Sarah Penalver is a South Florida native and MIami Beach local. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in ESOL from Florida International University. She has over six years of teaching experience, and before joining The Innovative School she had previously taught at a Montessori school on Miami Beach. Besides her love for teaching and working with children, Sarah has a passion for traveling, spending time with friends and loved ones, and caring for animals. She is plant-based, and has spent time volunteering at the Soffer and Fine Pet Adoption Center of North Miami. Sarah is extremely excited to join The Innovative School family.
A native to Florida, Dana had a double major in elementary education and human and social development from the University of Miami. She received a Master of Science in educational leadership from St. Thomas University. Dana holds endorsements in special education, ESOL, and gifted education. She has over 10 years of experience working with children. Dana, her husband Julian, and their daughter Delilah are Temple Beth Sholom members. They love being a part of this beautiful community!
Aleeza Haas was born and raised in South Florida. She received her Bachelors in Exceptional Education and her Masters in Exceptional Education with a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder from the University of Central Florida. She holds endorsements in Reading, ESOL and is certified to teach Elementary Education K-6 and Exceptional Education K-12. She has over 7 years of teaching experience, and loves working with children. Currently she is working on becoming a certified children’s yoga instructor. Aleeza’s greatest passions include
her family, traveling, spending time with her loved ones, yoga and teaching. Beth Sholom holds a special place in her heart as she was married in the synagogue in November 2019 to her husband Adam Haas, son of Cantor Haas. Aleeza currently resides in North Miami Beach with her husband and her dog, Morty.
Miriam Cruz has a background in the arts and healing arts with an apprenticeship with Miami Artist Carlos Alves, organizing studio space, exploring color scapes, kiln work and glazing, making sculpted pieces, creating tiles and participating in mosaic tile installations and commissioned pieces throughout the South Florida community. It’s in the healing arts, however, where Miriam spent the last two decades as a student, therapist and educator. She has a degree in Chinese Medicine and a degree in Liberal Arts and Education. After years of facilitating inner process work with people, she has decided to go back to childhood itself to bring to children all the resources and knowledge her education and unique perspective can offer to serve children and their families in their pursuit of growth, education and happy, healthy living. In her Education tract, she pursued and spent countless hours in both Reggio Emilia, High Scope and Montessori settings to better understand the pedagogies and systems by which children can access the best growth and learning. She is interested in Project Approach (project based learning) and its interface with the empowering art and community approach of Reggio Emilia as a foundation for children’s learning and development. She is excited to join the Temple Beth Sholom community and work alongside children to build strong foundations, make connections, uncover their innate genius and talents, develop the language to express themselves and develop these in pursuit of constructive learning.
Barbara Schpilberg grew up in Argentina and moved to Miami in 1997. She graduated Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Minor in English. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She has earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, which is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. Barbara currently teaches Spanish, Hebrew, Judaic Studies and Physical Education to all elementary level learners. Barbara is a Jewish educator and teaches Hebrew and Jewish education in the School for Living Judaism. She teaches different dance disciplines such as Modern Dance, Zumba, and Hip-hop, as well as Yoga, Music and Mommy & Me classes. Barbara, her husband Brian and Victoria (10), Isabella (9) and Noah (3) truly love Temple Beth Sholom.
Yael has had a musical career that has taken her all over the world. Initially a violinist, she switched to viola under the guidance of Prof. David Chen in the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv when she was 16. At the age of 18 she joined the Israel Army in the unit of “Outstanding Musicians” for a period of 21 months. After being released from the army, Yael moved to The Netherlands to pursue her Bachelors Degree in Music at the Academy for Music in Rotterdam. From 2004-2008, Yael was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra under music director Maestro James Levine. Yael studied for one year at the Manhattan School of Music with both Irene Breslaw and Daniel Avshalomov. From 2007-2010, she was a fellow with the New World Symphony under music director Michael Tilson Thomas. Yael was principal viola of the Amarillo Symphony in Texas from 2015-2018, regularly plays with the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, Naples Philharmonic and is currently principal viola of the Nu Deco Ensemble based in Miami FL.
Dr. Gould is a licensed, Clinical Psychologist with over twenty years of experience providing neuropsychological and educational evaluations to children, adolescents, and young adults in the public and private sectors. In addition to her private practice on Miami Beach, Dr. Gould works as a consultant for Temple Beth Sholom Innovative School to support the academic, social and emotional needs of their learners.
Dr. Gould has an extensive history providing individual and family therapy. In addition, Dr. Gould has over 10 years of experience working as an Executive Leadership Coach with the Center for Leadership at FIU. In 2011, Dr. Gould was hired to initiate a Guidance Department for the Lower School at Hillel. In her capacity as a Guidance Counselor, she created and implemented a Character Development Program and a Bully Prevention Program.
Dr. Gould received her Bachelor of Science from Washington University in Saint Louis, and completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Nova South Eastern University in 1995. Dr. Gould is also the mother of three adult-children, and a member of Temple Beth Sholom.
Shannon Koonin is the founder and owner of Koonin Education Services, LLC, an education services company that provides academic assessment, intervention and consulting services. Shannon has 14 years of classroom experience teaching grades Kindergarten through 6th, in both the private and public sector, including South Pointe Elementary on Miami Beach. Shannon has also served as a mentor and undergraduate professor for Touro College, in the field of Education. Shannon is trained in both the Lindamood Bell Visualization and Verbalization program, and the Seeing Stars Program, as well as the Wilson Reading System. Shannon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from McGill University, and a dual Master’s Degree in General Education and Special Education from Touro College. Shannon grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and moved to Miami Beach in 2004, where she continues to reside with her two children. Shannon is truly passionate about helping children feel confident and successful, helping parents feel supported and reassured and helping teachers and school administration to feel informed and prepared.
Angela De Vincenzo
Angela studied at New York University, Bank Street College of Education, Columbia University and Harvard University. She has worked in NYC independent schools for the past 20 years. Most recently, she served as Packer Collegiate Institute’s Lower School Learning Specialist. In addition, Angela held teaching tenures at The Chapin School and City & Country School – the pedagogy and teaching philosophies of these schools range from highly academic to the most progressive. Angela’s teaching methods combine direct instruction with open-ended learning opportunities through her devoted work with unit blocks. In the summer of 2015, Angela launched Blocks, Trucks + Art, a multi-sensory summer program for children based in the Hamptons, NY. Currently, she will soon open her first brick-and-mortar location in Brooklyn, NY – the program, Reading + Riding, will focus on academic and physical learning – reading instruction and biking take center stage. A proponent of life-long education, Angela regularly attends as well as speaks at conferences and workshops around the country, offering professional development to educators.
Fran is a parent and educator who guides schools and families in the realms of social-emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and behavior. She is a thought leader in human potential and her niche is to see the best in others, especially children who have challenging or concerning behaviors. She has practiced Conscious Discipline®️ for over fifteen years and was a Certified Instructor for seven. In the summer of 2019, she became a certified Breathe for Change (B4C) Wellness Champion to support schools’ and families’ social and emotional well-being at an even deeper level by incorporating mindfulness into her work.
Her current clients include parents, teachers, and school leadership teams. She draws from the inevitable ups and downs of her own life’s journey and shares tools for hope, purpose, passion and inner peace. Her integrative approach to coaching and consulting is both enlightening and practical and is always delivered with profound wisdom and wit.