emery, she served as department leader, Apple (technology) teacher, and district presenter for the integration of technology. Mrs. Reyes earned her BS in Business Marketing from the University of Maryland University College and Teaching Educator Standard Certification from Texas Teachers Program in 2010. She is a native Spanish Speaker and in her spare time, she enjoys exercising, cooking, traveling abroad (especially to Spanish speaking countries), and going on adventures with her family.

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”


confucius

ray Rhoads
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TITLE AT EWS

Choir Director, Middle and Upper Schools

YEARS AT EWS

2

about ray

Mr. Rhoads joined EWS in 2018 and in his two years has amplified our talented student voices for our Middle and Upper School Choirs, along with musical directions for musicals and plays – he’s a triple threat! Ray has an extensive Musical Theater background and is an accomplished music arranger, director, and conductor. He is the founding director of the Sheboygan County Chamber Choir and was the founding director of the Reading Area Community College Concert Choir. He also directed the Penn State Berks Campus and Chamber Choirs. Mr. Rhoads teaches and music directs summer camps for youth and has spent many summers working at Stagedoor Manor, a top performing arts camp in the Catskills of New York.

bruno rios
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TITLE AT EWS

Spanish Teacher, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Bienvenido a EWS, Señor Rios!

about bruno

Bruno joined EWS in 2020. He has experience teaching Spanish, World Literature, and Latin American Literature and Culture at the college and high school levels since 2011, both in Mexico and the United States. He received a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Houston in 2019 and is especially passionate about contemporary Mexican poetry. As a native of the U.S.- Mexico border, Bruno brings insightful conversations into his classroom and believes that culture and art are crucial elements in the acquisition of a second language. Bruno has also pursued a long career in creative writing. His poems, fiction, essays, and translations have been published in numerous journals and magazines. He’s the author of three poetry collections and a novel published in 2016. As a lifelong cyclist and cycling advocate, you can find him leading rides around town, ranting about baseball, and reading at a coffee shop until they close.

cara Rosenthal
Cara Rosenthal

TITLE AT EWS

Social Science, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Cara!

ABOUT CARA

Cara joined EWS in 2020. Before joining the Emery team, Cara taught in a Houston-area public charter school for seven years. Throughout that time, she taught many humanities courses, including World History, AP World History, US History, AP US History, and AP Government. Moreover, she began an English remediation program for high school students. In conjunction with her love of cultures and literacy, Cara taught English as a volunteer for Tuleeni Academy in Uru, Tanzania in June 2017 and for TALMA in a Druze village in Northern Israel in the summer of 2019. In her free time, Cara enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her two dogs, doing crossword puzzles, reading, and exercising. As a native Houstonian, she loves to cheer on the Astros and Texans. When Cara attended I. Weiner Middle School as a student, she learned the value of tikkun olam, repairing the world, and she continuously aims to instill this value in Emery students.

Louisa savarese
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TITLE AT EWS

Science Teacher, Middle School

YEARS AT EWS

6

about LOUISA

Louisa joined the Middle School at Emery/Weiner in 2014 and currently teaches eighth grade Integrated Physics and Chemistry. Louisa graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and a minor in theater. Prior to moving to Houston with her family in 1986, Louisa lived in Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida. Prior to working at Emery/Weiner, Louisa taught at Roberts Elementary in Houston, Texas. She worked as a classroom teacher in fourth and fifth grade for several years before she and her family moved to New York. They returned back in 2008 (just in time for Ike) and Louisa returned to Roberts Elementary and became the school's kindergarten through fifth grade science lab teacher. It was then that she found her love for teaching science; finding ways to foster the excitement, interest, & love of science for all ages! Louisa was adopted as an infant by the most amazing parents ever, and recently, with their support, found her biological siblings and went from having one brother to ten siblings in total! She loves watching her newfound family bond with her children, Ciro, Luca, and Clara, and her husband Lou. In her downtime she loves to read, run, binge watch Netflix and Amazon original series, reconfigure her furniture in her house, and eat sushi with her friends.

karyn Schwab
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TITLE AT EWS

Athletics Assistant, Middle and Upper Schools

YEARS AT EWS

1

about KARYN

We look forward to soon posting the scoop on Karyn! Check back soon!

Shona Schwartz
Shona Kaisman-Schwartz

TITLE AT EWS

Judaic Studies, Upper School

YEARS AT EWS

Welcome to EWS, Shona!

ABOUT SHONA

Shona joined EWS in 2020. Before moving to Houston, she spent a decade teaching in the Bay Area and Singapore with a focus on teaching students to think critically in their Jewish learning and Humanities classes. Over the years, Shona has had incredible opportunities to meet and train with some of the most innovative educators in Silicon Valley in a variety of areas with an emphasis on Project Based Learning, Design Thinking, and Growth Mindset. Additionally, she was on faculty at a Challenge Success partner school, a program out of Stanford University which focuses on promoting student wellbeing, and co-authored a book called The Internal Success Revolution. Shona has also taught college courses in a variety of educational topics and traveled across the country consulting for schools in best practices of education. When not engaged in educational work, Shona loves hanging out with her family, enjoying nature, and traveling the globe.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”