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Evie Weinstein-Park

Grade 4 General Studies

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
Writing and reading have always been special interests of mine. Before I became a teacher, I was an editor and writer for a small magazine at an educational nonprofit organization.

What motivated you to become a teacher at Schechter? What do you like about teaching at Schechter?

I originally wanted to teach at Schechter because two of my three children were students here; my oldest son started kindergarten in Naomi Mintz’s class in 1993, and my daughter was even the B week baby that year! I wanted to be on the same schedule as my children, and it was a bonus that my work would enable me to observe the Jewish holidays. Once I started at Schechter, I came to really appreciate all of the benefits of the dual curriculum — two ways to do everything, a facility with two languages, critical thinking skills from kindergarten on, a shared body of knowledge and a common culture and values that can be drawn upon often and extensively in a general studies class. Of course, I also like to remind my students about diversity beyond Schechter. I love being in a Jewish environment with kids who love to learn and parents who support that.

What sets Schechter students apart from students in other schools?

From a very young age, Schechter students learn that there are at least two ways of doing everything — two ways of speaking, two ways of reading, two ways of writing — and at least two different teachers every day!

What do you want your students to gain from their experience with you as a teacher?

I want them to become more confident and more curious. I want them to really love learning for its own sake. And I want them to see that hard work really works.

What are two or three¬†key highlights of what you’ll teach this year?

We’ll be reading Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, for the all-school read; and we’ll be tying it in to a new Civil Rights unit that we’re working on. Two field trips are also highlights of the year — our joint art and poetry trip with the 6th graders to the Museum of Fine Arts, and our trip to the JFK Library, which makes all of our primary source work really come alive.

Reena Schultz ’73

Lower School Director of Support Services; Instructional Specialist Grades K-5

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to the classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?

I help our school to provide differentiated instruction for support and enrichment needs – both within the classroom and out of the classroom in small group settings. I also act as a resource and coach for faculty to help them meet the needs of all learners in their classes.

What motivated you to become a teacher at Schechter? What do you like about teaching at Schechter?

I am an alumna. I wanted to give back to the community in which I was raised. After many years in the public schools, it is a privilege to celebrate the chaggim with students and faculty and parents. I love hearing Hebrew in the Halls. My Hebrew vocabulary has increased quite a bit!

What sets Schechter students apart from students in other schools?

Schechter students have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Jewish tradition and the State of Israel.

What do you want your students to gain from their experience with you as a teacher?

I want to challenge them if the have mastered a concept, and I want the students to grow at their own pace if they need support services. I bring an integrated approach to learning, using my strong background in Judaism in teaching general studies subjects.

Trudy Shulman Fagen

Creative Arts Director

What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?

I came to Schechter trained as a music educator and as a music therapist who taught expressive therapists for years. My interests are in self growth through the arts with a special focus on self actualization and healing in a Jewish setting. I love to intermodally guide students to discover new ways to express their spirits and create relationships with each other and as performing artists.

What motivated you to become a teacher at Schechter? What do you like about teaching at Schechter?

Schechter has tremendous respect for creativity and is willing to take creative educational risks in embracing Jewish Education. In the past 20 years we have established a robust arts program that includes everything from Western and Middle Eastern Music History to yoga and meditation. We make movies, create re-purposed sculptures and Eyptian art museums. Our ideas for learning and exploration in the arts department are valued and seen as critical in a whole child oriented Jewish Education.

What sets Schechter students apart from students in other schools?

Our students are fortunate to come from loving families who want only the best for their children. They often value Jewish values and middot over other “luxuries” in life. This respect for education is engendered in children who really want to learn.

What do you want your students to gain from their experience with you as a teacher?

Hopefully, that there are many ways to embrace life, artistic lenses are multi-faceted and provide many perspective on beauty. Tefillah, song, dance, painting, film making and acting on stage are all ways to express ourselves and creating beauty in the world is healing on a cosmic level.

What are two or three¬†key highlights of what you’ll teach this year?
  • Through the eighth grade play (Wizard of Oz) – each one of us has a heart, a brain and spirit; and that home is where we can unite it all.
  • Each one teach one – by telling the story of a concentration camp through dance, we bring beauty and elevate an experience of pain, that will never be forgotten (Yom HaShoah, Grade 8)
  • Tefillah meditation grades 7 & 8 – we will learn how to take care of ourselves, to be more aware of ourselves and our own gifts that we can share with others, God and our families