Lippman Staff

Sam Chestnut

Position: Head of School

John Bennett

Position: Embedded Technology Specialist

Michelle Stephens

Position: School Nurse

Linda Brotsky

Position: Outreach and Funding Coordinator
Extension: 402

Read Linda Brotsky's Bio >

Linda Brotsky has been with The Lippman School for 32 years. She has served the school in many roles, primarily as lead Kindergarten teacher, admissions director and interim principal. In this current position, Linda is poised to raise awareness of The Lippman School in the Akron community and beyond.

My quote:
Lippman is a school where the teachers know and care about each student. We are a community and a family. Our students get an outstanding education, leave with a strong sense of identity, good values, and compassion for others.


Ceil Cohen

Position: School Secretary
Extension: 400

Read Ceil Cohen's Bio >

Ceil Cohen, The Lippman School Secretary, is responsible for communicating with students, staff, parents, and community members and responding to their needs, as well as monitoring daily attendance and overseeing student files. She started volunteering at the school 25 years ago when her daughter was in kindergarten, helping with school lunches, plays, and parties. A past recipient of Lippman's Volunteer of the Year Award, Cohen has been full-time secretary since 1999.

My quote:
What I enjoy most about my job is my interaction with all of the students, their families and my co-workers. One of the many things that attracted me to Lippman was the sense of community. The best part of this job is the students - the funny stories they tell me day after day, asking for help putting on snow pants, boots, making copies … and when they tell me after they leave school, "You were the best school secretary I ever had!"


Leora Cohen

Position: Science
Room: 211

Read Leora Cohen's Bio >

Leora Cohen, an alumnus of The Lippman School, is the TK through 8th -grade science teacher. She is also on staff at Hebrew High, the Akron Jewish community's high school administered by the Jewish Community Board of Akron, and she is the staff representative for the Lippman alumni organization. She graduated from Kent State University where she was active on campus with the Woman's Resource Center, facilitating training sessions for students and staff focused on issues including abuse and tolerance. Cohen graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in K through 12th-grade health education.

My quote:
Being an educator at The Lippman School is wonderful. As a past student, I feel a special connection to Lippman and my fond memories of the great teachers I had inspired me to become a teacher myself. One of the great parts of my position is that I get to teach all the different grade levels and I can see how each age connects with science in a different, exciting way. Some of my own best memories as a student are from science class and lab, and I'm honored to be carrying on the Lippman legacy.


Sarah Greenblatt

Position: Hebrew/Judaics
Room: 212
Extension: 420

Read Sarah Greenblatt's Bio >

Sarah Greenblatt (Morah* Greenblatt) has been teaching at The Lippman School for 37 years. She currently teaches K - 8th grade Hebrew and Judaics as well as Hebrew music. She is responsible for curriculum development, school wide holiday celebrations and TGIS (Thank G-d It’s Shabbat!) weekly programming.

My quote:
As a graduate of Jewish Day Schools, grades K through 12, it is important to me to provide my students with the same positive experience with their Jewish education that I received. I want my students to feel Judaism is an important and meaningful part of their lives. I have a strong connection to Israel and I'm thrilled that I get to organize and take students on the 8th -grade trip to Israel. Another one of my passions is theater and I have created and directed school-wide musical plays, incorporating Hebrew and English, for the students to perform each year.

* Morah is Hebrew for "Teacher"


Pam Kanfer

Position: Educational Therapist
Extension: 408

Read Pam Kanfer's Bio >

In more than 36 years with The Lippman School, Pam Kanfer has held numerous lay and professional positions, including school director, teacher, educational therapist, and board president. She is former treasurer of the Northern Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and currently serves on the organization's executive legislative committee working to pass an Ohio dyslexia law that would ensure at-risk students receive proper screening and classroom resources. Kanfer was instrumental in implementing American Sign Language as an official language credit at Revere High School in Richfield, Ohio. She received her BS in elementary education from Miami University (Ohio) and her MS in elementary administration from the University of Akron.


Efrat Ohayon

Position: Chef
Room: Shaw JCC Kitchen

Read Efrat Ohayon's Bio >

Efrat Ohayon first volunteered at The Lippman School kitchen 18 years ago when her oldest daughter enrolled in kindergarten. For the past 3 years, she has been responsible for all food preparation on the Schultz Campus for Jewish Life, including the meals for The Mandel ECE program, Kosher meals on wheels and private events. In addition to working at Lippman, Ohayon caters kosher meals for Akron-area synagogues, the Shaw Jewish Community Center, and private events.

My quote:
I started working at Lippman because I wanted to spend some time with my children, and I stayed because of the warm environment, amazing staff, and wonderful kids. With the small class sizes and the close relationships between the teachers and students, Lippman is a wonderful community that I am happy to be a part of.


Alisa Reinbolt

Position: Transitional Kindergarten/Spring Benefit Coordinator
Room: 112

Matt Russ

Position: Middle School Humanities/Curriculum Coordinator

Susan Schwartz

Position: Speech Pathologist
Extension: 417

Shelby Detrick

Position: Kindergarten
Room: 111

Read Shelby Detrick's Bio >

Shelby Detrick, a Lippman School alumnus, has been with the school for 7 years. Before returning to Lippman, Detrick 3 years teaching 1st grade at Hawthorne Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia and served as a substitute teacher in the Beachwood and South Euclid/Lyndhurst school districts in Ohio. Outside the classroom, she has worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis tutor, using behavioral observation and positive reinforcement to help children with autism. Surloff received her BA from Miami University (Ohio) and her MA in education from the University of Cincinnati.

My quote:
I teach because I have a passion for working with and educating kids. I am proud to be a positive role model for students. I treat each of my students as unique individuals because each of them has something special to bring to the class. I make sure to encourage my students, give them many opportunities to succeed, and point out when they are doing something great. Most importantly, I want each child to know they are special for who they are and they are a vital part of our class and our Lippman family.


Luke Varner

Position: Math Specialist / Athletic Director
Room: 214

Read Luke Varner's Bio >

Luke Varner has been teaching mathematics at The Lippman School since 2010. His primary focus is 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, but he works with the Lower School students as well. He formerly taught as a substitute teacher in the Stow/Monroe Falls School District. Varner also volunteered in Doctor Arroyo, Mexico, laying the foundations for a community shower as part of a mission trip with his hometown church in Sandusky, Ohio. Varner earned his BS from Malone University and his MS from the University of Akron. Varner also serves as the Middle School Athletic Director, where he oversees and coaches soccer, basketball and ultimate Frisbee.

My quote:
I teach because I enjoy working with young adults and adolescents, especially during a time when their minds are beginning to grasp critical and analytical thinking. To foster analytical and critical thinking in the classroom, I pose real-world problems that deal with current mathematical concepts. I challenge students to break apart and analyze the problems set before them. I also bridge concepts together so that students see how they are related to one another.


Debbie Zelin

Position: Admissions & Marketing Coordinator
Extension: 404

Read Debbie Zelin's Bio >

Our Admissions Coordinator, Debbie Zelin, began her teaching career at The Lippman Day School teaching kindergarten and 1st grade when the school still went by its original name, Hillel Academy. She has also tutored children who needed extra support in the Akron Public School District, and taught Sunday School at Temple Israel in Akron. While Zelin has spent much of her career teaching 2nd grade, she has also taught kindergarten and math, as well as 1st , 3rd , and 5th-grade Judaics. She holds a BS in education from The Ohio State University.

My quote:
My goal as a teacher is for each child to develop both a strong academic background and high self-esteem. It is important to provide a nurturing environment where each child is encouraged to reach his or her fullest potential. Since children learn differently, lessons need to be presented in a variety of ways so that visual, auditor, and kinesthetic learners are all accommodated. It is my hope that each child will be instilled with a lifelong thirst for learning. Respect and kindness to others is also an important component in any classroom. The classroom functions similar to a family unit, which should be built on respect and mutual trust. Each member must learn to consider the ideas and learning styles of others.


Katie Markey

Position: Art
Room: 213

Beth Versteegen

Position: 3rd and 4th Grade

Jackie Rossero

Position: Teaching Assistant

Daniel Kshywonis

Position: Music
Room: 110

Lyndsey Kirk

Position: Learning Intervention Specialist
Room: 215

Miri Kogan

Position: Hebrew/Judaics/Spanish
Room: 208

Alisa Westover

Position: 1st Grade
Room: 114



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The Lippman School | 750 White Pond Drive | Akron, OH 44320 | Phone: 330.836.0419 | Fax: 330.869.2514