Lower School Faculty
Nicole Hollingsworth
EducationOttawa University, Elementary Education; Kansas State University, concentrations in English as a Second Language and Special Needs

Favorite Quote:  Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. (Gandhi)

I joined the HBHA faculty in 2006. Previously, I taught at St. Michael’s Day School and Pembroke Hill. I have found a family here at HBHA and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such talented teachers. I became a teacher because working with children, I believe, is the most rewarding occupation one can have.  When I was a child, I remember playing “school,” and when I had the role as “teacher,” I would get chills throughout my body due to excitement. I still feel those same chills as I work with children today. My passion and dedication will always be funneled through working with and instructing children. It feels absolutely priceless when I hear a child say, “Mrs. Hollingsworth, I love you!”

Nira Solomon
EducationBeit Berl in elementary education

Favorite Quote:  My credo is the Hebrew proverb – Mikol Melamdai Hiskalti - I find something to learn from all those with whom I interact.

I came to the United States 22 years ago from Israel. I have 3 children, Ori at the University of Kansas and Ben and Shani at HBHA. I have just completed my first year teaching full time at HBHA, but have been a sub here for the previous 7 years.  I love my work in kindergarten and can use all of my skills to enrich the children and make their day exciting. I enjoy art, cooking, reading and watching Israel on my satellite dish.

Chanie Sosover
Kindergarten Matmidim
Originally from New York, I spent a year at Seminary in Safed, Israel and then went on to study at the Judische Religionspadagogische Akademie in Vienna, Austria where I received my B.A. in Education. With a passion for teaching and spreading Judaism, my husband, baby daughter and I moved from NY in 2005 and joined the Kansas City community and HBHA family. Over the last 11 years, my mission at HBHA has been to teach Torah and imbue within my students a love for Judaism and our heritage. In my free time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my husband and 6 children.

Kathy Kampfer
Kindergarten Aide

Lauren Levy
First Grade
Education: University of Kansas, B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Curriculum in Teaching with an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language

I was born and raised in the Overland Park area and am so excited to officially become a part of the HBHA family. I received both my Bachelor of Science and Master's degrees from the University of Kansas and recently became endorsed to teach English as a Second Language. I was a first grade teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District for 4 years and am looking forward to teaching and getting to know the families and faculty at the HBHA. I currently live with my husband, Jared and our dog, Oliver in Overland Park. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking and exercising.

Wendy Snitz
First Grade
Education: Kansas State University, B.A.,Elementary Education; University of Kansas, M.A., Reading Specialist

Favorite Quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

I can remember as a young girl, going to visit my mom’s classroom on the weekends. While she did her work, I would pretend for hours that I was a teacher also. My mom recognized my excitement and found an old fashioned school desk which took up residency in our basement. For years my little sister became my student (like it or not). I knew back then, that I was going to be a teacher one day and from that point on I never looked back.

Teaching young children is my true passion. I love watching their faces light up when they learn something new. I love how interested they are in learning about the world around them. I feel so fortunate to be a part of their educational journey and to be a member of their HBHA family!

In my spare time I love hanging out with my husband Ian, my daughter Leah (currently a third grader at HBHA), my son Joshua (entering Kindergarten this fall) and my dog Max. We love to spend time together biking, geocaching and traveling. Before I had kids, I taught first grade in Blue Valley for many years and loved every minute of it!

Civia White
First Grade
EducationBarnard College, AB, Economics; University of Rhode Island, MSLIS

Favorite Quote:  Isn’t it ironic? (Alanis Morissette)

I have been the first grade Judaic Studies teacher since 1998. I enjoy teaching the basics of Hebrew – reading and writing the letters. It is so exciting to see my students grow up and use their Hebrew at their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, on their trips to Israel, and as they move up in the grades here at HBHA. I also like to watch a student read a book on a new topic and then get hooked on reading more about it. My hobbies are knitting, cooking, and reading. I like to hear live music of all kinds and watch modern ballet. What I love the most is spending time with my family. GO RAMS!

Chagit Stuart
First Grade Matmidim
Chagit Stuart is from Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, in Israel. She and her husband, Rav Gadi, are here as part of an Israel emissary program. Morah Chagit teaches 1st and 2nd grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew (Matmidim). She loves how curious her HBHA students are about the Hebrew language and the world around them. Prior to working at HBHA, Morah Chagit was a kindergarten teacher for four years. She and her family are enjoying their time in Overland Park and are happy to be part of the HBHA family.

Hanah Bratt
First Grade Aide
I am a proud HBHA alumni and feel so very fortunate and excited to be coming back to the Academy family. I have a vast amount of experience working with younger children, including the UMKC Berkley Child and Family Development Center where I was a Child Development Assistant for three years. I am very excited to not only be back at a place I consider to be my second home but to be working in a new environment with new people. I can't wait to play a part in each child's life in such a rewarding environment!

Marcia Komm
Teacher's Aide

Marsha Cowan
Second Grade
Education – Morningside College, B.A., Elementary Education and M.A., Education

Favorite Quote – “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” (Nelson Mandela)
I’m a third-generation teacher and feel humbled and honored to spend my days as an educator. After teaching in several public and private schools, I have found no school that begins to match the commitment to academic excellence and concern for individual needs that I’ve found here at HBHA. I have found a treasured family and home in this special place. To teach with the compassion, creativity, and integrity of those who came before me is a challenge of the highest calling. My sister, of blessed memory, was a reading specialist in Iowa. My nephew is a math teacher and coach, so the tradition continues. My son and daughter-in-law are both graduates of Kansas State University and parents of my adorable grandsons. My son received a Purple Heart for his service as a company commander in Afghanistan. I’ve taken KIVUNIM trips to Israel, Istanbul, Morocco, and Portugal. I enjoy theater, reading, and gardening – but most of all, spending time with family and friends.

Michal Luger
Second Grade
Education:  Talpiot Seminar and Open University

I am originally from Israel and was teaching in Tel-Aviv for 12 years as a lower school general studies teacher and math specialist.  For 14 years I was in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia, teaching at the Hebrew academy there.  I worked with students from 1st through 8th grade.  I moved to Kansas two years ago to join HBHA and teach second grade Jewish and Hebrew Studies.  I came with my child, Shai-El, who is entering sixth grade at HBHA.

Sara Shneor
Second Grade Matmidim

Susan Odiam
Third Grade
I am very excited to be joining the HBHA faculty as the third grade general studies teacher. I have been an elementary school educator for 29 years, the last 14 of which have been with third graders. Along the way, I completed a graduate degree in education at the University of Kansas. I love working with students and engaging them in challenging lessons that help them achieve and become confident learners. I live in Brookside with my husband and enjoy reading, gardening, and creating mixed media collage art. I look forward to working together with students, families, and staff!

Leah Nash
Third Grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew
EducationOpen University of Israel, B.A.; Psychology and Education; Certificate in teaching Hebrew as a second language, Hebrew College of Boston.

Favorite Quote:  It is not the shy one that learns, and not the strict ones that teach.  (Ethics of the Fathers, Bet)

I was born and raised in Lod, Israel. At home, my family spoke four languages, Hindi, Marati, Hebrew and English. In school, I also learned French. I spent two years in the Israeli Army as Military Police and this experience has impacted my entire life.  

Teaching Hebrew is my passion - I feel blessed to wake up every day and work at a job that I love. HBHA have been my home since 2005.  I have enjoyed teaching Hebrew, Jewish Studies and bringing the love for Israel to all my students. In addition to my HBHA family, I am blessed to have my son, Yaron, who is the light of my life. 
When I have spare time, which is very rare, I love to dance, read and travel.

David Shneor
Third and Fourth Grade Matmidim

Adrianne Applebaum
Third and Fourth Grade Classroom Aide
Education:  Stephens College, B.A. in Liberal Arts

Favorite Quote:  Life is a journey, not a destination.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is my fourth year at HBHA and will be working with third and fourth grade.  I am a Kansas City native and will have been married 40 years in September.  I was fortunate to stay home and raise 3 amazing children, all KU alums!  I worked in the family real estate and development business for many years.  Most recently, you may have seen me dressed in a white blouse and long black skirt, portraying a turn of the century schoolmarm at Deanna Rose Farmstead.  The past 5 years I have taught Sunday school at New Reform Temple.  In addition I am a storyteller, bringing both current and historical figures to life and celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays at retirement and nursing homes throughout the city.  I love entertaining family and friends for all of the holidays.  In my spare time, I walk our dog, Louie, read the latest bestseller for book club and still try to be available as a wife, mom, sister, aunt and friend.  I am looking forward to being part of the HBHA family this year.

Jenny Safir
Fourth Grade
EducationNorthwestern University, B.A., American Culture; National-Louis University, MAT, Elementary Education

Favorite Quote:  I love you, Mommy.

I was born and raised in New Jersey until I was 16.  The one thing Kansas City is missing is the beach!  I met my husband at Northwestern University and we lived in the Chicago area for many years.  After arranging educational experiences for the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish United Fund, I realized that I enjoyed the field of education and wanted to teach children.  I received my MAT, worked as a resource teacher, wrote for a website, began my family, taught pre-school and came to work at HBHA in 2007.  In my spare time, love hanging out with my husband, kids and dog; we spend a lot of time at the skating rink, the soccer field, and the basketball court.  My son is in tenth grade, and my daughter is in eighth grade at HBHA. My favorite hobby is photography, and I enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures.  It’s great to be around children all day; I feel very fortunate to have found a job that’s so rewarding.

Zvia Zadock
Fourth Grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew, Fifth Grade Jewish Studies

Nancy Franks
Fifth Grade
EducationUniversity of Kansas, B.S. Education
Favorite Quote:  "There is no use trying, said Alice, one can't believe impossible things.  I dare say you haven't had much practice, said the Queen.  When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."  - Lewis Carroll

For as long I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher.  While my friends were playing “nurse” or “doctor”, I was setting up my classroom, complete with blackboard and workbooks.  I began my teaching career as a second grade teacher at Lindbergh Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas.  After five years, my husband and I began our family and I spent the next years at home raising our four children.  As I saw the love and wonderful education they received at HBHA, I decided that it was my turn to give back to the school and community and re-entered the classroom in 1991.  I have loved every minute of my time at HBHA – the students, parents and wonderful faculty and administration make coming to work every day a true gift.
My passion in life is my family –  my husband, two sons and twin daughters - but when there is spare time, I love to read, knit, bake chocolate chip cookies . . . and I am a fanatic KU basketball fan!

Gad Stuart
Fifth Grade Hebrew and Matmidim; Matmidim Coordinator
Rav Gadi is from Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, in Israel. He and his wife, teacher Morah Chagit, are here as part of an Israel emissary program. Rav Gadi teaches 5th grade Hebrew and Jewish studies, he also teaches Hebrew for 6th and 7th graders, as well as leading an after school program for 4th and 5th grade Matmidim students. Prior to working at HBHA, Rav Gadi taught 11th grade in Talmud and 11th and 12th grade Hebrew. He and his family are enjoying their time in Overland Park.

Debi Davis
Fifth Grade Teaching Assistant
Education:  University of Iowa, B.S. Elementary Education

I have had the pleasure of following my children through school, working at Beth Shalom Nursery School and now HBHA. Being on the same schedule helps a lot! I volunteered at HBHA for a few years before becoming a staff member as a teacher’s aide. Beginning with the 2011 – 2012 school year, I have been an assistant teacher working mostly in the lower school. I have two children, a daughter who graduated from HBHA in 2011 and is currently at Wichita State University and another daughter who is in high school at HBHA.
MS and US Faculty
Azin Agah
I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Kansas State University and an M.B.A. from Baker University. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. My areas of research included inflammation, angiogenesis, wound healing and scleroderma. I have taught courses such as biochemistry, chemistry, and genetics for the past ten years. I am very excited to be part of the learning experience at HBHA. I strive to create a positive learning environment while preparing the students to meet the challenges of a successful academic life.

Brian Balman
Education:  BS in Secondary Education Mathematics, Calvary Bible College and MAT in Mathematics, Fort Hays State University.
One of my favorite quotes:  If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.  Sir Isaac Newton
After I completed my first degree, I was hired to teach math and physical science at HBHA from 1988 to 1993.  I completed my graduate work in 1991 and took a full time teaching position at JCCC in 1993, where I still teach Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus.  Twenty years later, in 2013, I came back to HBHA to teach Precalculus and AP Calculus because I love the HBHA family of students, parents, faculty, and staff.
After teaching for several years, I discovered that I enjoy teaching not just because of mathematics, but because of the students.  I find that helping students learn to love and appreciate the beauty of mathematics is very rewarding.  I enjoy helping students achieve their educational goals and give them opportunities to reach for excellence.
My wife, Amy, and I have four children.  The oldest was born while I was first at HBHA in 1989, and the youngest just graduated from high school this year.  I have enjoyed baseball with our sons, who played at various levels over the years, coaching hundreds of their games and watching many more.  We own an 80-acre farm southwest of Olathe where we raise a few beef cattle.  I enjoy traveling to the mountains of Colorado and Arizona for vacations, to see the Fall foliage in New England, to help provide housing for the poor in Mexico, and to Israel for sightseeing.   

Richard Borlaza
Director of Information & Instructional Technology, Tech Club Advisor

Michal Cahlon
Jewish Studies Department Chair
Education:  Ryerson University, Bachelor of Commerce; Pardes Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies; Hebrew College, Master of Jewish Education

Favorite Quote:  We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training. (Archilochus)

Formerly a business analyst in the financial industry, Michal Cahlon studied in Jerusalem, Israel as part of the fifth cohort of the Pardes Educators Program. She joined the HBHA team in 2006 and has taught TaNaKh, Rabbinics and World History with Jewish History. She currently serves as Department Chair: Jewish Studies 6-12, faculty advisor to the middle school egalitarian Tefila and Moot Beit Din coach.

Todd Clauer
Upper School Principal, College Guidance Director, Mathematics Department Chair
Education: University of Michigan, BS in Engineering; University of Chicago, MAT in Mathematics Education

Favorite Quote: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I have been teaching for 23 years, the last 15 at HBHA. I teach to help students transform their lives into the dreams and aspirations they set for themselves, using ethics, character, attitude and effort to make their own best choices. As the College Guidance Counselor, I try to lead students through a process of defining goals, seeking self-awareness and then working hard to make those goals a reality. As a math and science teacher, I try to help students to get on board with the never-ending quest to understand our world, solve real world problems and analyze data in order to make better decisions. I love to spend time with my wife, Mirra Klausner, an HBHA alumnae, and my three daughters. I am so excited that my daughters are experiencing HBHA as students. I love being outdoors, traveling and enjoying our extended families. I also love all sports, from running and bicycling to soccer, golf, triathlons and basketball.

Michal Cohen
Education: B.A. in English linguistics from Bar Ilan University, Israel
Favorite Quote: Yehalelcha zar ve’lo picha, which means let other praise your achievements and do not brag about yourself. This sentence teaches us about modesty.
I was born and raised in Ramat Gan, which is now the name of my HBHA family. After my marriage we moved to Or Yehuda where I raised my three boys. A year and a half ago my husband started working at Amdocs for Sprint so we relocated to Kansas. This is a very exciting experience for me and my family and I am thrilled to be surrounded by the warm Jewish community. I love everything in being Israeli – I love the songs, folk dancing, the food and even the rapid pace of everything.   

Zohar Flacks
Director of Jewish Life
I was born in Rishon LeZion but grew up in Kibbutz Bet Hashitta in the Yizrael valley my entire life. After serving in the IDF, I moved to the US as the Shlicha to the Jewish Community of Omaha, NE. While in the Shlichut, I met my husband who is a native of Kansas City. After moving to KC, I attended JCCC and KU and earned a BA in psychology. I joined HBHA in 2013 and I absolutely love it! It has been a pleasure coming to work every day and doing what I love the most-teaching about Judaism and Israel and create programs that bring that alive for our students and families. In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking and baking and spending time with my family and friends.

Josh Goldberg
Social Studies Department Chair
Education: University of Utah: BA in German and History. Westminster College: M.Ed.
Favorite Quote: Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. -Socrates

I have been an educator for over nineteen years, working with youth between the ages of Pre K through twelfth grade. My mission is to empower my students through critical thinking, responsibility, and moral action. Central to my philosophy is the desire to promote a just community and tolerance for all peoples.

History is not memorization of facts, dates, and names that have little bearing today. Instead, my students are encouraged to think of history in terms of ebbs and flows, patterns, world connections, and the development of humanity. I am a student and teacher of history who believes that a study of the past illuminates the future.

In class, history provides the framework for a content-based ethics curriculum that requires students to explore past events and decisions using the lens of justice and equity. History class comes alive through meaningful learning experiences, simulations, text study, art, archaeology, research, and projects.

My work with young people has given profound meaning to my life. Outside of class, I am a loving husband to my wife Amelia and a proud father. I enjoy hockey, hiking, Martial Arts, music, and exploration.

Laura Hewitt
Director of Testing & Teacher Development, Mathematics
Education: Bethany College, B.A., Education; UMKC, M.A., Education

Favorite Quote: And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

I first knew I wanted to be a teacher when, as a first grader, I taught my 4-year old sister to read! After graduating from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, my husband and I moved to New Jersey where I taught in an inner city school for 6 years. I joined the HBHA staff in 1981- this year is my 35th year at HBHA.

I taught second and third grade and now teach Middle and Upper School mathematics, coordinate our testing programs, work with new teachers, assist with teacher evaluations, and work with staff to maintain their teaching licenses. HBHA is a family – my family away from home.

At home, my husband and I are empty nesters! I sing in my church choir every Sunday and also with the select Chamber Choir, working on 3 to 4 major classical pieces each year. I love to read and have gotten interested in photography. On a nice summer day you can find me out photographing flowers at any of the big gardens around town.

Kristin Huston
MS English and Social Studies
Education: UMKC, B.A. in English Language and Literature, UMKC – School of Law, J.D., UMKC, M.A. in English Literature, UMKC, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in English and History
Despite the fact that I used to line all my dolls and bears up on my bed to teach them when I was a child, I did not take a direct route to teaching. After graduating with my B.A. in English, I went to law school and loved all the research and writing I got to do there. This led me back to graduate school, where I began teaching as part of my master’s program. I stayed on to earn an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in English and History, teaching college composition and literature courses for twelve years along the way. In addition, I edited two college journals, was co-editor of a collection of essays, and worked as a freelance proofreader and writer. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Trevor, my son, Dorian, and our two dogs. I also love reading, writing, knitting, baking, and travel. Always ready for my next adventure, I am thrilled to be a part of the HBHA community! 

Gloria Kagan
Education:  UMKC - B.A. English, University of Arizona; M.ED. English Education

Favorite Quote: 
Every morning in Africa a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

I am married and have two grown daughters. I taught English in Tucson, Kansas City, and sojourned at HBHA for 16 years teaching 6th grade English, 12th grade English, 6th grade social studies, and 12th grade Humanities. I was very honored to be named the Jewish teacher of the year in 2007. I have been and still am teaching Hebrew High classes on Tuesday evenings. I also volunteer at Village Shalom every week. I am thrilled to be back “home” to teach middle school theatre.

Micah Margolies
English, Math
Education:  University of Kansas, B.S. in Secondary English Education
Favorite Quote:  “A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” –Emily Dickinson
I am very excited to return to the school that provided me with so many great memories while growing up. I attended the HBHA from kindergarten through graduation and am thrilled to be back teaching English and Algebra I. I received my Bachelor of Science from the University of Kansas in Secondary English Education and recently completed a fantastic year of student teaching that included experiences at Olathe East High School and Overland Trail Middle School. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, reading, watching movies, and passionately following the Royals and Kansas Jayhawks. My goal is to help my students better understand the world around them, to grow to be critical and analytical thinkers about any information they encounter, and to have an insatiable curiosity for knowledge.

Edna Meltzer
Hebrew Department Chair
I have been teaching Hebrew since my army service in Israel, and began working at the Academy in 1993, a few years after moving from Tel Aviv to Overland Park, Kansas. I've co-written a collection of Hebrew textbooks, and am currently working on building the Hebrew Academy's new Migvan Hebrew Program, which uses materials from Israel to immerse our students in an Israeli-influenced Hebrew curriculum.

Claire Reagan
Education:  University of Nebraska-Lincoln--B.A., English & B.S., Secondary Education

Favorite Quote:   “Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

I grew up in Bellevue, Nebraska with four sisters and two amazing parents; my mother still resides in my childhood home while my father has watched over us from above since May 1997. My husband, Scott Reagan, and I will be married four years this summer; he teaches and coaches at Rockhurst HS. Our first "child" is our five-year-old schnoodle (mini schnauzer/poodle) named Charlie. We welcomed Evan Alex Reagan, our first born son, on November 5, 2014. 2015-2016 will be my ninth year of teaching--my third at HBHA. I take the responsibility of shaping the students in my care as writers, readers, and thinkers very seriously. Each year, my goal is for each student to look back at his or her first quarter writing and reading skills and see an exciting amount of progress. Similarly, the students also help me grow in those same areas.

Eran Reem
MS/US Science

R. Gina Renee
English Department Chair, Social Studies
Education:  B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz; M.A. & M.Phil. Early Modern English Literature, Claremont Graduate University, Pomona, CA; M.A in Education at Pittsburg State University; KCK Fellow 2010, American Society of News Editors Fellow 2013.
I come by the teaching profession honestly through my parents, my aunts and uncles, and before that my grandparents. After studying historicist criticism in graduate school in California, I taught English literature and composition at Victor Valley College.  When I moved from California to Kansas to raise my growing family, I worked as a freelance editor (Longman Anthology of English Literature and Women's Studies Journal) and later as a freelance writer. One of my favorite things about the teaching profession is facilitating opportunities for hands-on, multi-media student publications in which students take the lead in creating and producing their own learning experiences. 

Lisa Ryan
Mathematics, Physical Education
Education:  Education:  Kansas University, B.S., Physical Education and Mathematics; UMKC, M.A., Curriculum and Instruction
In addition to teaching PE and Math, I am an assistant track coach at Shawnee Mission North High School in the spring. I am the horizontal jumps coach for both the boys and girls. My husband and I have three children, Lindsay, Jacob and Molly. I started teaching at HBHA in February, 2009 and I feel very blessed to be a part of this school.

Berel Sosover
Jewish Studies
EducationCentral Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim, B.A. (rabbi); studied and taught in Brazil.

10 years ago I moved with my family from Brooklyn, NY and joined HBHA. My passion is teaching my students about the beauty of Judaism and its heritage. In addition to being a teacher I am also a trained Sofer (scribe). I have written a few Megillot and present workshops about the art and laws of Safrut. In my free time I enjoy learning Torah and spending time with my wife and children. 

Meshulam Twersky
Middle and Upper School Matmidim

Cody Welton
Science Department Chair
EducationNorthern Arizona University, B.S. in biology with emphasis in secondary education.

Favorite Quote:  You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give. (E.O. Wilson)

I joined HBHA serendipitously in the summer of 2007.  I had no intention of teaching but was encouraged to apply for a position by a faculty member. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me! My interests and hobbies include bow hunting, fly-fishing, hiking, backpacking, KU basketball, Chiefs football, and being the best soccer-dad I can be.

Click here to view Mr. Welton's Science Website

Wade Welton
US Marine Biology
Austin Benton
Athletics Director, Physical Education
Education:  Sterling College, B.A., Communications/Sports Marketing; Minor- Physical Education/Coaching
Ohio University, M.S., Athletic Administration

Favorite Quote:  "I think the most important thing of all for any team is a winning attitude. The coaches must have it. The players must have it. The student body must have it. If you have dedicated players who believe in themselves, you don't need a lot of talent." --- Paul "Bear" Bryant

Director of Athletics  
Physical Education Teacher/Chair

Working with kids and athletics has been a part of my entire life.  It's great to come to work every day and make a difference in kids' lives.  I teach lifelong learning, which associates proper fitness and nutrition with reasonable goals that can be integrated into daily life.  HBHA coaching has been an incredible experience.  Each of our student athletes is able to be a part of a team while learning responsibility, hard work and dedication.  I have worked with kids from elementary to college age.  A program that I implemented at HBHA is Champions of Character through the NAIA.  It teaches not only student athletes, but our coaches, parents, faculty and community to follow five key roles on and off the field:  Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership.

Go Rams!!!

Nick Brown
General Music
Education:  Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Wartburg College
Favorite Quote:
  Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. -Charlie Parker
My wife Liz and I enjoy living in Kansas City. We are both from Iowa and graduated from Wartburg College (Be Orange!). I love music, sports (GO PACK GO!), cooking, reading, and being around friends and family. I am teaching music and helping out as an IT Assistant. 

Missy Goldenberg
Learning Specialist
EducationSt. Joseph's University, M.S., Special Education; Wilson Reading Certification; Washington University in St. Louis, B.A., Elementary Education with a minor in English Literature
Favorite Quote:  If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies! (author unknown)

Before having children, I taught for five years in the Blue Valley School District. I spent four years in fourth grade and one year working with special education students in the resource room. I joined HBHA in November 2008 when the Lower School Resource position became available.  I love teaching and working with teachers to help meet the needs of all of our students.  My favorite spare time activities include reading, cooking and gardening.

Barbara Jacobs
Librarian, Classroom Aide
Education:  Master’s Degree in Art Education, Univ. of Kansas-Lawrence, KS; and Syracuse Univ.-Syracuse, NY.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting/Printmaking, the Kansas City Art Institute, KC, MO.
I had the good fortune of becoming part of the amazing HBHA staff in January of 2014, after being involved as a parent and volunteer for the school.  I have worked as a professional artist and art teacher for 25 years; showing/selling my work in various venues, and working with students of all ages.  I love the creative process, as well as helping, teaching, and inspiring others to uncover and develop their creativity.  I also especially love working with children- watching the magic unfold as they continually learn and grow.

Devra Lerner
Jewish Music
Education:  Kansas University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Siegal College, Masters Degree in Judaic Studies

Favorite Quote:  By doing the finite we can visualize the Infinite.  A. J. Heschel

I was raised in Wichita, Kansas where, as a teenager, I began teaching music in Jewish summer camps. Although after college I was an ICU nurse at KU med center, I remained active in Jewish music teaching in religious school settings. My interest in Judaism, Jewish history, and Israel motivated me to obtain a Master’s Degree in Judaic Studies. This is my 21st year teaching at HBHA. I enjoy my family including Bruce and our two sons, Zackary and David, our dogs, Mac and Smokey, riding my horse, Stewball, Colorado, and going to Royal baseball games.

Jennifer Meade
LS/MS Technology
Jenny will be teaching computers and technology, and Yearbook for the Upper School. She comes to us from five years of teaching elementary computers/technology in the Blue Valley school district. Jenny has a B.A. in English from Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) and a Graduate Education Certificate from Avila. She has a husband, two busy teenage boys and a standard poodle. She has more pictures of her dog than her kids.

Kelly Reichman
EducationTulsa University, B.A., Art History; graduate work in Art History from UMKC; art conferences in Chicago, Atlanta and Savannah. Continuing art education classes at Kansas City Art Institute.

Favorite Quote:  We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. (John W. Gardner)

I joined the Academy in 1996 as a teacher’s aide and Lower School art teacher.  When the high school art teacher retired in 2000, I began teaching K-12.  I have an adventuresome spirit and have always felt that teaching would be a great fit for me. I like waking up in the morning knowing that almost anything can happen in a teaching environment. I love the look of pleasure and surprise on a kid’s face when they see that they really can draw and the confidence that results.  My happiness lies in painting, drawing, reading and movies! I love to walk long distances, hike and spend as much time outdoors and traveling as I can.

Lisa Ryan
Mathematics, Physical Education
Education:  Education:  Kansas University, B.S., Physical Education and Mathematics; UMKC, M.A., Curriculum and Instruction
In addition to teaching PE and Math, I am an assistant track coach at Shawnee Mission North High School in the spring. I am the horizontal jumps coach for both the boys and girls. My husband and I have three children, Lindsay, Jacob and Molly. I started teaching at HBHA in February, 2009 and I feel very blessed to be a part of this school.

Laura Severin
Learning Specialist
913-327-8150 x14278
Education: M.A. in Education, Baker University; B.A. in Elementary Education 1-6 and Special Education with emphasis in Emotional and Behavioral K-12, Northwest Missouri State University

Favorite Quote: “Never look down upon a man, unless you're helping him up.”

During the first seven years of my teaching career, I taught for the Blue Valley School District as a Special Educator and began my own social skills and consultation practice. In 2006, I started working for many families at HBHA, where I became close to the Student Services team. It was during this time I knew I had found a very special place at HBHA, realizing it was not just a school, but a family. Therefore, in 2011, when they asked me to join their staff, I jumped at the opportunity. In the short four years I have been here as the Learning Specialist, I have been blessed to work with amazing students, staff, and families. I love being able to help guide students to achieve their best and continue to work towards their academic and social goals. In my free time, you will find me staying busy with my friends and family. My husband and I are blessed with two very sweet and active girls who enjoy cheerleading, playing outside, and anything that sparkles! 

Vickie Sisco
Gifted Education Facilitator
EducationCornell College, B.A.; University of Kansas, Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development; certification in gifted education

avorite QuoteA good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. (Nelson Mandela)

As I begin my 16th year here, I realize that I have worked at HBHA considerably longer than at any other of my professional positions.  These jobs include teaching 5th and 6th grades in the Olathe school district, 4th and 2nd grade in Iowa schools and ten years at the Village Church as a preschool teacher and Sunday Church School Coordinator.  Each of these positions I considered a blessing and HBHA is no exception.  I relish making my contribution here as the gifted education facilitator.  Getting the opportunity to build the program up from scratch based on best practices has been a delight.  Working in this environment that values education is energizing.  I look forward to returning each fall almost as much as I enjoy starting summer break!  Summer fun includes hiking and enjoying nature anywhere, visiting family in California and Chicago, and traveling to new places.