I am thrilled to share with you that we have selected Shari Pick Taishoff as our next Associate Director of the Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School at The JCC in Manhattan. Shari is an accomplished early childhood educator and administrator and we are looking forward to welcoming her passion, perspective, and thoughtfulness to our team.
Shari is currently wrapping up her year as the Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Center at The Jewish Community Project (JCP) in Tribeca. She joined JCP in 2007 as a pre-K head teacher; simultaneously, Shari was also the supervisor of the JCP Camp, coordinating and overseeing the entire program. In September 2011, Shari was promoted to the role of Education Coordinator at JCP, overseeing parts of the Hebrew School, camp, and My Grown Up and Me classes. In her role this year as Assistant Director, Shari continued to oversee My Grown Up and Me classes and took on additional responsibilities such as teacher supervision, coordinating and arranging schedules and communicating with support service providers.
When Shari describes herself she says she feels she has always been an educator; teaching was something that always felt natural to her. Her early experiences with young children were as a camp counselor and then as a head counselor overseeing the teen division of Camp Poyntelle. While earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University at Albany, she taught at the local JCC. Upon graduation, Shari began teaching the pre-K class at the Brotherhood Synagogue Nursery School. During her time at Brotherhood, Shari obtained a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the Bank Street College of Education. Shari feels passionate about building a Jewish community among young children and their families. She believes in a child-centered approach to teaching and that children come to school each day ready to work, and that a child’s work is their play.
Our search for a new Associate Director has proven to be an exciting process for our team. We are confident that in our selection of Shari we have identified a dynamic educator who will not only help us continue our work as a school but also extend and grow in new and exciting directions. Shari’s experience as a nursery teacher and administrator in progressive Jewish settings in Manhattan give her an excellent foundation from which to draw as she begins her work in our community.
Shari will officially start in her position on August 7th; she will spend the summer preparing for her roles around Parents Association, staff development, exmissions, school operations, and more. Shari will be reaching out to our many different Parents Association committee members to get to know them and how she can support their work throughout the year.
I would like to thank the team that helped me make this decision and formed the interview panel for our final round of candidates: Dava Schub, Chief Programming Officer at the JCC; Felicia Gordon, our outgoing Associate Director; Tara Ekelman, our Admissions Director and School Administrator; and Miriam Leviton, Director of Programs for Infants and Young Children at the JCC. This team provided invaluable support and insight into the needs of our children, parents, and staff.
Please join me in congratulating Shari and wishing her well. You can welcome her to our community through her JCC email at firstname.lastname@example.org. May all of us go from strength to strength.