Sunday, March 18, 2018

West Orange—It is a tall order to develop a special relationship with each student and parent, to build a cohesive classroom community, and to create a nurturing, fun-filled environment targeted for the academic challenges ahead. But this is exactly what Amy Nelson expects to accomplish as JCC MetroWest’s Early Childhood Director, hitting the ground running as she assumes her new position on May 1.

She has the track record to prove it and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Amy comes to the MetroWest community from the Bergen County YJCC in Washington Township, NJ where she has been serving as the Early Childhood Director. Prior to that she held a 10-year tenure position as Director of the Nursery School at Temple Beth El in Closter, NJ. Nelson has always displayed a laser-like focus on the learning style of each student. As a result, she has worked tirelessly with teachers to develop meaningful classroom groupings where students can develop to their highest potential.

“By connecting with every child and every parent inside and outside the classroom, I can help develop the best road map to kindergarten while supporting each parent in their endeavor to be the best parent possible,” Amy said. She stresses that healthy self-perception leads to cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, and problem solving. At the JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Center, Amy will emphasize creating student experiences that foster a strong sense of self and Jewish self.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Amy also holds a law degree from Boston University School of Law and an MS Ed in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She is the mother of Stephanie, 21 and Matthew, 19, who both made aliya and currently serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Amy’s engagement with Jewish life includes service as President of Orangetown Jewish Center as well as participation as a member of the Education Committee of the Reuben Gittleman Hebrew Day School. She is very excited about her upcoming move to our community and will be residing in Montclair.

“In Amy, the JCC has found an incredibly strong leader committed to tapping into the potential of every child in her charge,” remarked Alan Feldman, CEO, JCC MetroWest. “Amy’s reputation for observing diligently, finding solutions, advocating for inclusion, providing conceptual education direction, and working with the professional educators on her teams, are the trademarks our school looks forward to.”

By viewing each child as an individual who “can do,” the goal of JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Programs is to assure that children are socially, emotionally, and educationally prepared for success in grade school. Motivating children to love learning is fueled by an enriched environment full of reading, math, language, science, art, and music as well as by developing meaningful relationships with peers and adults. The JCC’s extensive facilities (gym, indoor pools, art & science centers, theater, and more) provide enhancement opportunities for all students.

When Amy is not teaching, administering, working with parents, or coaching staff, she enjoys boating (she is a licensed Master Captain) and running. She is looking forward to being at JCC MetroWest and to meeting the JCC community. Amy’s office is in the Sharon and Stephen Seiden Early Childhood Center and her door is always open. She can be reached at 973-530-3430 ([email protected]).

By Erin Partyka-Krayl