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Faculty Spotlight Week 6

Andrea Feinman, TWOs Lead Teacher

What is your most memorable moment at BYDS so far?

When we invited the parents to join us for Shabbat via zoom for the first time.  It was so nice to be able to include all the families in our classroom celebration and give parents a glimpse of how much their children are enjoying school.  

Did anything or anyone inspire you to become a teacher?

I had a very unconventional calculus teacher in high school who managed to make math fun and who taught for mastery instead of grades.  I thought about his strategies a lot in college and ended up studying education.  

If you had to live in a either a library or a zoo for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

I’ve always wanted to live in a museum, like in the book, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”   

What is your favorite sport to watch? To play?

My family is really into Formula 1 racing and we all enjoy watching that together.  I don’t play sports, but I have always loved snow skiing.  

Dana Hakimi, THREEs Assistant Teacher

What is your most memorable moment at BYDS so far?

During one of the hardest times in mine and my family’s life several years ago when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer the Beth Yeshurun Community both staff and parents of my students and even those who I haven’t been my students gave me and my family so my love, support and encouragement to help me get through it. I was able to work during my treatment and the support and going to work every day was the perfection distraction for me.

Did anything or anyone inspire you to become a teacher?

There is not one specific teacher that comes to mind, but many have touched me along the way. Honestly, I have always enjoyed working with kids. I started babysitting at the age of 11 every weekend and then I went on to be a counselor at the Jewish Community Center for many years. I knew I wanted and was destined to be in field that involved helping children whether it was Psychology or teaching.

What are some traditions or superstitions you have for the First Day of School?

I am always excited for the first day of school – no superstitions or traditions so to speak. I just work hard to make our room inviting and fun for the students and I really go above and beyond to try to connect with parents and students so that it can be a successful year. I have been referred by many of my students as the “silly” teacher. I just like to bring the FUN !!!!

Have you ever met someone famous?

I used to work at a Country Club in Houston where lots of local Sports and Television celebrities would work out and play tennis. I was lucky to hang out with Hakeem Olajuwon and his brothers, Jeff Bagwell, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Calvin Murphy just to name a few. They would come in and I would have to play it cool, but inside I was freaking out with excitement.

Mariana Rivero Sutil, Spanish Teacher

What is your favorite thing about BYDS?

One of the things that surprised me the most is the community environment. I love the fact that students are willing to help each other.

How do you think students will remember you and your class?

I hope they remember me as a teacher who helped them know more Spanish than they believed they could learn.

How do you spend your summer breaks?

During summer I like to spend my time at the beach and any activities close to the water.

What is your favorite kind of candy, and why?

My favorite is chocolate, so anything that has chocolate in it! Especially, Kinder Bueno.

Elizabeth Travis, Kindergarten Teacher

Where did you go to college, and what attracted you to the education field?

I graduated from Schreiner University. My grandfather also attended Schreiner, however, at that time it was a military academy then he went on to West Point. My mother was a special education teacher and I’ve had some amazing teachers growing up that inspired me. 

What are your hobbies/interests (other than making BYDS great)?

I started hand sewing when I was 3, I enjoy quilting, dressmaking, and embroidery. camping, kayaking, sailing…anything outside. 

Where would you travel to for one month?

I would travel to Svalbard; it is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. They experience 4 months of complete darkness. In February, the sun begins to rise over the north pole and the sky is bright blue. Then it is day light 24/7 until the fall when it becomes dark again. I think experiencing that transition from complete darkness to the sunrise would be an adventure. Also, they have polar bears, puffins, reindeer, and sometimes narwhals!  

What talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could play the piano or knew how to work with ceramic art.

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