Faculty & Staff
Sarah White began her teaching career in Prince George's County where she taught fifth grade. She then taught in Queen Anne's County for many years. Mrs. White enjoys teaching but her favorite job was being a mentor teacher. She supervised and advised first year teachers. Mrs. White enjoyed helping good teachers become better teachers. Mrs. White earned a B.A. in Elementary Education at Goucher College and an M.S. in Education with emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction and certification in Administration from McDaniel College.
Years of teaching various ages and mothering three sons have led Allison Herman to incorporate multiple modalities in her instruction, ensuring that she reaches each of her students and provides the early success that gives them confidence as learners. Ms. Herman holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Experience as the mother of three very different children has helped to shape Kathy Poerstel's commitment to challenging gifted students, supporting those who struggle, and helping all students to accept themselves and others as unique learners. Mrs. Poerstel holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She participated in the M.A. Program in Educational Technology Leadership at George Washington University and is trained in the Orton Gillingham Method of reading instruction and remediation. In addition to being a general studies homeroom teacher, Mrs. Poerstel heads our Technology and PE programs.
Victoria Scheffer brings to the classroom dedication to education and zeal for learning; she is a model for her students of a life-long commitment to the pursuit of knowledge. Recognizing that students' talents, interests, and abilities represent a spectrum of diversity, she strives to create lessons that challenge, inform, and remediate a range of different learners, drawing on Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences. Her passion for history inspires her students to delve into history in a way that is relevant and meaningful for 21st century learners. Ms. Scheffer graduated summa cum laude from Mount Saint Mary's University. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, with a minor in history, and is certified by the state of Maryland.
Sherri Denora is a mid-life career changer after years in management in the field of advertising/public relations. Drawn to education by her life-long love of learning and working with children, she embraced the STEAM philosophy when she realized her students could learn math with the hands-on activities of art. She uses her love for art, reading, writing, and travel to stimulate her students’ curiosity and creativity. Mrs. Denora holds a B.A. in English, with a writing concentration, from University of Mary Washington and is certified by the state of Maryland in Elementary Education and Art Education. .
Diane McGrady is an experienced educator whose infectious energy and commitment to teaching cultivate in her students a high level of interest and motivate them to learn. She differentiates instruction for all learning styles and creates relevant experiences to make connections for the students to their own lives. Mrs. McGrady believes in hands-on learning through use of manipulatives and feels that communication in mathematics is essential for critical thinking skills. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Cabrini College and earned her Master's degree as a Certified Reading Specialist from Loyola University in 2012.
Through daily use of Hebrew and discussion of holidays, mitzvot, and Torah, Cheryl Krushat helps students to develop a positive sense of identity and pride - personally as a Jew, and collectively with the Jewish people. Mrs. Krushat has a bachelor=s degree in visual arts from Goucher College, an M.P.H. in public health education from the University of California, Berkeley, and has completed course work in Hebrew, Biblical History, and Jewish Education at Baltimore Hebrew University. She has worked as a Jewish educator for twenty years.
Chami Waddell has a diverse teaching experience as a librarian and a teacher. She is a former children's librarian with an MLS in library science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been in the classroom for 26 years, certified by the State of Maryland as an early childhood, reading and ESOL teacher. Mrs. Waddell has taught Hebrew and Judacic Studies in Religious School and Hebrew at the Community College. In her teaching, she believes in the power of play, in multiple intelligences, and in open-ended activities. In her classroom, she incorporates music, singing, poetry, and environmental education. She draws on her background in languages and linguistics. Mrs. Waddell sings with her synagogue choir, studies Arabic, and teaches Hebrew to adults. She is a native Israeli with bilingual children and grandchildren. She enjoys spending her summers in Israel.
Gloria Cohen is committed to child-centered learning that fosters critical thinking. She promotes creativity in her students and sustains their natural curiosity and love for learning. A working artist with her own practice, Mrs. Cohen has taught art in independent schools, and she has offered private studio instruction to children and adults. Mrs. Cohen received a B.A. in English and Communications, with a minor in Fine Arts, from Long Island University, and she has pursued extensive graduate study in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and art history.
Born and raised in Olney, MD, Cantor Apt grew up as the daughter of a Conservative Rabbi and has been leading services since before she can remember. After graduating from the Joint Program between Columbia University and Albert A. List College, where she received degrees in Music and Midrash, respectively, the H.L. Miller Cantorial School was the obvious choice. She received a Masters degree in Sacred Music and was invested as a Hazzan in 2013. She has worked as High Holiday Cantor in Ambridge, PA, Albany, NY and in Columbia, MD; as Cantorial Intern at Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, VA, as B’nai Mitzvah tutor and Torah Reader at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, and Student Cantor at Temple Beth Ahm of Aberdeen, NJ. Since graduating from Cantorial School, she has been a Music teacher and B'nai Mitzvah tutor at B'nai Israel Congregation Talmud Torah in Rockville, MD, led a children's choir at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD and as the Youth Services Coordinator/Junior Congregation Leader at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. She has served as B'nai Mitzvah Coordinator and Teen Program Coordinator of the Hill Havurah in Washington, DC, and as a part-time Cantor of Bet Chaverim in Columbia, MD, and currently also teaches Hebrew School at the Hill Havurah in Washington, DC and Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon, VA, and serves as Kadima Advisor for Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD. Cantor Apt lives in Virginia with her husband, Andrew, has extensive experience with Jewish A Cappella choirs, plays piano and guitar, and loves singing Broadway Showtunes and Disney songs in her spare time! .
Our fifth grade curriculum prepares our students for the next stage in their lives: middle school. Through departmentalization, fifth graders have the opportunity to experience distinct periods and subjects while reconnecting with familiar teachers. The teachers who share their expertise and experience are:
Diane McGrady, Language Arts
Victoria Scheffer, Social Studies
Chami Waddell, Hebrew & Judaic Studies
Victoria Scheffer – Science