Teacher Feature: Our Front Office Staff

I asked the members of our front office two questions for the Ha Shavuah this week. I asked them to talk about a teacher who made a difference in their life and also asked them to describe Ezra in one word. Our front office this year has a great mixture of longtime employees and new faces, and we would like to take the opportunity for our families to get to know them a bit better and read about their different perspectives and experiences.


Michele Carella, School Nurse.

My high school guidance counselor. She was my biggest cheerleader throughout my four years. I definitely struggled socially and she was always there for me. Encouraging me to stay true to myself and not follow the crowd. We are still friends to this day, and her words still echo in my head as I encounter challenging situations throughout my life.

In one word, how would you describe Ezra? Caring.

Laura Gabor, Business Manager. 

My third grade teacher, Miss Bomba.  She showed me that school can be fun and helped spark interest in participating in all available activities, including the Safety Patrol (now I’m dating myself).

In one word, how would you describe Ezra? Family. 

Amanda Webster-Rizzo, Office Administrator/Development Associate. 

I would probably say my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Yanelli. It was in her class where I learned that I enjoyed writing and had a talent for it. During a parent-teacher conference that year, Mrs. Yanelli told my parents that I was a better writer than she was, and to hear such positive comments from a teacher really helped with my confidence. That same year, I entered into a city-wide writing contest and came in first place, and I don't know if I would have entered the contest to begin with had I not believed that I was able to compete. I believe these events helped set me on my path in life to later get my degree in journalism, a field that I feel helped cultivate my professional skill set immensely. 

In one word, how would you describe Ezra? Nurturing. 

Jackie Bogdanoff, Office Manager. 

The one teacher who made a difference in my life was my fourth grade teacher, Miss Eriksen, on sabbatical from Sweden. She gave us all penpals from her elementary school in Vasteras, Sweden. I still have a friendship with my penpal, Kristina, today. We have met each other on multiple occasions, both in the U.S. and in Sweden. They even came to my wedding. Now our children are friends and they keep in touch as well!

In one word, how would you describe Ezra?  One word, really? Amazing.