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Faculty & Staff

Head of School

Dr. Sharon R. Knafo is leader in education with over 20 years of administrative experience in elementary and secondary public and private schools. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bar-Ilan in Sociology, and Master’s degree in Social Sciences from Ben-Gurion University, as well as Teaching Certification from the State of Texas, the State of Nevada, and the Israeli Ministry of Education. Dr. Knafo completed Day School Management and Leadership Studies at the JTS in New York City,  and received his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Memphis ..Read More

Admissions Director

My name is Courtney Dalton, and I am an Administrative Assistant for Shenker Academy,  focused on curricula support, licensing requirements, and parental support. I was born and raised in Chicago, IL,  and after several years of leading 3’s and pre-kindergarten classes, I am joining the administration with much enthusiasm. I enjoy working with our students and families and looking forward to assist you during your years at Shenker Academy.

Administrative Assistant

My name is Ana Ednalino, and I am an Administrative Assistant here at Shenker Academy. I am currently going to school in hopes of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. It is our goal that we as a school instill a love for learning amongst our children this year and teach them that they can do anything that they set their little hearts out to do. I enjoy working with our families and seeing the children grow so beautifully. I am here to assist with any questions or concerns you may have.

Administrative Assistant

My name is Melissa Rogers, and I am an Administrative Assistant at Shenker Academy,  focused on licensing requirements, and parental support. I was born and raised in New Mexico, and I have been in Las Vegas for the past 26 years.  I have been in the hospitality industry for the past 20 years, and I am joining the administration with much enthusiasm. I enjoy working with our students and families and looking forward to assist you during your years at Shenker Academy.

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

My name is Sheryl Davis-Haas. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and have been teaching for over twelve years. I started my journey in education as a Pre-K/Kindergarten teacher in Okinawa, Japan where I began teaching at an International Montessori based school. I have since been blessed by teaching Kindergarten at Zion Christian Academy (Okinawa, Japan), Second Grade, and First/Second Grade combination class at Tree of Life Christian School (Las Vegas, Nevada). I also held the Vice Principal position at Tree of Life for four years. Teaching has always been a passion for me. I first started teaching English in Korea, Germany, and Japan, but gradually earned my BA in Early Childhood Education. It is an honor to be teaching Kindergarten; my sixth year at Shenker Academy.

Pre-Kindergarten Lead

My name is Khris Punzalan and I am the Lead Teacher in the Little Rangers classroom. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I have taken my Professional Teaching Certification afterwards to be able to do what I’m passionate about, teaching! I have been in the field of education for more than ten years now and I am now working on getting my CDA to further enhance my skills of being an early childhood educator. This is my second year teaching here at Shenker Academy and I have worked for the Board of Education in Japan prior to coming to the USA. I am very excited to be growing, exploring and learning with our Little Rangers this year. 

Pre-Kindergarten Lead

My name is Debbie Bailey and I began my ECE interests when my children were very young and opened a family child care facility in our home. I operated this facility for eleven years filled with fun and joy. During this time, I completed my Child Development Permit in ECE and later applied for a state preschool with the school district and worked with the district for thirteen years. I worked as the as a preschool teacher in California, Colorado, and taught for 7 years here at The Shenker Academy. I have a wonderful time exploring and discovering, and learning together, and I truly enjoy working with young children. I combine methods like scope, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia,  Multiple Intelligence theory, and I look forward to working together with you and your child.

3's Lead Teacher

My name is Paola Borders. I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I have been living in the US for the past 20 years.   I have been working in the field of early childhood education for fourteen years.  I am the teacher for the three year olds in the Safari Kids classroom.  I believe that teaching and mentoring this age group is not only challenging, but also very gratifying.  Our classroom is always busy.  Art materials are within children’s reach to enable them to create their masterpieces.  In addition to art, there are 11 other different areas of interest in our classroom available for all children to help enhance their learning.  I am very excited and honored to be the Safari Kids teacher for the past five years.

3's Lead Teacher

My name is Vanessa Johnson, and  I am the the Lead teacher in the Little Pirates classroom this year. This is my first year at Shenker Academy. I have a B.A. in Early Childhood Education,  and I have been teaching preschool in the San Francisco area for several years prior to moving to Las Vegas. I believe preschool children learn best through hands on activities. I also believe that incorporating early learning concepts in a relaxed and small group setting encourages increased retention. I am emphasizing learning skills that will stay with the children for the years to come, and characterize them as excellent and well rounded students.

 

3's Lead Teacher

My name is Jessica Soll, and I am the 3’s Lead teacher at Shenker Academy. I was born and raised in Hawaii,  and I have been a lead teacher in Saipan and Hawaii for a few years. I love working with the students through centers and defined structure, and the students learn writing, letters, sight words, reading comprehension, science, and mathematics from very young age. I work very closely with parents to meet individual needs, and my communication through our app and our newsletter is vital for the growth and support of my students.

 

2's Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Ms. Campbell and I started working with children as a nanny. I am proud to say however that I have been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 5 years now. I have been happily working at The Shenker Academy since 2013. After gaining experience from various positions at The Shenker Academy, I was given the opportunity to become the lead teacher in the Little Owls classroom for the 2014/2015 school year. Within that year, I completed my Child Development Associate (CDA) and am currently going to school for my Bachelors in Early Childhood.

2's Lead Teacher

Hello my name is Jessie Matheny and in May of 2009 I graduated from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio with an Associates in Applied Science I am now obtaining my second Associates in Early Childhood Development from American Military University. I am a former US Marine and a mother of two and a grandmother of three. I believe all students can learn when they are accepted for who and where they are in their educational journey. I believe in the multiple intelligence theory by Howard Gardner and shape my classroom to this style of learning. I also believe effective learning requires collaboration between teachers, students, and parents grounded in mutual respect and trust.

2's Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Victoria Milani and I am the lead teacher for the Lady Bug’s Two-year old classroom for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. I am majoring in Early Childhood Education at the University of Nevada- Las Vegas and plan to pursue a career where I can help foster the creativity and intelligence of our next generation. I started as an assistant teacher here at Shenker Academy for Summer Camp and was honored to have the opportunity to get a jumpstart in the classroom as a lead for the upcoming year. I fell in love with the two-year old program and I am ecstatic for the creative activities and development that is coming our way.

18 Month Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Joselyn Prado. I was born in Los Angeles, California and have been in Las Vegas for about 10 years now. I am very family oriented and love spending time with my family and friends. I am currently attending school for my Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development at UNLV. I am very excited to incorporate what I’ve been learning during my studies into our classroom’s daily routine. I believe in child centered learning and interactive activities for our child’s growing minds!

18 Month Lead Teacher

Hello I’m Cinthia Wilbanks. I received my degree in Early Childhood Education followed by my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development in 2012 in California. I have worked as a preschool teacher in California, Colorado, and Nevada. I love working with 18-month-old children because they are learning so much at this age. If I were to use just one word to describe this time in their life, I would use the word “discovery.” Everything they do is about discovery. My approach is to encircle the subject with all the different areas of learning. We touch, see, hear, smell, and sometimes taste everything about it. Above all I encourage exploration, imagination, curiosity, creativity, problem solving skills, and thinking outside the box.

12 Month Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Tina Rainey and I am the lead teacher for the twelve-month old class. I was born in Maryland and grew up in Colorado and Arizona. I have three children of my own ages 27, 26, and 18. I have been an infant toddler director for the past 13 years and have a degree in early childhood development. In my spare time I enjoy reading, camping, fishing, and any outdoor activity. The most rewarding part of my life is working with young children and helping them to adapt to their first preschool experience and hopefully make it easier for them to prepare for the next step in their academic careers. I look forward to getting to know your children and hopefully enriching their lives as much as they enrich mine.

Infant Room Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Debora Estenos-Deutch and I am the Infant room lead teacher.

Spanish Teacher

AMA Language Instruction

Hebrew Teacher

My name is Hedva Bank

Music Teacher

My name is Mr. Blaine Senior

Enrichment Teacher

My name is Elizabeth Meltzer

4's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Alana Weintraub

4's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Melody Rivera

3's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Mrs. Jerrie Ortiz

3's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Taylor Murray

3's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Cora Rapp

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Danni Suarez

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Amy Hershberg

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Rachel Williams

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Michelle Rodriguez

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Reeza Monteaguido

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Lynei Vanmerkesteyen

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Ale Gonzales

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Jackie Goodman

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Darielle Rios

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Nichelle Rios

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Kimberly Rojas

2's Assistant Teacher

My Name is Karla Rodriguez

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Ana Ednalino

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Emily Erickson

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Brooke Davis

18 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Mina Burton

12 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Kimberly Beck

12 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Genesis Ringel

12 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Caroline Cohen

12 Month Assistant Teacher

My Name is Esmeralda Cabrera

Infant R. Assistant Teacher

My Name is Claudia Hincapie

Infant R. Assistant Teacher

My Name is Anabelle Zaragoza

Infant R. Assistant Teacher

My Name is Leeor Alias

Infant R. Assistant Teacher

My Name is Kayla Garland

Breaker/Support Staff

My Name is Sarah Halipour

Breaker/Support Staff

My Name is Sarah Halipour

Breaker/Support Staff

My Name is Shoshana Kiran

Support/Assistant

Shiran Gonen

Our Faculty

Our teachers and assistants have a CDA, AA, BS, BA, or MA degrees in the Early Childhood Field or a related field. The Shenker Academy hires professional faculty members who are dedicated to the school mission and passionate about early childhood education and about their personal growth. You can read more about our teachers under “about”- “faculty”.

We are certified by the State of Nevada Preschool Licensing Department, Nevada Department of Education, SNHD, Office of State Fire Marshal, Department of Building & Safety, OSHA, and accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

 

 

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