Learning can be fun, and it certainly is in Morah Sheryl’s classroom where students learn through play and exploration. Her warmth, care, and excellent classroom management skills make her an exceptional educator that children and parents absolutely adore.
With her Florida Prekindergarten/Primary PK-3 and ESOL certification coupled with over a decade of teaching experience at American Heritage and Toras Emes, Morah Sheryl has the ability to teach her students the foundations and to guide them as they develop into emergent readers by the year’s end.
Kindergarten ASSISTANT Teacher
Mrs. Melissa Gurlacz is passionate about teaching. With her strong organizational skills and natural affinity for both language and technology, she began her career in the corporate world as a legal secretary for a prestigious law firm. However, after taking time off to raise her children, she discovered her true calling while volunteering in the classroom. Daily volunteering progressed into a teaching career in the Broward County Public School system, where she relished teaching her students.
As a highly skilled professional with a bachelor’s degree in the Arts, Mrs. Gurlacz is exceptionally qualified to bring her enthusiasm and expertise to the students at Shorashim Academy.
First Grade Teacher
Mrs. Sarah Margolese is an outstanding educator who has turned her childhood dream into a reality. Her commitment to her students’ growth and well-being is evident in the nurturing environment she creates that allows every child to thrive as a beginning reader.
Mrs. Margolese attributes her success to her meticulousness in designing engaging and purposeful lessons, continuously seeking innovative ways to enhance her effectiveness in the classroom. Her genuine delight in working with children charges her classroom with a vibrant and positive energy, which she enthusiastically brings to all aspects of her teaching, including the teaching of phonics and spelling. By using the Fundations curriculum, she teaches these subjects using a carefully structured, multisensory method that is also fun and motivating.
With a bachelor’s degree in education and a decade of teaching experience, Mrs. Margolese has taught at Yeshiva Elementary School, The Jewish Cooperative School, and Mizrahi Torah Academy.
Her unwavering dedication and effective teaching techniques makes Mrs. Margolese an invaluable asset to Shorashim Academy.
Second Grade Co-Teacher
Mrs. Laurie Cusco recognizes the significance of a strong home-to-school connection. Firmly believing in cultivating strong relationships with parents, she understands that maintaining open lines of communication with parents is vital to a student’s success.
Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in education, Mrs. Cusco sports an impressive repertoire of over three decades of educational experience from both public and private schools. In addition, Mrs. Cusco holds specialized Florida certifications in Reading, Exceptional Student Education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages, making her adept in fostering differentiated and multicultural classrooms that prioritize the individual learning needs of her students.
At Shorashim Academy, Mrs. Cusco’s expertise and dedication will ensure a nurturing and inclusive learning environment where each student thrives.
Second Grade Co-Teacher
Walk into Mrs. Rebecca Joseph’s classroom and you will immediately feel the warmth and positive energy. Creative and witty, with an ever-positive attitude, she cultivates a happy learning environment, transforming mundane lessons into captivating experiences. Mrs. Joseph actively fosters a classroom community with both students and parents. By sharing the weekly curriculum goals with parents, she facilitates an inclusive environment where even those with limited English proficiency, such as ESOL parents, can enhance their language skills along with their children. Mrs. Joseph recognizes the integral role parents play in their child’s education and strives to eliminate any intimidation in the relationship.
With her K-6 certification, masters degree, reading & ESOL courses, coupled with her many years of experience teaching elementary school, Mrs. Joseph has the ability to ignite every student’s passion for learning. Drawing from her experiences as both a parent and teacher in the public and private school systems, she deeply appreciates that the early grades are the foundation for a successful academic career.
Third Grade Teacher
Mrs. Barbra Sterling brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for education to Shorashim Academy as our third grade teacher.
Before relocating to S. Florida two years ago, Mrs. Sterling was a valued educator at Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy in Stamford, Connecticut for over twenty years. Since her move, she has been teaching at Brauser Maimonides Academy.
Mrs. Sterling is a certified elementary school teacher, with a master’s degree in elementary education. Mrs. Sterling is known for her unwavering dedication to meeting the unique needs of each of her students. She excels at creating a supportive and engaging learning environment, ensuring that her lessons are clear, interactive, and impactful.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Eli Baruch-El captivates her students’ attention through fascinating science experiments and immersive experiences. Her teaching leaves a profound impact on her students, as they develop a newfound appreciation for the complexities of the world around them.
Before joining us at Shorashim Academy, Mrs. Baruch-El taught at the Jewish Cooperative School, Lubavitch Education Center, and most recently at Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes.
Her students consistently emerge from her class with a significantly enhanced understanding of math and language arts concepts as evidenced by their learning gains on nationally normed, standardized assessments.
PICTURE COMING SOON…
Judaic Teacher - Kindergarten
INFORMATION COMING SOON…
PICTURE COMING SOON…
Hebrew Teacher - Kindergarten, First, & Second Grades
Morah Mor Ziradker is an experienced educator with a passion for helping her students learn Hebrew and appreciate their Israeli and Jewish heritage. Having studied political science at Ben Gurion University, Morah Mor found her calling in teaching and inspiring children to love their country and language.
Known as a particularly responsible and caring teacher, Morah Mor uses her strong interpersonal and communication skills to engage with children and build rapport with parents. She is experienced in creating lesson plans that are age-appropriate, fun, and educational. Believing that students learn by asking questions and making mistakes, Morah Mor approaches teaching with patience, empathy, and enthusiasm. Under Morah Mor’s guidance, students feel encouraged to explore, grow, and express themselves freely.
Before joining us at Shorashim Academy, Morah Mor taught Ivrit at the JCC’s Shorashim Afterschool Program and at the Chabad of Inverrary Preschool.
Judaic Teacher - First & Second Grade
We are thrilled that our executive director, Rabbi Isaac Melnick, will also be bringing his outstanding teaching abilities to benefit our students. Highly skilled in creating firm but positive relationships with his students, Rabbi Melnick encourages his students to be their best.
Previously, Rabbi Melnick served as the director of the highly successful Torah 4 Everyone (T4E) afterschool program at Ben Gamla Charter School for 12 years. During this time, his unique blend of strong leadership skills and unparalleled teaching ability contributed significantly to the program’s stellar reputation, resulting in an enrollment of nearly 250 students.
Most recently, he was the Dean of the Brauser Maimonides Academy Middle School, where he played an instrumental role in supporting teachers and creating a more positive school culture.
PICTURE COMING SOON…
Judaic & Hebrew Teacher - Third & Fourth Grade
Morah Chana Rudd has a vast array of teaching experiences. For more than a decade, she has applied her natural leadership skills and served as a positive role model in various classroom settings. She has educated, guided, and inspired students of all ages, from highschoolers in London, UK, to elementary grades in Queens, NY, to preschoolers here in South Florida.
Regardless of location and age group, Morah Chana’s classes are always characterized by a mutual respect and fondness between teacher and students. She is genuinely concerned about the progress and educational well-being of each student. She focuses on every individual student’s performance, recognizes what is to be applauded, and supports the areas that need strengthening. This type of care is emphasized in smaller classroom settings, such as in Shorashim Academy, where teacher and student are afforded more time for direct interactions.
Morah Chana is particularly excited to communicate her passion for Judaic and Hebrew studies to her students at Shorashim Academy.
PICTURE COMING SOON…
Physical Education (PE) Teacher - All Grades
Coach Tom Rayhill lives and breathes sports. As a personal trainer for 30 years, coach Rayhill has trained all ages, sizes, and abilities. His goal is to make PE class educational, challenging, but most importantly…FUN!
As the fifth child in a very athletic family, Coach Rayhill participated in football, basketball, baseball, soccer and swim. After playing receiver for Western Illinois University, he worked with patients in a physical therapy clinic, and then moved on to train NFL players and other professional athletes, including the legendary Dan Marino.
A pivotal influence in Coach Rayhill’s life has been his own mother, who played an instrumental role as his PE teacher in grade school and high school. Her passion for sports and teaching inspired him to pursue a career that blended his love for sports and education.
As an educator and coach, Tom Rayhill embodies the ideal mentor, instilling in his students not only the skills needed to excel in sports but also the lifelong values of teamwork, dedication, and discipline. His enthusiasm for sports is contagious, making every class a memorable experience for his students.