Rockwern Academy, Cincinnati’s community Jewish Day School, has announced two new appointments: Nancy Moses Mendelson, Director of Rockwern’s Early Childhood Education Center, and Nancy Smith, Business and Operations Manager.
Founded in 1952 as the Yavneh Day School, Rockwern Academy serves students from early childhood through eighth grade. The school’s educational approach supports differences in Jewish values and embraces diversity. Rockwern Academy is a school of excellence, delivering a superior academic experience with innovative secular and Jewish teaching platforms and curricula. On the 2010–2011 Terra Nova standardized test, over 99.5 percent of Rockwern students met or surpassed the proficient level for Reading and Mathematics and every grade in the school achieved a High Mastery designation in Reading and Mathematics.
Director of Early Childhood Education Center
Nancy Mendelson has most recently worked as a Lead Teacher in the preschool at the Mayerson JCC. For 10 years prior to that she was a Lead Teacher in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom at Cincinnati Country Day School, also serving as a liason between 10 teachers and the Head of the Lower School. In these roles she worked on curriculum and standards, implemented individual portfolios for students to track progress, and collaborated with assistant and student teachers. As the Director of Family Service for the Shriner’s Pediatric Burn Hospital in Cincinnati, she supervised staff members, developed plans for the department, and counseled families of patients.
Mendelson earned her MSW from Tulane University and her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati. She holds an Associate of Science in Childcare Technology from U.C., and has taken many courses in early childhood education from Teaching Strategies, Jewish Family Service, Step up to Quality, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Rockwern Head of School Dr. David Finell welcomed Mendelson’s appointment with enthusiasm. “I know that Nancy Mendelson, together with our amazing
teachers and assistants in the preschool, will lead Rockwern to new heights of excellence and will attract many new families to our wonderful early childhood program.”
Mendelson added: “I am most excited to work with the early childhood students and their families. My goal is to continue to foster a sense of community and Jewish identity while creating a challenging, fun and motivating atmosphere for the children to learn and grow. I was very impressed with the teachers, classrooms and the learning activities taking place and I am eager to share what Rockwern Academy can offer the community. I look forward to becoming a team and family member of the Early Childhood Education Center at Rockwern Academy.” Mendelson began on Oct. 3, 2012.
Business and Operations Manager
In the role of Business and Operations Manager, Nancy Smith is replacing Business Manager Ed Lenz, who is retiring after serving in the position for more than 13 years. Dr. Finell explained, “We thank Ed for his years of dedicated service to our school and for always making sure the institution was run professionally. We wish him well in his retirement and are delighted that Nancy Smith has already begun training to take over his role. She brings over 20 years of finance experience and has held prestigious positions including Director of Business Valuations for The Malibu Group, Financial Analyst for Provident/National City Bank, Senior Financial Analyst for University of Cincinnati Hospital, and Business Valuation Specialist in the Trust Department of PNC Bank. Smith is also a grandmother of one of our students and she understands what Rockwern is all about. I know she will demonstrate keen professionalism and a strong commitment to the school and to our mission.”