Dr. Dan Ahlstrom, Head of School

Dr. Ahlstrom came to BYDS from the Tucson Hebrew Academy in Tucson, Arizona, where he was the assistant head of school. Dr. Ahlstrom holds a PhD in Education Leadership, Policy, and Administration. As a RAVSAK, Project SuLam-educated school leader, Dr. Ahlstrom has fully demonstrated his understanding of, belief in, and ability to be a compelling advocate for Jewish values, culture, Jewish education, and Jewish thought. Dr. Ahlstrom brings in-depth knowledge about the challenges Jewish independent schools face, and he is proud of his work in curriculum development, integration, and mapping. He is appreciated by all for his authenticity, willingness to collaborate, and ability to build a strong team. He and his wife have four children. The oldest attends American University and the youngest three are students at The Emery/Weiner School.

Cynthia Kirsch, Assistant Head of School for Education/Elementary School Principal

Cindy Kirsch joined BYDS after serving as Principal of the Prince of Peace Catholic School in Plano, Texas for 12 years where she led school initiatives that gained national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence honors. At Prince of Peace, Ms. Kirsch was a respected leader and collaborative colleague with skills in program/curriculum design, effective approaches to classroom management, and teacher recruitment and mentorship. Among the highlights of Ms. Kirsch’s tenure as Principal was her partnership with JASON Science Project, teacher professional development to advance 21st Century student learners, state-of-the-art technological improvements, programs for special needs students, and her innovative educational plans for exceptional learners. Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Denver, and she earned her M.A. in School Leadership at the University of Dallas.

Ariel Rozen, Director of Judaic Studies

Ariel Rozen has served in multiple capacities at Beth Yeshurun Day School.  She was a Hebrew and Judaics teacher before becoming the Director of Academic Technology. Mrs. Rozen has been involved in Jewish education in both formal and informal settings since her teens. She has been teaching formally for over 15 years. Mrs. Rozen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Jewish Studies and a second Bachelor’s degree in Education from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She holds a Master’s Degree in Academic Leadership and has completed her Principal Certification.  Her daughter attends Beth Yeshurun Day School and her two older children have graduated from BYDS as well.

Lauren Kupor, Director of Admissions

A native Texan, Lauren grew up in Dallas graduating from The Hockaday School and then earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a minor in History. Before coming to MD Anderson, Lauren was an Account Director at DPW PR, where she served as team lead and was responsible for client event planning, brainstorming/strategizing, developing plans and crisis communications. Her clients included Landry’s, Inc. and Simon Property Group. Lauren has experience in healthcare marketing and community relations. She created a successful Worksite Wellness Program for a local hospital and branded it as the go-to healthcare facility. She also spent eight years on TV as a broadcast journalist in Columbia, MO, San Angelo, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, and Chattanooga, TN. Outside of work, Lauren is actively involved in the community through the Houston Food Bank and Hermann Park Conservancy. She was recently named to the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Houston. Lauren enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with her family. Her husband, Gregg, is a BYDS alumnus and her son, Ethan, is a future BYDS student.

Guido Setton, Director of Development

Mr. Setton came to Beth Yeshurun Day School from the Jewish Federation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was the director of community development. While at the Tulsa Federation, Guido was responsible for the $1.8M Campaign and related events and activities, solicited for special projects, and identified sponsorship opportunities. Guido was born and raised Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he graduated as a lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires. Prior to Tulsa, Mr. Setton worked at non-profit organizations in Montreal and Vancouver. His daughter is a student at Beth Yeshurun Day School.

Linda Atzil, Financial Controller

Linda joined BYDS after 22 years with MD Anderson where she worked in the departments of Internal Audit,  Clinical Revenue & Reimbursement, Clinical Operations Informatics, and Institutional Compliance. Her various roles involved performing audits and investigations, hospital cost accounting, and preparing financial analyses and reports. Linda also served as a “Be Well Champ” for the hospital’s employee wellness program. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Accounting from Tulane University and later obtained certifications in both public accountancy (CPA) and internal audit (CIA).  Her three children are all Beth Yeshurun Day School graduates.

Director of Early Childhood

This position is a very important role to our school and we are moving forward to find an outstanding individual to lead our Early Childhood Program, work with parents, and inspire our excellent staff. The search for our new director has commenced with the engagement of Southern Teachers, a contingency fee-based search firm, as well as the posting of the position description on several online job boards (NAIS, Jewish Jobs, etc.). A search committee, comprised of constituent representatives (Senior Admin, Early Childhood teachers, parents and Board) will be assembled shortly. Resumes have already been received from prospective candidates. The objective is to find a top-credentialed leader for the Early Childhood to be in place by July 1. If our new EC director is available earlier, or if a qualified interim candidate becomes available, we will engage her/him accordingly. Until then, we will work diligently with both teachers and our families to ensure the best possible Early Childhood program experience. Click here to read more information and updates about our search.