What Did You Do This Summer? Faculty Edition

Phrase overheard in classrooms throughout the land on the first day of school.

“Okay, students.  Today we are going to write about what we did this summer.”

Oftentimes, teachers ask their students to write about their summer experiences.  We decided to turn the tables on our faculty and asked them to write about their summer experiences.  We hope you will enjoy reading this representative sample of their responses.

Amy Neiwirth spent three weeks at Camp Ramah in the Poconos as the artist-in-residence.  While at the camp, Amy collaborated with campers and staff to create artwork reflecting Jewish themes and values.   She also created an 8-foot retro-inspired mural of Jerusalem.  Amy looks forward to duplicate this experience by creating a series of murals to adorn the walls of our school.

Dr. Matthew Kennedy spent his summer deeply involved with professional growth and science education. He was invited to Kansas City to be a reader for the AP Physics exams, one of 150 teachers nation-wide given this honor. He taught a three week workshop, 8 hours a day, to chemistry teachers on best practices in chemistry education and instruction, and over the summer, as a member of the National Biology Curriculum Committee completed a national curriculum for Biology education that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the specific standards of Ohio, Texas, New York and California. CTA will be a beta test site for the new curriculum. Finally, last week, he served on the Ohio Department of Education’s Standards Setting Committee for Biology and Physics.

Steve Guinan worked with a group of Chinese exchange students through a program sponsored by Ohio State University, the same program that sponsored Mr. Guinan’s trip to China in 2013.

Rabbi Weitz and family headed for upstate New York where they enjoyed the great outdoors, highlighted by a stroller friendly hike around a “sky lake” replete with spectacular scenic views, an experience they highly recommend.  He also attended a 3 day conference hosted by CoJDS (Consortium on Jewish Day Schools) together with Rabbi Drandoff in NY.

Irit and Dror Karavani returned to Israel for the summer where they became better acquainted with their new grandchild.  Dror visited Kvar Saba, our twin city, bringing with him the many projects that our students completed in our partnership with the “Rakefet School.” Dror pursued his passion for archeology and Tanach, by participating in an archeological dig, an experience he will share with our school community through various programs and exhibits throughout the coming year. He participated in a weeklong Tanach seminar at Yeshivat Har Etziyon.

Dr. Ana Echevarria-Morales, (AKA: Dr. E) visited Israel and Venice this summer.  After spending Shabbat  enjoying the mystical and revitalizing energy of Safed, they hopped on a plane to Venice where they visited the historic synagogues and partook of the culinary delicacies afforded by the Jewish Ghetto which is celebrating the five-hundredth anniversary of its founding. As an English teacher, Dr. E visited favorite destinations of writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, Lord Byron, Marcel Proust, Henry James and Joseph Brodsky.  She will have much to share with her students this fall.

Also spending time in Israel was Kelly Adar who spent her summer catching up with parents, children and grandchildren.  She spent much time working on finding appropriate Hebrew language materials for our students.

Helen Miller visited upstate New York, the Delaware shore and Virginia where she spent time with her daughter, son-in-law, and to quote Helen, “her darling grandson.”

Rabbi Savage taught Torah at Camp Seneca Lake.  He also collaborated with Rabbi Drandoff on curriculum.

Leah Savage was Program Director at Camp Seneca Lake.  She will bring many new ideas to her position as Director of Student Activities, here at CTA.

Dianna Wolff spent a week  in Atlanta, Georgia, participating in a program entitled, “Seminar on Teaching the Modern State of Israel,” presented by the Center for Israel Education at Emory University.  She also worked on a Hebrew language related education research project.

The summer months offer our teachers the opportunity to recharge their batteries for the intense teaching/learning experience that the school year represents.  They also participate in valuable professional development and garner important life experiences that enrich their teaching.