Here is a short introduction of our highly qualified and experienced personnel who form the Alef Bet Montessori School Staff:
Ayelet “Ellie” Lichtash, Executive Director, Founder
Ellie is the founder of the School that was established in 2005. She experienced the Montessori Method as a mother and saw a great need in the community for a Montessori school. Her daughter graduated KMMS Kehilat Montessori, Silver Spring in the Elementary program. Ellie, an attorney by trade, practiced labor and employment law in Israel and in the United States. She has published two papers in the U.S. on Discrimination Law and Employment and Arbitration issues. She holds a Masters degree from Tel Aviv University and from Georgetown Law School. Alef Bet Montessori School was established through a community effort, led by Ellie, to bring together Jewish people of all denominations to experience Jewish life through the Montessori Method. Ellie served as a founding board member of the National organization of Montessori Administrators Association (MAA) until June 2010, and currently serves as the Vice Chair to Montessori Schools of Maryland (MSM) Since November 2009. Starting January 2012 she serves as the National Representative of AMI USA at CAPE. Ellie won a 2013 Fellowship at the ConnectGen program of the Federation of Greater Washington to initiate an international organization - Israel Montessori Association (IMA).
Teachers & Support Staff
Miriam Singer, Judaics Studies Director (Primary and Elementary Program)
and Primary Education Director
Miriam holds an AMI Teaching certificate from Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College, Maryland and a Master’s of Arts degree in Special Education from New York University. She has more than 25 years of teaching experience in kindergarten and elementary programs. Miriam is teaching Judaics in the elementary school, and directing the Judaics program in the primary school. She has experience as a lead teacher in Sulam and as a special-education teacher at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville. Miriam has expertise in research-based instructional strategies, such as the use of multi-sensory materials and the Wilson Reading system. She also has a teaching certificate from Beit Midrash L’Nashim in Israel. Most importantly, with her sensitive and gentle personality, Miriam is able to reach and meet the needs of every child, using her insight and creativity to ensure that each student is learning at his or her own pace. Miriam is married to Rabbi Josef Singer of Young Israel-Ezras Israel Congregation of Potomac. We are proud to have Miriam on our staff since 2005.
Farhana Quadri, Primary Montessori Teacher
Farhana is an AMI Montessori teacher and an energetic mother. In addition to her BS in Business Administration, Farhana holds a JD degree from Kings College, University of London. She practiced law for several years before changing careers and taking an AMI Montessori certification course from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College, Maryland, one of the most prestigious Montessori training centers in the country. Farhana is an innovative and articulate teacher since 2009 with an acute sensitivity to children's needs and abilities. Farhana moved to the U.S. and settled in the area with her family. She has been teaching at Alef Bet Montessori since August 2008.
Sharmaleen Mahamooth, Montessori Teacher of the Toddler Class
Sharmaleen received her Montessori certification from Sri Lanka, and joined our program in August 2006. She has years of experience teaching in the U.S. and brings this experience with grace and composure to our classroom. Sharmaleen is a kind and loving teacher. She is well respected and loved by the parents and staff members alike. Sharmaleen's character and ability is an asset to the School since 2006.
Christine Parson, Music Teacher and Elementary Teacher
Christine is an AMI Montessori teacher whose expertise is in music. She earned Bachelor degrees in Music and Science from St. Lawrence University, NY and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Christine completed her AMS certification in 1990 from CMTE, in addition to her AMI certification in 1996 from the Washington Montessori Institute. She has been teaching music since college and has over 15 years of Montessori classroom teaching experience. She also gives private lessons at her home in flute and teaches music programs at KMMS and Lone Oak Montessori School. We are proud to have her on our staff since 2009.
Sorah Rivkah Goodman, Primary Montessori Teacher Primary Class
Sorah Rivkah is a well experienced teacher who has taught early childhood program at the Hebrew Academy for many years prior to taking the AMI Montessori Teachers training in Loyola. She has successfully graduated the AMI training in the summer of 2011 and became a certified AMI teacher. Sorah Rivkah joined our staff in September 2011, and is a beloved Primary Teacher in our school.
Amanda Hess, Elementary Montessori Teacher INCOMING Fall 2013
Ms. Amanda Hess has been a Montessori Teacher for several years at an AMI school in Middlebury, VA. She holds an AMI Elementary Teaching Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College. Amanda's youth and lively disposition are an asset to our classroom. She trained as an assistant prior to taking the AMI training and enjoys her years of teaching experience. Amanda is joining us as a lead teacher starting in the fall of 2013. We are proud to have Ms. Hess join our staff.
Rabbi Daniel Moses, In training for Elementary Montessori Teacher Fall 2013
Rabbi Moses has been a teacher since 2004. He holds a Master degree (MA) in Education from George Washington University and Advanced Talmudic Studies from Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater Washington. He graduated his BA in Talmudic Letters in Yeshivat Beit Israel in Jerusalem, Israel. Rabbi Moses has enjoyed teaching in the DC area; most recently, he taught at the Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva of Greater Washington (Boys and Girls divisions). Rabbi Moses will be taking an AMI Elementary training this summer in Connecticut and is expected to complete his training by Fall 2015. We are proud to have Rabbi Moses join our staff as of Fall 2013. He is eager about Montessori education and will contribute his vast knowledge to the creating of Montessori materials to our Judaic and Hebrew program.
Marcia Abrookin, Support Staff in the Toddler Class
Marcia joined the school in 2009 as an Assistant in our Toddler class. A pleasant, caring and experienced assistant, Marcia masters English and Hebrew. Marcia completed the requirements for Professional Training of Early Childhood required by MSDE. In addition, Marcia completed an AMI Assistants training course at Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College, Maryland. She has worked as an early childhood caregiver in the Washington DC area since 2001 and has years of experience working with young children. She brings that knowledge along with the Hebrew language into our Toddler classroom.
Efi Maruani, Support Staff in the Primary Class
Efi has joined our school in 2009 as an Assistant in our Primary class. A sweet, kind and fathering role, Efi makes the children feel loved and happy. He has a remarkable creative hands and abilities that help our classroom projects. Efi is a fluent Hebrew speaker and he has completed an AMI Assistants training course at Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola Collage, Maryland.
Ofer Itzchak, Support Staff in the Primary Class
Ofer has joined our school in the fall of 2011, as a support staff in the Primary class. Ofer is a fluent Hebrew speaker and adds warmth and kindness to our classroom. With a gentle yet firm voice Ofer converse with the children in Hebrew and allows more language to flow in the class.
Jordon Grubic, Support Staff in the Primary Class
Jordon joined our school for the year of 2012, as a support staff member in the Primary Class. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education as well as an Associate Degree in Teaching, Early Childhood Education. Jordon has previous experience in both, assistant teaching and special education. He comes highly recommended and we are thrilled to have him join our staff.
Sandra Katz, Support Staff and Hebrew Coordinator
Sandra joined our school in the winter of 2012 as support staff and Hebrew Coordinator. Sandra has had wonderful experience as a Hebrew guide at JDS for over 5 years. She holds a Teacher's Diploma and Masters in Sociology from Bar Ilan University.
Orit Hertz, Support Staff in the Elementary Class
Orit joined our school for the year of 2012. A skilled and enthusiastic assistant, Orit is also a fluent Hebrew speaker. Orit has a Teaching Certificate as well as a Teacher's License in Computer Science. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree and has prior experience as a high school teacher. Orit is also very accomplished in the field of teaching computer science, She set up a computer During the summer of 2012, Orit successfully completed an AMI Assistants training course at Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College, Maryland.
Patty Barshay, Elementary Montessori Teacher and Consultant
Ms. Patty Barshay has been a Montessori Teacher since 1974. She holds an AMI Elementary Teaching Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College. Patty was the Head of the Paint Branch Montessori School in the DC area for 28 years and has has more than 30 years of teaching experience. Most recently, she taught a Montessori Elementary class at Manor Montessori School in MD. She has since retired from full time teaching. Patty has been a consultant for our school since 2012. Patty was honored by Sergy Brin, Co-Founder of Google, as his favorite teacher. We are proud to have Patty join our staff.
Pat Kruse, Elementary Montessori Teacher (Sub teacher)
Ms. Kruse will be joining our program on February 18, 2012, as a teacher to the Elementary class. Ms. Kruse has been teaching for many years and has retired in the last couple of years from full time teaching. She will be joining Patty Barshay and Miriam Singer in the classroom for several months. Ms. Kruse hold an AMI Elementary Teaching certificate from Bergamo Montessori Teaching Center, Italy.
Janel Herman, Business Manager
Janel joined our staff in 2007 and handles bookkeeping, accounts and financial information for the school. Prior to joining us, she was the treasurer of Beth El Preschool for many years. In addition to her BS in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, Janel also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland. A pleasant and genial staff member, Janel will be able to assist in any questions parents might have concerning the accounts and enrollment at the school.
Golda Rivkah Sanders, Assistant to the Director
Golda Rivkah joined our staff for the year of 2012. She is assisting Ayelet this year as we expand the school. Golda Rivkah has both school administrative and teaching experience, including working as an assistant teacher for Alef Bet. She is also working with Miriam in developing the Judaic curriculum for the elementary.
Amanda Boltax, Assistant Director of Communications
Amanda joined our staff during the summer of 2008 and is responsible for the editing of the school's newsletter and the website. She will also be working in other areas to enhance the communication between parents and the school. Previously the Deputy Editor for the Washington Post Sports section, she holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California. Amanda will work part-time to establish and maintain a successful communications network for the school.