Meet Kareesh Bour!
Kareesh is excited to return to JCDSRI for her sixth year, first as a 3rd grade teacher and now as a 1st-grade teacher. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Kareesh taught in Lincoln Public Schools, at the Learning Community Charter and Blackstone Valley Prep. Every year, Kareesh looks forward to sparking the love of learning in her students! She especially enjoys finding the perfect book for beginning readers and watching their excitement when they complete science experiments together in class.
In her free time, Kareesh loves gardening, visiting the beach and going on bike rides with her children.
Kareesh BourGeneral Studies - 1st Grade
Meet Anthony Bucci!
Anthony is excited to return to JCDSRI for his second year as the Director of Security and Facilities. He holds an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Anthony served as a Police Sergeant and a member of the SWAT team; he is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran. Every year, Anthony looks forward to watching our students learn and grow while keeping them and the entire JCDSRI community safe.
In his free time, Anthony is the President of the Edgewood Eagles Football and Cheer Organization in Cranston. He also coaches lacrosse and boxing. Anthony’s favorite pastime is spending time with his family.
Anthony BucciDirector of Security and Facilities
Meet Meghan Cavanaugh!
Meghan is excited to return to JCDSRI for her third year as our School Social Worker. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work and is an independently licensed clinical social worker. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Meghan worked at Jewish Family Service (now Jewish Collaborative Services) for 8 years. Meghan currently works in private practice when she is not at school. Every year, Meghan looks forward to building relationships with students and families. She particularly loves her time in the classrooms, teaching social-emotional lessons and having fun with the students.
In her free time, Meghan loves playing sports and wishes she could be out playing at recess time!
Meghan CavanaughSchool Social Worker
Meet Diane Cerep!
Diane is excited to return to JCDSRI as an assistant teacher for her third year. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Rhode Island College. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Diane worked as the Creativity Center Coordinator at the JCC in Providence. Every year, Diane looks forward to learning and celebrating the Jewish holidays with her students.
In her free time, Diane loves to walk in the woods and be in nature.
Meet Eileen Ellis!
Eileen is excited to return to JCDSRI for her twenty-seventh year at JCDSRI! Eileen began working as an office assistant and has made herself an invaluable member of the administrative team as the assistant to the Head of School. She holds a degree in Business Administration from the Community College of Rhode Island and as she likes to say, an advanced degree from the School of Hard Knocks. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Eileen was an assistant teacher. Every year Eileen looks forward to experiencing the life of the school – our incredible students!
A few fun facts about Eileen: she has kayaked a few bodies of water nearby including the Narrow River in Narragansett, RI. She has 5 grandchildren from 2 sons and daughters-in-law. In her past life, she was the ranch lady for black angus cattle and other barnyard friends. Shorthand is still a skill of hers. AND Eileen loves JCDSRI!
Eileen EllisExecutive Assistant
Meet Shayna Fel!
Shayna is excited to return to JCDSRI for her second year as Director of Admissions. Shayna is a graduate of JCDSRI (formerly the Alperin Schechter Day School) and has loved getting reacquainted with the school and community that gave her a strong and meaningful foundation. She is also the proud parent of a first grader and kindergartner and has a future JCDSRI student at home who cannot wait to join the fun. Shayna holds a B.A. in Elementary and Special Education from Boston University and an M.S.W. from Hunter College. She is an independently licensed clinical social worker. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Shayna spent 15 years working with children, teens, and young adults with diverse learning needs in schools, camps and community organizations. Most recently, she worked on the admission team at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. Every year, Shayna looks forward to watching as students and families make JCDSRI their home for learning, exploring and experiencing joy.
In her free time, Shayna loves to read a great novel, go to the beach and have dance parties in the rain with her kids.
Shayna FelDirector of Admissions
Meet Hillary Guttin!
Hillary is excited to return to JCDSRI for her fifth year. She is the 4th and 5th grade Judaics teacher as well as the T’fillah (prayer) coordinator. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Brandeis University. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Hillary taught at camps and Hebrew schools. Additionally, Hillary was a development associate at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island for three years. Every year Hillary looks forward to observing as her students grow and change throughout the year. She also looks forward to finding out what she will learn from each and every student.
In her free time, Hillary is a musician and she is a skilled beatbox-er! She participated in collegiate a capella and honed her beatboxing skills there.
Hillary GuttinJudaic Studies - 4th and 5th Grade; T'fillah (Prayer) Coordinator
Meet Andrea Katzman!
Andrea is excited to return to JCDSRI for her fifteenth year, and her fourth as Head of School. Andrea earned both her BA and MA from the University of Kansas and immediately after finishing graduate school, lived in Jerusalem for a year where she coordinated a Jewish feminist project and directed an English Language learning program for Ethiopian immigrants.
In 1999, Andrea and her family moved to Providence and a few years later, she began teaching Pre-K at JCDSRI. Andrea has also served as a private educational consultant and taught in the Education Department of Rhode Island College and in the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. In 2009-10, Andrea and her family lived in Rishon LeZion, Israel, during which time she co-wrote and published her first book, Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: Short Stories on Motherhood.
Andrea is grateful to be Head of School at JCDSRI and – together with her students and colleagues at JCDSRI – spends her days building community and practicing kavod (respect), hesed (kindness), and shalom (peace). She has an extensive snow-globe collection and regularly perpetrates acts of “guerilla gardening”. Andrea and her husband, Steve Jacobson, have two college-age daughters, both of whom are proud graduates of JCDSRI!
Andrea KatzmanHead of School
Meet Harshita Lakhiani!
Harshita is excited to return to JCDSRI for her twenty-third year, first as the Business Manager and now as the Chief Financial Officer. She holds a Bachelors in Economics and Accounting from H.R. College of Commerce in India. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Harshita worked with a stockbroker in India. Every year, she looks forward to the fifth-grade graduation as she sees students, whom she has known since pre – kindergarten, all grown up and ready for middle school!
In her free time, Harshita loves gardening and cooking.
Harshita LakhianiChief Financial Officer
Born and raised in Warwick, RI, Lauren (Coletta) Louth loves being a nurse. She graduated RIC in 2000 after receiving a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree and then again in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Health Education. During this time, she also obtained her license as a Certified School Nurse Teacher. She began her career in the medical field in 1997 at Rhode Island Hospital as an X-Ray Tech Associate, working her way up to becoming a Registered Nurse. After graduating college she worked in a trauma/burn unit for 5 years. She then continued to follow her dream to become a Level 1 Trauma Nurse in the Emergency Department. She also practiced as a Certified School Nurse Teacher, beginning in 2002 for the Providence School Department, and has been enjoying every day since. When Lauren is not at work, she is busy caring for her 6-year-old daughter Julia and 3-year-old son James. Lauren, her husband Jim and their children reside in Warwick.
Lauren LouthSchool Nurse
Meet Laurie Noorparvar!
Laurie is excited to return to JCDSRI for her fourteenth year as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher. She holds a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Laurie has taught since 1989 in different school settings. Every year, Laurie looks forward to the first day of school! She can’t wait to see the children in the classroom and watch them navigate their new and exciting environment.
In her free time, Laurie loves exploring new areas of interest for her pre-k students. She enjoys reading, taking walks, cooking/baking, finding new craft projects and recipes on Pinterest, and seeing her neighborhood’s landscaping.
Laurie NoorparvarGeneral Studies - Pre-Kindergarten
Meet Ben Rome!
Ben is excited to return to JCDSRI for his second year as the 3rd grade General Studies teacher and art teacher for the upper grades. Ben studied Elementary and Exceptional Students Education at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Ben worked as an experiential educator on a sailboat, served for Commonwealth Corps in New Bedford, Massachusetts and worked at a science research reserve with protected sea turtles. Every year, Ben loves seeing how much his students’ faces change from day to day as they mature (or lose teeth!).
In his free time, Ben likes to keep moving: biking, sailing, cooking, hiking, drinking coffee–all the typical millennial stuff!
Ben RomeGeneral Studies - 3rd Grade; Art Teacher
Meet Erika Rusley!
Erika is excited to return to JCDSRI for her second year as the 4th-grade General Studies teacher. She will also be taking on a new role as Technology Coordinator this year. She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Colby College and an M.A.T. from Boston University in English Education. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Erika has held several different positions in the field of education. She taught English-Language Arts in a variety of school settings (public, independent, charter, online), served as elementary school special education support staff and was part of the Teach for America Teacher Development Partnership. Erika was also the Co-Director of Breakthrough Providence. She continues to work as an Instructor and Coach for new teachers at Johns Hopkins University. Every year, Erika looks forward to spending every day with amazing students and wonderful colleagues.
In her free time, Erika loves to jog, especially when she sees friends from the JCDSRI community enjoying the great outdoors on her running route!
Erika RusleyGeneral Studies - 4th Grade; Educational Technology Coordinator
Meet Marissa Salvas!
Marissa is excited to return to JCDSRI for her second year as the 5th grade General Studies teacher. This year she will also serve as the school librarian. Marissa studied wildlife biology in the Blue Ridge Mountains and took care of injured wildlife including hawks, owls, squirrels, and songbirds. She then came home to study elementary education to combine her love of science and education. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Lees McRae College in North Carolina and an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Marissa was a librarian, taught at an Audubon summer camp and worked at the Rhode Island STEAM Center helping science educators across Rhode Island and promoting women in STEM fields. Every year Marissa enjoys getting to know her students and learning about the Jewish traditions.
In her free time, Marissa is writing a book!
Marissa SalvasGeneral Studies - 5th Grade; Librarian
Tiferet Sassona Rose
Meet Tiferet Rose!
Tiferet is excited to return to JCDSRI for her fourth year as Director of TikkunXDesign – JCDSRI’s Design Lab. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from Barnard College, an M.P.S. in Environmental Interpretation from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Masters in Science Education from Syracuse University. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Tiferet taught middle school science at a charter school in Syracuse, N.Y. Every year, Tiferet looks forward to putting together and executing JCDSRI’s STEAM Splash: our annual week-long school-wide science festival.
In her free time, Tiferet loves making soap and growing lots of vegetables (especially garlic)!
Tiferet Sassona RoseDirector of TikkunXDesign
Meet Sarah Shay-Davidson!
Sarah is excited to return to JCDSRI for her seventh year. She is the 1st grade Judaic Studies teacher as well as the art teacher for the lower grades. Additionally, Sarah serves as the Haggim (Jewish holiday) Coordinator. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design as well as a certificate for teaching students with special needs from Hebrew College. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Sarah taught Hebrew for 7 years at Kehillah Schechter Academy in Norwood, Massachusetts (formally known as South Area Solomon Schechter). Every year Sarah looks forward to the moment when the whole community comes together on the first day of school. She cannot wait to see everyone again!
In her free time, Sarah loves to swim and her superpower is re-purposing furniture with her husband.
Sarah Shay-DavidsonJudaic Studies - 1st Grade; Art Teacher
Meet Chris Southiere!
Chris is excited to return to JCDSRI for his third year as an assistant teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Chris worked as a professional musician, an occupation he continues when he is not at school. He is the drummer for a band called Soulsha that tours around the country. Every year, Chris looks forward observing each student’s growth throughout the school year and he loves getting to see each student’s personality come through in different ways during recess and lunch.
In his free time, when he is not playing music, Chris loves to play soccer.
Chris SouthiereAssistant Teacher; Lower School Music Teacher
Meet Sue Sugerman!
Sue is excited to return to JCDSRI for her seventeenth year at JCDSRI! She has played many important roles at school including classroom teacher, AISNE coordinator, scheduler, yearbook coordinator and physical education teacher. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Counseling from Rhode Island College. Prior to working at JCDSRI, she taught, and continues to teach Physical Education at Providence Hebrew Day School. Every year, Sue looks forward to creating new games and activities for her classes. She also kvells when students work hard at a new skill and improve throughout the year.
In her free time, she loves playing Scrabble, doing word games and puzzles and spending as much time as possible with her family. During the summer, she enjoys listening to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore in Narragansett.
Susan SugermanPhysical Education Teacher; Pre-K Support
Meet Alison Walter!
Alison is excited to return to JCDSRI for her seventh year as Director of Development. She is also the proud parent of a 5th grader and two JCDSRI graduates. Alison holds a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland as well as a Masters of Jewish Studies and Certificate of Jewish Communal Work from Hebrew University. Prior to working at JCDSRI, Alison was the Director of Development at MetroWest Jewish Day School and Women’s Philanthropy at CJP Boston. Every year Alison looks forward to watching the students mature into amazing leaders. She also loved having morning assembly right outside of her office.
In her free time, Alison loves taking people to Israel. For the past few summers she has helped facilitate a trip of 10 moms from Rhode Island to visit Israel for 10 days!