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Kotarot The Emery/Weiner School

IN THE nEWS Page 4


Spring 2013


Kotarot Administration Head of School Stuart J. Dow Chief Financial Officer Dave Meyer

A quarterly report on news and happenings at The Emery/Weiner School

From the Head of School Page 3

Jaguar Pride Page 14

In the nEWS Page 4

Head of Upper School Dr. Lue Bishop Head of Middle School Jennifer White

Follow all of the action from this winter’s basketball season!

Director of Admissions Caroline Sarnoff Director of Advancement Rebecca Starr Director of College Counseling Lynn Slaughter Director of Athletics Angie Gubitz

Stay in touch with EWS and read up on how students give back in the spirit of Tikkun Olam.

Faculty Spotlight Page 7

mEmery Lane Page 16

Editor Ann Holdsworth

The Emery/Weiner School Mission Statement To educate and develop students whose intellect, moral character and Jewish identity provide a lifelong foundation for personal growth, commitment to the Jewish people and Tikkun Olam - improving the world in which we live.

Spanish Teacher Jade Garcia is one of the few teachers who splits time in both the Upper and Middle Schools.

Keep up with EWS alumni through mEmery Lane and see who came out for our annual Alumni Soccer Game.

ON THE FRONT COVER: (Top L-R) Seventh graders Dana Ran, Jonathan Blum, Ryan Bronston and Vinit Reddy show off their dirt-covered hands while planting trees in honor of Tu B’shevat at Hermann Park. ON THE BACK COVER: Sophomore students bond and reflect while on the 10th Grade Retreat in Central Texas.

Metrics that Matter “How much is my child learning? How can you prove it?” These questions are absolutely fair and imminently reasonable. Educators should be able to answer them in straight-forward terms — though as you can imagine, there’s a more complex sub-story beneath the surface. Public schools, facing immense political and financial pressures, have responded through state-wide standardized tests, which they explicitly prepare kids for — often to the dismay of faculty and parents. I regularly receive resumes from public school teachers and administrators who are frustrated by this practice. Last spring, an acquaintance who is a local school principal told me that she received last-minute directives from the district to cancel regularlyscheduled classes and to “test” her students over times in a single semester. In response, her teachers complain that such an approach squelches the passion and creativity that marks great education. I tend to agree. But “teaching to the test” isn’t necessarily bad — it depends on how you teach and what’s being tested.


For instance, though independent schools aren’t bound by statemandated tests, we’re routinely evaluated by performance on nation-wide tests, such as the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests and A.P. exams. We expect our students to master a good portion of the skills and content evaluated by these exams (and they do). That said, we don’t expect all kids to perform at the same level or to achieve the same score. As a community school that accepts students with a broad range of academic strengths, we work to help each child maximize his or her true potential — a potential that may or may not be reflected (or even tested) on a standardized assessment. Not surprisingly, colleges look for quantitative measures to compare applicants. In 2001, there were roughly 26,000 public high schools and 10,500 private schools in America. High schools use many different approaches for grades — some use letters, some use numerical scales (4-, 13- and 100-point versions among others), and some use just narratives. College admissions officers must first “normalize” the disparate transcripts they receive so they can compare “apples-toapples.” They determine an applicant’s GPA, factor in standardized test scores, and read essays and recommendation letters that detail backgrounds and stories, highs and lows, challenges and accomplishments, passions and personalities. They then make a choice about whether to invite an applicant to be a part of their community. (Interestingly, many colleges and universities believe that standardized test scores don’t provide them with useful information in their decision making in admissions. Thus students are not obliged to submit standardized test scores at all. See for a surprising list of schools that are test-optional.) At Emery/Weiner, we acknowledge the role that standardized tests and numerical “scores” play in the role of evaluating our students — and our school. Thankfully, we do very well in this regard. For instance, in the last two years, over percent of our seniors have been accepted directly at The University of Texas at Austin, and perhaps more impressive, the most recent data indicates that Emery graduates at UT had an average GPA of . Still, as impressive as



these numbers are, I believe there are other metrics that matter more. As important as academics are — and without question, they are our primary focus — a great education isn’t only about the head, it must also address the heart. Along with teaching intellectual skills and working to cultivate a love of learning, at EWS we conspicuously and explicitly discuss values and ethics. We believe these conversations are sometimes best prompted by Stuart J. Dow encounters outside the classroom, Head of School which is why we’re so committed to experiential education. Each of our students will travel over miles in their time with us because we believe these journeys far away from Stella Link stimulate powerful and lasting learning. of this year’s seniors will attend our Poland/ Israel trip where they will never forget the horror of seeing firsthand the mound of Jewish ashes that still stands at the Majdanek concentration trip, or the contrasting joy of celebrating Shabbat in Jerusalem together as a high school class.

30,000 95%

Our goal at EWS is not only to create knowledgeable Jews who care deeply about their religious and cultural identity, but to inspire young people to have an awareness of and a commitment to the larger world as well. Which is why we love the fact that the Tikkun Olam Club (literally “repair the world”) is the school’s largest student organization; that over of our Upper Schoolers won Presidential Awards for having done over hours of community service last year; and that nearly of our kids did an astonishing hours!



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I’ve long believed that our school can be very serious about its mission — teaching academic skills, along with the values of compassion and collaboration, determination and resiliency, confidence and humility — and yet do so in a place infused with joy, where people want to work and study. Recent numbers related to retention and return affirm this belief. Almost of our current 8th graders have re-enrolled for 9th grade — a class that may be our largest ever. In addition, a few students who left have opted to come back. Similarly, the vast majority of this year’s faculty and staff are staying, and two terrific teachers we previously lost are slated to be back with us in the fall.

90 %

So, then, how much are our kids learning? I encourage you to look beyond their GPA’s and their standardized test scores to that which is not so quantifiable. Look at their hearts and at the people they are becoming. Look at the things that have no tidy external measure: empathy, integrity and thoughtful Jewish identity. These are the metrics that matter.


In the nEWS EWS Hosts, Students TEDxYouth Conference



In November, Emery/Weiner hosted TEDxYouth@ ISASEmeryWeiner, an event styled after and guided by the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Conference. The TED conference is a yearly summit which brings together the best and brightest from a wide array of disciplines to discuss their visions for a better tomorrow. This past year, six Houston-area schools participated in our youth-focused event, including Chinquapin Preparatory, Duchesne Academy, The Kinkaid School, The Post Oak School and The Shlenker School — putting on a total of 16 presentations. EWS 10th grader Noa Gutow-Ellis presented at this year’s TEDxYouth Conference, hosted by EWS. In her presentation, Gutow-Ellis argued for an integrated learning approach.

“So many aspects of our world are changing in the 21st century, but education is not evolving as quickly as technology,” GutowEllis said. “I think it’s fascinating that although we are living in this high-tech, connected world, we are still learning using the same model we did during the Industrial Revolution. The way things are run now does not allow students the intellectual freedom to pursue their interests, leading to a direct correlation to the scarcity of a love for learning.” Gutow-Ellis argues that instead of focusing on textbooks, fact memorization and relying solely on lectures from teachers, learning should utilize the Internet to “read, write, contemplate, discuss and argue over ideas.” “We need independent, critical, creative, rebellious thinkers,” Gutow-Ellis said. “We need students to have an intellectual freedom to learn something new for the sole reason of just because. Kids today are taught that the right way to think is to do exactly what others tell you to do, and to do it well. But there is no right way to think.”

Emery/Weiner proudly presented two of its own students, seventh grader Ilana Vines and 10th grader Noa Gutow-Ellis.

Online video of both presentations can be found on YouTube by searching for “TEDxYouth@ISASEmeryWeiner.”

“Someone told me that the best TED talks were the ones that you have experienced,” Vines said. “But I am only 13 and I have not experienced much. So I started to think about things that are relevant to everyone. For TED, I talked about how my generation takes things for granted without knowing it.”

“Repairing the World” More than Just a Slogan with Student-driven Initiatives

Vines was prompted to cover this topic after an eye-opening experience while on a trip to Disney World.

At Emery/Weiner, working to improve kids’ character is just as important as working to improve their minds. The notion of Tikkun

“I have been to Disney World so many times that I only thought of it as a vacation,” she said. “I never thought it as something to do before I died. But when I was in line, a girl behind me had a sticker that read ‘Make a Wish Foundation.’ Learning about the organization, I realized that this child’s last request was to go to Disney World.” Vines used her TED speech to ask others not to take things for granted, and to appreciate everything they have in a new way.

Enterprising seventh grader Lauren Czarlinsky organized a stuffed animal toy drive after the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

Sophomore Gutow-Ellis took a different direction with her presentation entitled “True Learning is Not Standardized.”


Seventh grader Ilana Vines focused her presentation at this year’s TEDxYouth Conference on how her generation takes things for granted. A fortuitous trip to Disney World opened her eyes to the Make a Wish Foundation and to the opportunities available to her and her peers.

Olam — repairing the world in which we live — may be the most critical value EWS seeks to instill. The principle is not solely an administrative and teacher initiative, however, as students from all grade levels have embraced this aspect of the EWS mission with toiletry, food, candy and stuffed animal toy drives to help thousands of families in need this year alone, and by volunteering at more than 300 places in and around Houston. After the tragic killing of 26 people — 20 of them children — at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, on December 14, seventh grader Lauren Czarlinsky put an ambitious idea with a very tight time frame into action.

Freshmen Raquel Weisfeld and Jenny Daum paint faces during a community service outing.

to the Newtown community.

Nearly 1,000 stuffed animals were collected in less than a week for the Newtown, CT community.

Czarlinsky’s project came at the end of “Tikkun Olam Month” in the Middle School, where students from all grades volunteered at The Houston Food Bank, The River — which provides fine arts education for children with disabilities — or Jewish Family Services, an organization that provides assistance to anyone struggling with life challenges.

“I was thinking if this kind of thing happened to me, I would want someone to do something for me,” Czarlinsky said. That something turned into nearly 1,000 stuffed animals — collected in less than a week by Czarlinsky, her classmates, neighbors and friends — for the Newtown community. “A stuffed animal is something they can cuddle with,” Czarlinsky said. “It’s something that’s with them and helps comfort them. I wanted to do something that everyone here could get involved with to help the kids at Sandy Hook.”

During Tikkun Olam month in the Middle School, students, including sixth grader Nicole Kramer, volunteered at several sites around town, including the Houston Food Bank.

With the help of her father, Randy Czarlinsky partnered with Southwest Airlines to fly 10 large boxes to Connecticut and the American Red Cross to deliver the stuffed animals EWS cheerleaders spent their annual service project at the Yaweh House, a homeless shelter for women and children, for the second year in a row.

The spirit of giving was also evident in the Upper School following “superstorm” Hurricane Sandy in October, which caused $50 billion in damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. “We called many of the shelters set up for the victims of the hurricane, and they explained that they already had all of the bare necessities covered,” Jordann Tiras said. “Halloween was all of our favorite past times, so we thought donating candy to the children who didn’t get to go trick-or-treating this year was the next best thing.” Although each upper school student is required to complete 30 hours of community service a year, the students went above and


In the nEWS beyond the minimum requirement with a median of 50 hours of community service performed in 2011-12. Last year, 260 Upper School students performed 10,000 hours of community service, with one single student amassing more than 800 hours individually and 22 students logging in with more than 200 each.

Lightning Thief, a 2005 fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology,” Lupovitch said. “Their task is to develop an original Greek hero myth with a specific target reading audience in mind.” Sixth grader Arthur Levy was reluctant about the writing project at first, but was soon enraptured by the subject and the challenge. “I actually don’t like writing stories that much mostly because I am not very creative at writing stories,” Levy said. “I think that Greek mythology is really cool because it’s about gods and their powers, and also their children’s quests. “In my group’s big book we wrote about the Minotaur, Ares, Pandora and Hades,” Levy said. “Basically, Hades invites Pandora and Ares to a party because Ares and Pandora got in a fight about Pandora opening her box that lets evil into the world. When Ares and Pandora get there, the Minotaur takes Pandora to a labyrinth while Hades talks to Ares about a plan to kill Pandora and how it would be the perfect way to get back at her. In the end, Ares goes back to Pandora’s side and kills the Minotaur, but unfortunately, Pandora dies too.”

Middle School students collected more than 400 cans of food in December 2012, which were donated to Meals on Wheels.

Sixth Grade Writing Project Brings Mythology to Area Elementary Schools The art of actual writing may seem like a dying form of artistic expression with the popularity of email and texting, but those skills have not fallen by the wayside in 6th grade English teacher Elaine Lupovitch’s classroom. Her students have to embrace their love of the written word to write their own mythological book and brave the critics by reading their stories to audiences at other area schools. “The Big Book Project is the culminating activity of Enduring Heroes, a project based learning unit we do connected to our study of The

Sixth grader Julie Liebman poses with a student from Robert M. Beren Academy after reading from her Big Book project, “Hestia and the Magic Fireplace.”


Sixth graders Josh Wolf, Arthur Levy, Francesca Romero and Emily Doctor read from their original story while at School for Young Children.

After writing their books, students went to area schools in groups to read their original works to fourth and fifth grade classes. “The goal is for our sixth grade writers to experience the feedback and response from real-life readers to see what worked, what didn’t and possibly why,” Lupovitch said. “The goal is to bring to our awareness that writing is for readers. I want to inspire our sixth grade writers to reach out, explore the power of words and share stories with a reading community.” Levy and his group read their book to fourth and fifth graders at both Robert M. Beren Academy and The Shlenker School. Although he was nervous about presenting his work, Levy enjoyed the project and plans to explore more Greek mythology. “At first I wasn’t really excited about doing this project but I’m glad that I did it because now I can write better,” Levy said. “I think that I will continue writing and will probably write more stories about Greek mythology because it is very interesting.”

Faculty Spotlight

Jade Garcia

When The Emery/Weiner School decided to add Spanish to the Middle School curriculum, it also scored a great coup in hiring teacher Jade Garcia. One of the few teachers to teach in both divisions, Garcia is a well known, and beloved teacher amongst both the students and faculty and staff. Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born in the United Kingdom in Wrexham, which is in North Wales. At seven months old, my family moved to Valencia, Venezuela, where I was raised. Then, at 15, I moved to Pennsylvania and later obtained my undergrad at Ursinus College, earning a degree in Anthropology and Spanish. Since I enjoy learning, I decided to continue my education and went to Villanova University where I earned a Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies.

places I have been to are LLanganuco Lake in Peru and Cabo de SĂŁo Vicente in Portugal. Q: What is your favorite thing about EWS and Houston?

is happening at both ends of the spectrum and I enjoy teaching the different age groups. An extra bonus is that I get to really know the great faculty that EWS has. Q: How has Spanish been picked up or embraced by the students? A: I love sharing my passion for languages. I have always found learning how different cultures interpret the world to be fascinating. In my classes, my main goal is to instill in each student passion to learn languages and explore the amazing cultures out there. In addition, my students are always working really hard to perfect their Spanish skills. From day one I make sure that all my students know that the classroom is a safe zone to make mistakes, and a space where they can all continue improving their skills.

A: At EWS my favorite thing would be the people: students and coworkers. Everyone here really cares about each other. In Houston, my favorite thing would be the international foods you can find, especially, the amazing Venezuelan foods. I am never afraid to try new foods. Q: When you’re not traveling to remote and distant locations, but are instead spending a night in, what do you like to do? A: I also really enjoy learning about great white sharks, and watching foreign movies, especially Asian films.

Q: What brought you to Houston?

Spanish Teacher Jade Garcia has been at EWS for three years and splits her time between both the Middle and Upper School.

Q: What is it like to be one of the few teachers who teaches in both divisions? A: I love teaching at both the middle school and high school level. I always know what

A: My immediate family moved to Houston about six years ago, which is the reason I moved here. My extended family lives in Europe, Australia and Florida, and every couple of years we make an effort to reunite in Wales and Florida. Q: With family all over the globe, where are some of the places you have traveled? A: Out of the country I have traveled to Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Portugal, Britain and Peru. The most beautiful


In the nEWS

Winter Eve Eleventh grader Elyse Minchen shares her love of horses with her classmates while on the 11th Grade Retreat to Camp Lantern Creek in Montgomery, Texas.

Always looking for new activities, P.E. teacher Angi Boudreaux incorporated the popular Zumba workouts into her middle school classes.

Sophomores Brandon Olifant and Illan Kunik relax and play some outdoor games while on the 10th Grade Retreat to Willow Point Resort in Central Texas.

Novem Middle School history teacher Kirk O’Neal steps outside his comfort zone to help out in the science lab during this year’s Open House. Along with meeting teachers and touring the campus, prospective students made “goo” to take home and enjoy.

Members of the extended EWS community stand as their service branch is called out during a ceremony to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day.


ents at EWS Eighth grader Elle Shaw enjoys spending time with her grandfather, Frank Shaw, during the Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Sophomores Sarah Horwitz and Mara Kushner participate in a team building activity during the 10th Grade Retreat.


Juniors Alyssa Cohen, Darci Papell and Abby Blachman bond during the 11th Grade Retreat. Members of the Class of 2015 enjoy their time together during the 10th Grade Retreat in Central Texas.

The junior class took part in intense trust-building activities while on the 11th Grade Retreat.


In the nEWS December Egg!

EWS staff and faculty members showed off their own skills by jamming — and singing — during the 2012 Winter Closing Ceremonies.

Middle School science students learned all about gravity when tasked with creating a vessel that would allow their egg to be dropped from the MS roof without breaking.

Upper School students shared one last Shabbat service before adjourning for the 2012 winter break at the US Closing Ceremonies.

ABOVE: Seniors Jordann Tiras and Claire Gottsegen starred in the winter production, “Smile.” Both girls played beauty pageant contestants with Tiras mentoring Gottsegen as they both vie for the crown. BELOW: Set in the 1980’s, the cast and crew had fun with the clothes and wigs while performing “Smile.”

Senior Michael Horn and sophomore Rachel Goodman starred in the December musical production, “Smile.” The winter show focused on the ups and downs of a beauty pageant.


Seniors Hayley Weycer and Jessica Wolinsky hold hands with Holocaust survivor Helen Colin during their presentation for the Holocaust and Memory class.


Sixth grade science teacher Jared Curtis helps seventh graders Sara Newman and Sophia Kuperman plant trees in honor of Tu B’shevat.

Freshman Lauren Weinberger, senior David Enav, junior Hannah Kass and eighth grader Liam Faigen performed in a series of shorts for the senior-directed productions.


In the nEWS Sophomore Daniel Farb navigates the tricky terrain while rock climbing on the sophomore class trip to the Hill Country in Central Texas.

Members of the freshmen class hang out seniors and their own classmates during the winter trip to Big Bend National Park in January.

Winter Outdoor Trips Members of the Class of 2015 were flying high riding a slide while on the 10th Grade Winter Trip to the Hill Country in Central Texas.

Freshmen Alec Rubenstein and Bram Lowenstein pose during a stroll while on the winter trip to Big Bend National Park.

Juniors Alex Niefield, Arianna Zaidenweber, Brooke Lampert, Rachel Stern, Alex Wiesenthal and Cameron Markoff pose before taking their own turn through the obstacle course behind them while on the 11th Grade Winter Trip in Central Texas.

LEFT: Sixth grader Arthur Levy and junior Jennie Levy spend time with their grandparents, Cela and David Cukierman. RIGHT: Eighth grader Marlo Olifant enjoys breakfast with her grandfather, Avi Olifant name during Grandparents Day.

Grandparents Day

Eighth graders Andy Frederick, Jake Feldman, Scott Gold and Daniel Landa kicked off Grandparents Day by performing to a packed house of more than 200 EWS grandparents. ABOVE: Middle School students performances for Grandparents Day included musical numbers, dance routines and skits. LEFT: Eighth grader Joseph Fields was happy to have his grandparents, Harold Fields and Susan Edwards on campus with him during Grandparents Day on February 14.


Jaguar Pride 7th Grade Boys Basketball The Emery/Weiner 7th Grade Boys Basketball Team finished the season number one in their conference with a 7-1 record and an overall record of 11-5. The boys fought hard throughout the season, with two of their losses occurring in overtime.

Seventh graders Sam Kaminsky, Coby Lowenstein, Joseph Sondock and David Roubein enjoyed dominating their conference with a 7-1 record.

“The boys were all focused and eager to learn and compete this season,” said Melanee Weiser, head coach. “It has truly been an amazing experience coaching this team this season.” The boys were led by leading scorers Joe Sondock with 11.6 points per game, and Coby Lowenstein and David Roubein, who both averaged 7.3 points per game each.

Coach of the 2012-13 7th/8th Grade Boys Basketball Team, Kirk O’Neal, was very pleased with his team’s effort this year, including a 10-4 finish.

Eighth graders Lewis Graubart and Brandon Gomel led the team with their leadership and perseverance on the court, but eighth grader Michael Spolane was singled out for most improved player for his continued extra effort throughout the season. “The entire team played and practiced with so much enthusiasm that it made coaching this team a lot of fun,” O’Neal said.

8th Grade Boys Basketball

“The most valuable player this season was definitely a tie between Joe and Coby,” Weiser said. “Joe is a complete basketball player who can dribble, shoot and rebound, has great court presence and who is a team leader.

Not to be outplayed by the other Middle School Basketball Teams, the 8th Grade Boys Basketball Team also finished the season with a winning record, including placing second in their conference with a 13-3 record and wrapping up the season with a 15-6 overall.

“Coby is an amazing all-around athlete,” Weiser said. “He is a force on defense and can out-rebound most taller opponents. He has speed, strength and a great attitude on and off the court.”

“This year’s team built their season around three phases: ‘dig deep,’ ‘all in’ and ‘Jag Pride,’” said Lane Wakefield, head coach.

Both will certainly be an asset on the court next year, too, as will Sam Kaminsky, who was named the most improved player this season. “Most of the time, Sam is the smallest player on the court who is not afraid of taking on bigger opponents,” Weiser said. “I really appreciate his confidence in his abilities on the court.

7th/8th Grade Boys Basketball The 7th/8th Grade Boys Basketball continued the winning tradition by finishing the season 10-4. Head coach Kirk O’Neal was happy with his teams’ success and believes they’ll be good contributors to their respective teams next year. “We had a very good season this year,” O’Neal said. “Every team member improved their individual basketball skills, and played at a competitive level. Many of our games went all the way down to the final buzzer to determine the outcome.”


The team was led by point guard and captain Michael Ran, and shooting guard Evan Sack, who both finished the year strong. “Michael’s outstanding play was recognized at the St. Thomas Tournament when he was named to the All-Tournament Team,” Wakefield said. “Evan had an excellent year, but his high point was his game-winning jumper against Trafton. Evan led the team in scoring and also played solid defense.” Members of the 8th Grade Boys Basketball Team focused on “Jag Pride” this year, and will make a strong run at the Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Teams next year.

It was evident to Wakefield that the boys made extra efforts to play as a team and to compete at the best of their abilities, and he looks forward to their success next year on the Upper School team.

MS Girls Basketball The Middle School Girls Basketball Team wrapped up a tough season with a resounding 25-11 victory over in-town rivals, Robert M. Beren Academy. “Despite a difficult schedule, our girls really improved over the course of the year,” said Wylie Stemple, the head coach. “Our girls entered the season as first-year basketball players with little or no experience, but they all finished the season as solid players with a love for the game.”

“With several of our players guaranteed to move up and contribute to the varsity team next season, I’ll be counting on the incoming 8th grade class to continue this team’s success,” Barlow said.

Members of the Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Team played well this year and will make an immediate impact on the Varsity Team next year.

Varsity Girls Basketball

New Middle School teachers Wylie Stemple and Leigh Umstattd coached the MS Girls Basketball Team through a tough season that ended on a high note by beating Robert M. Beren Academy.

Headed up by several multi-sport athletes, including eighth graders Shelby Glover, Ashley Doctor and Nicole Zucker, the team brought intensity and hard work to the court every single day, Stemple said. “Seventh grader Elise Shoss stepped up and was a key contributor,” Stemple said. “She will continue to set the bar high next year for the Middle School Team, but overall, this team has certainly set the standard for Lady Jaguar Basketball for years to come.”

JV Boys Basketball The Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Team capped off their winning season with a 67-41 win over Northland Christian School to wrap up a 12-9 record. “Our team was great this year, and really stepped up to the plate,” said Eddy Barlow, the boys’ head coach. “We needed players to show their capabilities and they did, especially freshmen Nathan Gardstein, Jonathan Moulton and Dylan Solomon, who were all pivotal players.” Barlow believes each member of his team will make a strong push for the varsity team next year, and is excited about the rising 8th graders.

Sophomore Kara Norrid takes a free-throw shot during a game against O’Connell Consolidated High School.

The Varsity Girls Basketball Team started the season off with six quick wins before encountering one of the most difficult schedules in recent history. “It was a tough season,” said Robert Royer, the girls’ head coach. “The girls made a strong offensive statement with junior Mikela Tucker leading the team in scoring with 17 points per game and senior Taylor Bookstaff second at 9 points per game.” Proving she has skills on both sides of the ball, Tucker also led the team in defense, too, with seven blocks per game, 17 rebounds per game and 4 steals per game. Tucker was named to the Second Team All-District. “The team will truly miss the leadership of seniors Bookstaff and Danielle Resh, but Tucker has stepped up to the challenge,” Royer said. “Along with six returning players, and numerous talented rising 8th graders, the team will definitely be a force to be reckoned with next year.”


Jaguar Pride Boys Varsity Basketball The Varsity Boys Basketball also faced a lot of strong competition this season. “These boys showed up every day with a lot of enthusiasm and a great work ethic,” said Patrick Pellerin, the head coach. “Senior Josh Gordon served as a great example for his teammates by averaging a team-high of 10 points per game.” Next year could be a rebuilding year for the varsity team as Pellerin will need to replace seven seniors. “We have several young varsity players that gained invaluable experience this year, including sophomore Sammy Levin, who averaged eight points per game,” Pellerin said. “These seasoned players — along with players from our successful junior varsity team — will definitely make next year’s team the team to beat.”

mEmery Lane Alumni Soccer Game

EWS alums returned to campus on Monday, January 7 to take on the Varisty Boys and Girls Soccer Teams. While the alums beat the Girls Varsity Team 2-1, the Boys Varsity Team held their own and clinched a 2-1 victory. Stay tuned for details on next year’s game to either participate, or to cheer on your fellow alums!


Senior Will Blumrosen and senior Stephen Glombicki compete for a rebound during a game against O’Connell Consolidated High School.

mEmery Lane Sarah Gass ‘05 graduated from Smith College and lives in New York City. She was recently promoted to development associate of families at United Jewish AppealFederation of New York. Melissa Stein ‘05 currently lives in Connecticut and is a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital System. She enjoys both her job and all the snow! Maximilian Willson ‘05 graduated from The Evergreen State College in August 2012 and recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Bridget Hack.

Robin Slusky ‘07 graduated from Trinity University in December 2011 and works as an adoption counselor for San Antonio Pets Alive. Robin enjoys her job and loves knowing she is making a difference on a daily basis, and getting to see the results of her hard work in the faces of the animals she rescues. Melissa Fritts ‘08 was recently selected into the Program for Excellence in Selling through the University of Houston, the #1 sales program in the nation. Lisa Schwarz ‘08 married fellow EWS alum Alan Tenenbaum ‘06 in November 2012.

Daniel Barvin ‘06 recently started a new position with GE Oil & Gas as a product engineer in the Capital Drilling Group.

Legacy Families at EWS When the I. Weiner Jewish Secondary School opened in 1978, three boys formed a friendship that has continued for more than 30 years. With those lasting memories and enduring friendships, each of those three boys — Rex Solomon, Rodney Roth and David Stein — didn’t hesitate to send their own children to I. Weiner Middle School, and on to experience what they wished for in the early 80’s: Emery Upper School.

Brooke Elberger ‘10 is a psychology and pre-med junior at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a team member of Texas 4000 for Cancer, which will entail her taking a 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin to Alaska to raise awareness and fight cancer. Becca Wolinsky ‘10 is a junior at Brown University and is studying African studies in Nairobi, Kenya. She also volunteers with Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment and Health Leads Providence.

“I absolutely would have attended Emery Upper School,” Roth said. “My time at I. Weiner was a great and meaningful experience. Prior to I. Weiner and Emery, there was a void in providing first class middle and high school Jewish education. Emery has filled the gap and continues to mold and prepare young adults for the future.” Two youngsters preparing for these formative years are Roth’s own two boys — EWS sixth grader Cameron and seventh grader Gavin. Joining the Roth boys are Solomon’s son, freshman Dylan, and Stein’s two kids, junior Julie and eighth grader Jonathan. “There was never any hesitation for me to send my kids to EWS as it has come a long way since the doors opened 34 years ago,” Stein said. For Solomon, the school’s growth and Jewish roots made EWS the easy choice for Dylan.

I. Weiner Alum Rodney Roth with sons and current EWS students, Cameron and Gavin.

Zach Savrick ‘09 is nearly finished with his finance degree from the University of Texas at Austin where he is a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity and the Texas Cowboys. Zach hopes to enroll in law school at UT in Fall 2013.

“Emery exemplifies the New England prep school model better than most other private schools in Houston,” Solomon said. “That

I. Weiner Alum Rex Solomon with wife Maggie and current EWS student Dylan.

and the emphasis on modern Jewish inclusive values made it the best option for our family.” Although their children will graduate and move on to college, Roth, Solomon and Stein know their kids will have a better connection with their religion and with Israel, and develop their own lasting friendships. “I know that the friendships made in both the middle school and high school will be the ones that my kids will have for many years to come,” Stein said.


Donations Gifts In Honor Of October 31, 2012 - February 7, 2013 In honor of Larissa Bernstein & Family

Gifts In Memory Of

In honor of Jake Horwitz Denise Rashti & Paul Horwitz

In honor of Sarah Horwitz Denise Rashti & Paul Horwitz

In Honor of Joe Kornfeld

October 31, 2012 - February 7, 2013

Carolyn & Scott Davis

In honor of Saranne Kosberg’s birthday


In honor of Taylor Bookstaff’s Graduation

Dodie & J.A. Gaber Judith & Barry Kaufman* Jalna & Bill Kottwitz Sue & Harry Rosenzweig

In honor of Angi Boudreaux

In honor of Barbara and Barry Lewis’ 55th Anniversary

Saranne & Livingston Kosberg

Karen & Howard Bookstaff Jodi & Michael Cortez

Dorene & Frank Herzog

In honor of Ryan Bronston’s Bar Mitzvah

In honor of Elaine Lupovitch

In honor of the Class of 2017

In honor of Brooke Markowitz’s Bat Mitzvah

Charylne Hochschild Julie Morris

In honor of Jared Curtis Jodi & Michael Cortez

In honor of Kelly Dean Jodi & Michael Cortez

In honor of Hope Desenberg The Oshman Foundation

In honor of Aaron Elfezouaty Avi Elfezouaty

In honor of Barbara Farley Jodi & Michael Cortez

In honor of Martha & Don Freedman Martin Pate

In honor of Andy Ginsberg Lawrence Ginsberg

In honor of Andrew Goldfarb’s Graduation Ann & Richard Goldfarb

In honor of Orly Golub Zona & Martin Hoffman

In honor of Megan Haas’ Bat Mitzvah Aron Sable

In honor of Aaron Hall Gretchen & Bruce Hall

In honor of Walter Hecht’s 75th birthday Anne & Donald Graubart

Jodi & Michael Cortez

Aron Sable

In honor of Johnny Nichols, Jr. Jodi & Michael Cortez

In honor of Kirk O’Neal Jodi & Michael Cortez

In honor of Cameron Roth Marilyn & Donald Schaffer

In honor of Gavin Roth Marilyn & Donald Schaffer

In Memory of Steven M. Davis Seema & Sol Davis* In Memory of Shari Epstein Debbie Boniuk Ashley, Emily, Stacy & Scott Doctor Joyce Ervin Stormy Friday Heidi & David Gerger* Charlyne & Robert Hochschild Dale Kurtz Kathy Lindauer* Sharon & Dennis Longworth Clarice & Norman Miller Michele & David Olifant Sharon & Timothy O’Malley Susan Rosenbaum & Eric Schoen Laura & Berry Spears Carol & Michael Wilk In Memory of Karri Faigen Nancy & Fred Stow In Memory of Leonard Herz Anne & Donald Graubart

In honor of Luca Rubenstein

In Memory of Sol Mintz Anne & Donald Graubart

In honor of Rebecca Starr

In Memory of Jerry Simmer Judith Krull*

In honor of Michael Taylor

In Memory of Joan Spitz Anne & Donald Graubart

In honor of Chris Teel

In Memory of Mr. Harry C. White Michelle White

In honor of Sharon Wechter

In Memory of Darryl Wiesenthal Michael Wiesenthal

In honor of Josh Wolf

In Memory of Harold Wiesenthal Michael Wiesenthal

In honor of Alison Wulfe

All gifts in honor of and in memory of loved ones benefit ongoing fundraising efforts of The Emery/Weiner School.

In honor of Dylan Zisman’s Bar Mitzvah

* These donations were allocated to the Kosberg Scholarship Fund. Donations to the Kosberg Scholarship Fund are matched, and will provide support for scholarships for EWS students who demonstrate financial need.

Tawnya & Rusty Rubenstein Jennifer Bauer-Conley Jodi & Michael Cortez

Mindy & Joshua Davidson Jodi & Michael Cortez Galit & Oran Wolf

Barbara & Leon Wulfe Jr.

Aron Sable




9825 Stella Link Houston, TX 77025 (832) 204-5900 (832) 204-5910 (Fax)

The Emery/Weiner 2012-13 Board of Trustees David Bell Wendy Bernstein Lauren Blachman Eric Blumrosen, Vice President Mark Brookner, Immediate Past President Andy Bursten, Vice President Adele Croft Carol Emery Caroline Esses Vikki Evans Clive Fields Tom Fish, EWS Foundation Board Chair Martha Freedman Kim Glover David Goldstein Don Graubart Joe Kaplan* Rick Kaplan Kenneth Katz Joe Kornfeld Bobby Lapin Stan Levy Barry Lewis Eric Lombardi Glenn Lowenstein David Morris David Neuberger Brad Rauch, President Elisha Selzer Julie Silverman Jordana Slawin, Vice President Alana Spiwak, Secretary Gary Stein Dan Steiner, Treasurer Roger Stern Mark Weycer Joe Williams, Presidential Appointee Bonnie Winograd Inna Wizig

Important Dates to Remember April 27-29

US Spring Show

May 5 7 15-16 27

Drama Banquet 12th Grade Poland/Israel Trip Departs Shavout: School Closed Memorial Day: School Closed

June 4-7 Semester Exams, Closing Ceremony 6 8th Grade Promotion, Senior Dinner 9 Commencement

Kotarot - Spring 2013  

The spring issue of the Kotarot includes this year's winter trips, how EWS students give back through Tikkun Olam and how our winter basketb...

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