We are thrilled to have Jennifer LeVine as our new Head of School. You may know her as the Director of Early Childhood, Alex’s mom, or you may not know her at all. We caught up with Jennifer to ask her more about her background and what drew her to BYDS!
First, two truths and a lie! Tell us two true facts about you, and one lie.
- My favorite baseball team is the Dodgers, but I am learning to love the Astros, too!
- My favorite color is pink (especially sparkly, light pink).
- My favorite animal is a cat (I have two cute ones at home: Cali and Dodger)
See the answer at the end!
Tell us a bit more about your background and your history in education.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where I attended a Jewish day school for elementary, middle, and high school. I then received my Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Loyola Marymount University and then a Master of Arts in Education from Pepperdine University. For the last 14 years, I have worked in Jewish day schools serving in a variety of teaching and administrative roles such as Dean of Students, Principal, Associate Head of School, and most recently as BYDS’ Early Childhood Director.
What do you love most about working in education?
The best part of working in education is being able to interact daily with students, parents, and community members. I get to be out and about on campus: in classrooms, in the lunchroom, and on the playground hearing about what students are learning and getting to know their interests and about their lives. It’s so important for students to feel comfortable with their teachers and administrators. This life-long skill of “speaking up” will help them in secondary school, college, and beyond.
What are you most looking forward to?
This is a tough question to answer in a brief paragraph. There are so many things I am looking forward to this year at BYDS! First and foremost, I am excited to get to know all the BYDS students and families. This year I am fortunate to be a part of both Early Childhood and Elementary School activities and programs. I can’t wait to see all our students show off their love of learning, leadership skills, and commitment to Jewish values. I am looking forward to celebrating chagim together and our weekly Shabbat services. Coming up next week, we will celebrate BYDS Strong Day and the opening of our Outdoor Education Center together.
Tell us a bit more about your family, and what you like to do for fun!
I have a husband named Joel and three children (Aiden 11, Alex 4, and Amelia 4). Alex is loving life in Pre-K here at BYDS. When not in school, we enjoy road trips around Texas and the rest of the country (Disneyworld the most!). We also are big professional sports fans. It did not take long once we moved to Houston to become Astros and Texans fans! Most Sundays, you can catch our family at Costco.
And, a few short fill in the blanks:
- My next career will be: While I will always be HOS at BYDS, I wouldn’t mind being a Starbucks barista (for the discounts).
- Most exciting part of moving to Houston: Definitely being a part of the BYDS and CBY community. We have already made so many new friends.
- My favorite Friday night is: Having Shabbat dinner with my family and then watching a baseball game or a new movie.
- One book you cannot live without: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. I have reread that book countless times, and it was always my favorite to teach!
- Dream band / musician you hope will tour in Houston is: 80s Madonna
(Psst…this one gives away Jennifer’s “two truths and a lie”: the third statement is the lie: My favorite animal is a dog. Our dog’s name is She-ra Princess of Power.