LONGMEADOW – “Being at the helm of a growing school takes much hard work and perseverance. But it is the dedication and care that stand out the most when thinking about effective administrators,” said Rabbi Noach Kosofsky, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) principal, upon the official appointment of LYA’s co-directors of Education.
One and a half years ago Judi Epstein and Stephanie Zolotor stepped up to the role of interim co-directors of Education at LYA. Together they effectively led the staff and students at LYA.
Rabbi Noach Kosofsky has now announced that the board of directors of LYA officially appointed Ms. Judi (as she is affectionately called by students) and Mrs. Zolotor (who also teaches 5th grade secular studies) co-directors of Education of LYA.
“They are more than a team,” Rabbi Kosofsky said. “They are a powerhouse dedicated to the students, staff and parents of LYA. Ms. Judi and Mrs. Zolotor go the extra mile beyond the call of duty, set high standards and model leadership at LYA.”
Stephanie Zolotor joined the LYA team in 2010 as a half-day secular teacher for 5th grade. She received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from UMass Amherst and a Masters degree in Education from Smith College. She is the 2012 recipient of the Harold Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. She is also the 2012 recipient of the National Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
“I am so thankful that I was able to step into the role as Co-Educational Director with Judi so seamlessly,” Zolotor said. “Judi and I work together as partners and we are completely dedicated to support our staff, students, parents and community to have the most vibrant, caring school possible.”
Judi Epstein joined the LYA family in 2012 as a volunteer to give back to the community. She began her volunteer position by working one-on-one with students and training Judaic teachers in using the SIOP (sheltered instruction observation protocol) method.
Epstein holds a BA in education from AIC and a masters degree from Cambridge College. Before coming to LYA Judi worked as a teacher at Ludlow DYS facility, River Valley Academy and in Holyoke and Granby school systems. Judi’s professional development expertise includes: Inclusion Strategies, Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
A Collaborative Problem Solving Approach, Special Education, Foundation for Reading Certification, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Instructor and Impact of NCLB on Special Education.
“Each day that I go to school I am as excited as the first day I came to volunteer at LYA,” Epstein said. “Working together with Stephanie as a team allows me to help all the students and staff at LYA achieve their personal best.”
CAP: Miss Judi Epstein loves visiting the classrooms and interacting with the students. She is pictured here with kindergarten student, Rivka Stein.