Portland Jewish Academy is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and is proud of our partnership with them in strengthening our local Jewish community as well as the global community.







Faculty & Staff Directory

Laurel Akridge

Laurel Akridge

Two's Teacher
Steve Albert

Steve Albert

Executive Director
I am a school leader because our children are our future, and school is where they learn the skills, knowledge and values needed to make the world a better place.

Dylan Anderson

PJA-Kidzone Before & Afterschool Program, Activity Leader, Kindergarten-6th grade
Sandi Anslow

Sandi Anslow

Art Teacher (Early Childhood)
I teach because art is my passion! I want to give our children the opportunity to discover, create and share their own work and ideas, and learn how to work cooperatively with others to make even more exciting artwork!
Betsy Bailey

Betsy Bailey

General Studies Director, School Counselor
Kyle Ballard

Kyle Ballard

PE Teacher - Pre-k - 6
Leslie Berman

Leslie Berman

2 Day 2's and 3 Day 3's Teacher
I teach because I love helping children develop a sense of self and a sense of community.
Christine Black

Christine Black

Toddler Teacher
Adie Bovee

Adie Bovee

Middle School Instructional Assistant
I teach because I love learning.
Richard Boyd

Richard Boyd

Registrar, Administrative Assistant
Kasey Breuier

Kasey Breuier

2nd Grade General Studies Teacher
I teach because of my second grade teacher. That year in school was a turning point for me--she made school (and learning) fun and I grew to love it because of her. I want to share that love of learning with my students.
Marcie Brewer

Marcie Brewer

Middle School Humanities and Drama Teacher

I teach because teaching is a gift. Middle schoolers are amazing. They are old enough to understand the true complexities of life, but young enough that they’re not yet jaded. They make me smile everyday, and I get to share all of my passions—literature, poetry, drama, history, social activism—with them.  

Alyson Broberg

Alyson Broberg

Middle School Instructional Assistant

I teach because it is the best way to learn. I love learning from the students and staff at PJA.

Danielle Brown

Danielle Brown

Infant Teacher
Priscilla Caldwell

Priscilla Caldwell

Three's Teacher
Drew Calhoun

Drew Calhoun

Toddler Teacher
Justin Carroll

Justin Carroll

Early Childhood Music Teacher

I teach because it is the best way to help young people know from the beginning of their lives that they are part of a community, part of the fabric of human life, and part of a storied and ancient Jewish tradition. Because if I do it well they may never question their inherent worth and belonging. And because it is FUN!

Jennifer Clegg

Jennifer Clegg

Toddler Teacher
Elana Cohn-Rozansky

Elana Cohn-Rozansky

Service Learning Coordinator

I teach because I love learning and love to think of creative and meaningful ways to spark wonder and curiosity in young people. My hope is that my students will seek out and embrace opportunities to learn, grow, and expand their understanding of the world and their responsibility to it.

Sharee Conner

Sharee Conner

Two's Teacher

I teach because “We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”
― Stephen King, 11/22/63

Brian Darnell

Brian Darnell

IT Specialist
I work in IT at PJA because I believe schools should be secure in the technology they use and get the best customer service!  
Shahar Eden

Shahar Eden

Middle School Hebrew and PE Teacher, Israel Trip Coordinator
Irit Elchaiani

Irit Elchaiani

2nd and 4th Grade Hebrew Teacher
Becky Ewer

Becky Ewer

Marketing and Creative Director

I market for PJA so people can learn about how our school makes mensches!

Stephanie Faddis

Stephanie Faddis

1st Grade General Stuides Teacher
Benjamin Foote

Benjamin Foote

Middle School Jewish Studies Teacher

I teach because I can't not teach.

Jennifer Garrell

Jennifer Garrell

Three's Teacher
Beth Germain

Beth Germain

Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, I am grateful to be able to utilize my skills in a positive way and be part of a community that honors learning and community service (making mensches).
Sarah Glass

Sarah Glass

Admission Director

As Admission Director, I love sharing the powerful story of PJA with families.

Charlotte Gund

Assistant Director of After School Programs

I work in Afterschool because I believe in it's ability to support student's social and emotional growth in a deeply meaningful way, as well as providing an opportunity for modeling a socially aware, compassionate, kind community!


Najwa H

Infant/Toddler Teacher

I teach because I want to help each child realize their unique purpose in the world.

Natalie Haskins

Director of PJA Afterschool Programs

I teach because there is nothing I find more rewarding than supporting a child as they learn and grow.  

Merrill Hendin

Merrill Hendin

Principal
I am the principal at PJA because I believe it is important to build a strong foundation of Jewish life and learning for our future. Our students are links in a long chain of history and culture and they are our legacy. 
Holly Hennig

Holly Hennig

Two's Teacher
Allison Hernandez

Allison Hernandez

Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education
I teach because children are capable, contributing citizens of this world; we can learn from them if only we listen!
Sara Hernandez

Sara Hernandez

Toddler Teacher
Anna Hixon

Anna Hixon

Graphic Designer and Social Media Specialist
I design for PJA because I love to help highlight the programs and community that make our school so unique and wonderful. 
Jana Hopfinger

Jana Hopfinger

Hebrew Jewish Studies Teacher (Grades 3 and 5)
Megan Hughes

Megan Hughes

4th Grade General Studies Teacher

I teach because this is a job where I am surrounded by open minds, new ideas, and and our best hopes for the future. The learning and growth I see on a daily basis is inspiring!

Michael Hyde

Michael Hyde

Maker and STEAM Integrator, Project Based Learning Coordinator
Daravanh Insixiengmay

Daravanh Insixiengmay

Snack Coordinator, Aftercare Lead
Kayla Jacobs

Kayla Jacobs

Preschool Teacher
Rhona Jacobs

Rhona Jacobs

Resource Manager
Lily Jones

Lily Jones

Preschool Instructor
I teach because children are the most fun and inspiring people to be around. We make each other better. 
Jim Juntunen

Jim Juntunen

5th Grade General Studies Teacher

I teach because it is inspiring to see the creativity and unique perspectives that young people bring to school. 


Lisa Katon

Lisa Katon

Donor Relations and Grants Specialist
I fundraise for PJA because I believe in the mission of the school and have seen first-hand the mensches we are helping to create.
Maya Katri

Maya Katri

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher
Amy Katz

Amy Katz

Director of Jewish Life
I teach because, as it is said in the Talmud, "I have learned a lot from my teachers, even more from my friends, but from my students I have learned the most." 
Natalya Kerner

Natalya Kerner

Two's Teacher
Ellen Kipnis

Ellen Kipnis

Three's Teacher
Saul Korin

Saul Korin

Director of Donor Engagement + Philanthropy
I fundraise because PJA students are the future of Portland.
Katie Kornberg

Katie Kornberg

Preschool Teacher
Kim Krikorian

Kim Krikorian

Preschool Teacher
Gabriele Kruger

Gabriele Kruger

Infant Toddler Floater
Jennifer Landis

Jennifer Landis

Young Toddlers Teacher
Jade Lee

Jade Lee

Three's Teacher
Larisa Lerner

Larisa Lerner

Hebrew Support Teacher
Robbyn Leventhal

Robbyn Leventhal

3rd Grade General Studies Teacher
Rosanne Levi

Rosanne Levi

PJA Receptionist, PJA Auction Manager
Denise Littlefield

Denise Littlefield

Finance Assistant
Celinda Llanez

Celinda Llanez

Kindergarten General Studies Teacher, Summer Discovery Director

I teach because I want to plant the seeds in my students to be kind, always wonder and ask questions, to leave things better than they found them, to trust themselves when they make mistakes, and to try to do the right thing, even when nobody is looking.

Heather MacLauchlan

PJA-Kidscorner Afterschool Program, Site Supervisor, Kindergarten-3rd grade
Beth Markell

Beth Markell

Early Childhood Inclusion Specialist
Debbie Matulef

Debbie Matulef

Preschool Floater

Kimberly McCann

Middle School Math Teacher
Jake McCoy

Jake McCoy

Support Services Educator
Lynne Meyerowitz

Lynne Meyerowitz

Support Services Educator
Bekkah Morgan

Bekkah Morgan

Toddler Teacher
Sara Morton

Sara Morton

Middle School Science Teacher, Science Club Coordinator and Lower School Science Integrator
I teach because I want to inspire awe and raise awareness about our planet and its intricacies - how beautiful, amazing, and connected everything is. Even in what seems like the most minute thing, the workings of the universe can be revealed.
Nicole Moylan

Nicole Moylan

Two's Teacher
Brenna Nakamura

Brenna Nakamura

Kindergartent Instructional Assistant

Bess Nation

Instructional Assistant for 3rd Grade

Han Ngo

IT Manager
Deirdre O'Brien

Deirdre O'Brien

Support Services Educator
I teach because…children are our future.
Gita Pastala

Gita Pastala

Middle School Math Teacher
I teach because middle schoolers energize and inspire me. Mathematics is the tool, because I find great joy in it, but teaching is my destiny. My goal is to help every student discover the great joy in Mathematics, not only the ones for whom it comes easy, but especially for the one who believes it’s not for them.
Susanna Perrin

Susanna Perrin

Jewish Studies Teacher (Grades 1, 2 and 4)
I teach because I love working with children and I find it rewarding to share my passion for Judaism and learning with them.
Aaron Peterson

Aaron Peterson

5th Grade Jewish Studies Teacher
Liz Phillips

Liz Phillips

Teacher of Middle School Math, 5th grade Health, and Student Leadership, Middle School Admissions Liaison
Rand Raynor

Rand Raynor

5th Grade General Studies Teacher

I am a teacher for the same reason that Michael Corleone is a gangster: it's the family business. Mother, father, three older brothers. It must be in the blood (or the Long Island water).

Maryjane Rocker

Maryjane Rocker

Executive Assistant
Radha Rogers

Radha Rogers

Middle School Spanish, Health, Wellness, and Cooking Teacher and Garden Educator

I teach because… I love to learn

Matt Rosenberg

Matt Rosenberg

Technology Integration Specialist

I teach to help students gain the ability to be critical thinkers, who can solve real-world problems both inside and outside the classroom.

Erika Saiers

Erika Saiers

Director of Early Childhood Education
I teach because I am inspired by learners and honored to support and guide young people.
Cheryl Salgado

Cheryl Salgado

Toddler Teacher
Karen Sapoznikow

Karen Sapoznikow

Development Administrative Assistant
Kim Schneiderman

Kim Schneiderman

Music Teacher (Day School)
Renee Schwartz

Renee Schwartz

Infant Toddler Floater
Lucy Schwimmer

Lucy Schwimmer

2nd Grade General Studies Teaacher
Alisa Scudamore

Alisa Scudamore

Art Teacher (Day School)

I teach because my students show me how to remain creative and open while making art. Their ideas and energy renew my optimism for our world.

Adrianne  Sharrock

Adrianne Sharrock

Preschool Teacher
Ela Shusterman

Ela Shusterman

Early Childhood Hebrew Teacher
Heather Simpson

Heather Simpson

1st Grade Instructional Assitant
I teach because I love to learn, and learning with children is the best way to teach. 
Linda Singer

Linda Singer

Auction Sponsor Coordinator, Chai Baby Coordinator
Molly Sloan

Molly Sloan

Library Media Specialist

I teach because I am a ready collaborator who loves all things library.  Connecting kids, teachers and parents to the right resource at the right time is what makes me tick!

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Registrar/Administrative Assistant
Crysie Stichler

Crysie Stichler

Payroll Manager & Accounts Receivable
Raquel Stogden

Raquel Stogden

Infants Teacher

Miriam Stroud

Human Resources Director
Debbie Sweeney

Debbie Sweeney

3 Day 3's Teacher, Preschool Floater
Flo von Grote

Flo von Grote

Instructional Assistant (Lower School), Maker and STEAM Integrator
Madeline Welter

Madeline Welter

Preschool Teacher

Jolene Williams

Kidsplace Before & Afterschool Program, Site Supervisor
Harriet Wingard

Harriet Wingard

6th Grade Middle School Humanities Teacher, Lower School Math Enrichment
I teach because: I grew up with parents who were educators; I often adored and was inspired by my teachers; I am a life-long learner.  I can't imagine any other job to which I would choose to dedicate so much of my life.
Rachael Yarbrough

Rachael Yarbrough

Toddler Teacher
Laura Young

Laura Young

Substitute
Tatiana Zawadzki

Tatiana Zawadzki

Two's Teacher