Faculty/Staff Directory

ADMINISTRATION
MONTESSORI PRE-PRIMARY
PRIMARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL
ADDITIONAL FACULTY AND STAFF

ADMINISTRATION

Michael D. Griffith
Head of School

216 464 0033 Ext. 1122

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Prior to his current role as Head of The Ratner School, Michael Griffith served for 15 years as principal of Shaker Heights High School, in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  Before that, Mike was principal of Lennox Middle School in Lennox, California following a career as a math teacher in both public and private schools in Los Angeles. Mike holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University, where he was a member of the Jesuit National Honor Society, and Psi Chi, the National Honors Society for Psychology.  He earned a Master‘s of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from UCLA and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in Learning and Instruction at UCLA. Mike is the proud father of Anna, Michael and Daniel, and he lives in Shaker Heights with his fiance, Donna.


Rivki Ebner
Director of Admission

216 464 0033 Ext. 1120

0008

Rivki Ebner is a graduate of the University of Maryland, with a double degree in Organizational Leadership and Jewish Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Rivki has been working in admissions and recruitment for over 10 years, and has experience working at both college and independent school levels. Rivki is married to Michael and they have 3 wonderful kids. She is an avid reader and loves going to concerts, traveling, and taking spin classes.


Molly Urban
Upper Primary and Middle School Division Director

216 464 0033 Ext. 2218

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Princeton University, A.B. Art & Archaeology, Visual Arts Program. Ursuline College, M.Ed., Middle School teaching license in Social Studies and Language Arts, with endorsements in Math and Science for grades 4 – 6.

Molly came to Ratner in 2010 as a 7th/8th grade Language Arts teacher. Beginning in 2011, she took on an administrative role as director of the Primary and Middle School. She now is the Upper Primary and Middle School Director, and focuses on curriculum development and coordination in grades 3 – 8.

Molly loves the learning community at Ratner, and how students here have opportunities to engage in authentic, hands-on learning. Molly’s other passions are art, music, and nature, as well as travel and cooking. She is an active leader with a Boy Scout troop, co-leading high adventure treks. Recent expeditions have included a 70 mile trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, and a 50 mile canoe trip in French River Provincial Park in Ontario.  Teaching at Ratner has been the perfect place for her to put her talents and experience to use in all these areas, including coordinating the 7th and 8th grade trip to The Island School, located on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas.


Becca Ucker
Montessori Pre-Primary and Lower Primary Division Director

216 464 0033 Ext. 1128

0209

Becca has been in the field of early education for 20 years, and loves every minute of it! She has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, and obtained her Montessori credential in Adrian, Michigan. Becca has been an instructor for the Columbus Montessori Education Center Teacher Education Program. She has also presented at Montessori conferences and the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children’s conference. Becca has spent her career both in the areas of teaching in toddler-age classrooms and directing early education programs. She spent 16 years at Columbus Montessori before joining the Ratner staff. Outside of work, Becca and her husband enjoy spending time with their 2 sons, hiking in the beautiful Metroparks, and reading any good book she can find.


Jacqueline Chapnick
Assistant Primary and Middle School Division Director

216 464 0033 Ext. 2213

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Jackie holds a BA in Mathematics and a Masters of Education, both from The Ohio State University. Jackie taught in Cleveland Municiapl Schools and South Euclid/Lyndhurst Schools prior to teaching at Ratner, and she has been at Ratner since 2006. Jackie lives in Solon with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends. Jackie enjoys hiking, reading, watching movies, as well as watching her children participate in all of their activities.  


Megan Ullom
Director of Development

216 464 0033 x2223

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Megan Ullom earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at the University of Illinois and a Master of Arts in Teaching at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She began her work in the area of Development as the Membership Coordinator at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum many moons ago and later worked in Development at Harding Academy, a private K-8 school in Nashville. Megan enjoys her new role working with the amazing Ratner community, having spent several years serving in the Advancement Office of an all-girls school in Shaker Heights.

Megan’s greatest passions are theatre/acting, teaching Creative Dramatics, and directing theater productions. She is really excited to co-direct the Drama Club here at Ratner! Megan also loves home improvement shows and photography and can often be found taking pictures of her family and the changing seasons in Cleveland. In her spare time, if she isn’t taking taking pictures or watching HGTV, she is probably listening to Dave Matthews Band.


Marina Leydiker
Business Manager

216 464 0033 Ext. 1124

0018

Russian native Marina Leydiker is a financial professional with more than 10 years of experience in fiscal management in the nonprofit sector. Previously, Marina worked as the Director of Finance Administration at Case Western Reserve University, where she obtained an MBA degree and a Certificate of Leadership through Emotional Intelligence. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University. Marina enjoys working with people while crunching numbers.

Marina loves fishing tournaments with her long-term partner, and currently serves as a Treasurer for nonprofit organization, Walleye Madness Tournament. Additionally, she has a great passion for cooking, which often is creating meals with the fish that she caught.


Ray Montalvo
Director of Facilities

216 464 0033 Ext. 1017

ray-montalvo

Ray has been the Director of Facilities at Ratner since 2007. Prior to 2007, Ray worked as a a crew leader/facilities manager for Forest City Enterprises, owned and operated a commercial and residential contracting company, and was part owner of a family home repair and improvement business. Ray is a veteran of the United States Army, is the proud father of three and uncle to much-adored nieces and nephews, an avid music fan, and a Cleveland sports team devotee (win or lose!).


MONTESSORI PRE-PRIMARY DIVISION

TODDLERS

Ellyn Klein
Montessori Pre-Primary Toddler Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1105

0206

Ellyn graduated from Indiana University. She has worked in television production at WEWS and at a private video production company. Ellyn has worked as a graphics operator for both the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and is now in her 18th season working as a graphics operator in the Cleveland Browns Scoreboard Rooms. Ellyn has been at Ratner since 2011, first as a substitute and then moving into the position of toddler assistant in the Morning Toddler program. In fall 2016, Ellyn took over Ratner’s Early Bird program. In her spare time, Ellyn enjoys being with her family – 3 sons – Seth , Brandon, Jeremy and husband, Larry.  She also enjoys working in her garden, working on her house, exercising and visiting the family condo in Florida.  She loves crafts and creating new toys and material for the toddlers to play with in the classroom.


Dani Ortiz
Montessori Pre-Primary Toddler Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1106

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Dani is currently working on her degree in Early Childhood Education at Ursuline College. Originally from Washington, D.C., Dani moved to Cleveland three years ago. She has a large family who she is very close to. Dani’s family is from El Salvador, so she grew up speaking both English and Spanish. She developed a love for languages, enjoyed learning Chinese in high school, and is currently studying Korean. Dani has several interests, including reading transcendentalist literature, crocheting and sewing, and music.


Kathy Peterson
Montessori Pre-Primary Toddler Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 1106

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Kathy spent most of her school life in Colorado, where she graduated from high school and attended college. While she was in college, Kathy interned in a Montessori school and loved it, and then attended the Montessori training program in Boulder. After completing the Montessori training, Kathy started her teaching career at a Montessori school in Fountain, Colorado where she taught for three years and then became co-owner of the school. She left this school after her first child was born and then relocated to Cleveland. When her first child started in a Montessori program in Cleveland, Kathy began teaching again. After teaching at Marotta Montessori for five years, Kathy began teaching in a 3-6 class at Ratner and then switched to the toddler program in 2002. Kathy enjoys reading and crafts. She spends a lot of time with her six children who are currently renovating newly purchased properties.


Becca Ucker
Montessori Pre-Primary Toddler Teacher and Montessori Pre-Primary and Lower Primary Division Director

216 464 0033 Ext. 1128


3 – 6 CLASSROOMS

Pat Carey-Bell
Montessori Pre-Primary Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 1104

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Pat Carey-Bell, a longtime Ratner parent and Montessorian, has many professional interests. Pat has written and taught the Montessori Pre-Primary Humanities program, served as a summer camp teacher, taught gardening and outdoor education, forged a trail in the woods on campus, and serves as a co-teacher for the MPP Humanities Art sessions. Pat has a reputation as a thorough and dedicated Montessori teacher trainer, and has mentored many excellent teachers at the school. Pat is highly regarded in the community as a teacher who recognizes individual needs, creates plans, and implements positive integration and change for students.  


Emily Hazzard
Montessori Pre-Primary Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1104

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Emily has an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology and a graduate degree in environmental education with a teaching certification. Emily was a kindergarten teacher for several years in Massachusetts and a first grade aide in Minnesota prior to moving to Cleveland. Emily has been a Montessori Pre-Primary assistant at Ratner since 2014.

Emily grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Cleveland with her husband and two sons, both Ratner students, in 2010. Emily loves to be outdoors, especially going for walks in the woods and gardening. She started cello lessons in 4th grade and played through college and into adulthood. Emily loves travel, and has visited Europe and Central and South America. She enjoys reading and knitting in her free time.  


Jennifer Price Davis
Montessori Pre-Primary Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1110

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Lindsay Rosenberg
Montessori Pre-Primary Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 1103

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Lindsay Rosenberg attended the University of Toledo where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in December of 2004. The following year she began working at West Side Montessori in Perrysburg, Ohio as a Pre-Primary Educator. While there, she received her Montessori certification from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute. She worked at West Side Montessori for five years before having her three children. Lindsay became a Pre-Primary Educator at the Lillian and Betty Ratner School in 2016, where she is teaching today. Lindsay enjoys being a wife to her husband, Jeff, and a mother to her three children, Emmaline, David, and Lucy. The family likes spending time together riding bikes, playing soccer and basketball, and building obstacle courses in their backyard. Lindsay also likes reading, scrapbooking, and baking for her friends and family.  


Linda Shapero
Montessori Pre-Primary Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 1110

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Aria Spraggins
Montessori Pre-Primary Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1103

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Aria holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Ursuline College, and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from John Carroll University. Aria lives in Willoughby with her husband Jeff and dog Jack. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves the Ratner school and being a part of such a wonderful community.


PRIMARY AND MIDDLE DIVISION

PRIMARY SCHOOL GRADES 1 – 4

Lela Gascoigne
Primary Teacher – Grades 1 and 2

216 464 0033 Ext. 1114

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Lela holds a BA from Hamilton College and received her M.Ed. from John Carroll University. She holds a Resident Educator License. After graduating from Hamilton College in 2006, Lela spent a year as a 10th grade English teacher, Varsity soccer coach, and dorm parent at a private boarding school in Massachusetts. Lela then spent 4 years in sales, in both retail and education tours. After realizing she still wanted to teach, but that she wanted to be involved in the age where children learn how to read, Lela moved back to Cleveland to attend John Carroll University for her Masters. While in the School-Based Master’s program at JCU, Lela was a 2nd grade intern at Hawken School. After graduation, Lela spent a year as a substitute teacher. Lela was hired as an assistant in the MPP 3-6 program for the 2013-2014 school year, and became one of Ratner’s 1st/2nd Grade teachers in 2014.

Lela lives with her 3 cats, Magnolia, Mae, and Lily. Most of her family is in the Cleveland area and she enjoys spending time with her family. She loves to read, especially fiction, and you can always count on her to have a book on her! She coaches a U6 co-ed soccer team in Ohio City/Tremont in the Fall. She loves to travel, to run and hike, and musical theater.  She loves that she gets to laugh every day at work, and she can be found singing in the classroom at least once a day.  


Rachel Gluck
Primary Teacher – Grades 1 and 2

216 464 0033 Ext. 1114

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Rachel has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in curriculum instruction with a reading endorsement. Rachel was a first grade assistant teacher for 4 years and then taught 2nd grade in Las Vegas for 9 years before moving back to her hometown of Cleveland in 2016 to be closer to their families. Rachel and her husband are parents to 3 kids and a golden retriever named Hank. While living in Las Vegas, the family loved hiking and taking road trips. Rachel enjoys recording her family memories through scrapbooking.


Dan Kalleres
Primary Teacher – Grades 1 and 2

216 464 0033 Ext. 1113

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Dan has a B.A. in Languages and Linguistics – Japanese and a B.S. in International Business from Florida Atlantic University, as well as an M.Ed. in Early Childhood from John Carroll University. Dan has been teaching at Ratner since 2014. Dan and his husband, Bruce, live in Newbury with their three dogs. They have been together for 17 years and were married in 2014. Dan enjoys cooking and baking, gardening and home improvement projects. He plays the piano and is passionate about writing when time allows. Dan has lived in 5 different states, and has lived in two of those states on more than one occasion.


Sarah Morin
Primary Teacher – Grades 3 and 4

216 464 0033 Ext. 2203

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Sarah holds a BS in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University and an MA in Education with Reading Specialist Endorsement. She is trained in Lucy Calkins Units of Writing. Sarah has teaching experience in both public and private schools. Sarah is a registered yoga teacher for adults and children, and is an avid runner. She loves taking learning outdoors and using movement in ways that stimulate student growth and confidence. Sarah and her husband are raising two children, Alex and Ella.
A quote from Sarah: “I have a strong foundation in the art of teaching writing. I believe that every child is an author, and that it’s my job to give them the tools to find and use their voice. I use writing as a vehicle for all learning, across the curriculum.”


Bill Poynter
Primary Teacher – Grades 1 through 4

216 464 0033

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Bill Poynter has been a learning specialist since 1997, primarily working one-to-one with students of all ages and profiles, using a multi-sensory, instructional approach to remediate difficulties and develop skills in the areas of reading, spelling, comprehension, and math. Initially trained as a clinician for a private learning center in Louisville, KY, Bill later became a supervisor at a branch clinic in Cincinnati, where he hired and trained staff, oversaw student progress, and interacted with parents, teachers, and other professionals on a daily basis. Upon relocating to Cleveland, he continued to work as a private learning specialist and tutor for several years, before joining the staff of The Lillian and Betty Ratner School where he has served in the role of primary support teacher and tutor since Fall of 2014. Bill also has a B.A. in Art from Bellarmine University, and a M.L.I.S. from Kent State University. Outside of the field of education, Bill Poynter is also an artist and illustrator who works in a variety of styles and media, though perhaps most often as an oil painter. He continues to draw and paint when time permits. Among other leisure activities, Bill enjoys reading, movies, and running. Bill and his wife, Trish, also enjoy spending time with their two beautiful daughters they adopted in 2013 and 2016 respectively.


Chelsea Rolen
Primary Teacher – Grades 3 and 4

216 464 0033 Ext. 2203

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Chelsea has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University as an Intervention Specialist. Chelsea is a proud aunt and has two pets, a dog and a turtle. Chelsea loves playing board games with friends and family, going to concerts, and walking in the Metro Parks. Chelsea has a love for art and also enjoys sports. Her favorite sports are baseball (Go TRIBE!) and roller derby (GO BRRD!). Chelsea loves travel and has a long list of places she’d like to visit, but Cleveland will always be her favorite city!


MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 5 – 8)

Herb Ascherman
Middle School Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 2206

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Herb, a Ratner alum, is a fully certified teacher and holds a license in Adolescent to Young Adult Integrated Social Studies in the State of Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design in Illustration (1995), a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a concentration in International Security Policy (2003), a Master of Education from John Carroll University (2008) and has completed course-work and certification tests towards earning a Multi-Age Educator license in Visual Arts at Cleveland State University. Before becoming a teacher, Herb worked for Bloomberg News, Moneyline at CNNfn, The Institute for Defense Analyses and has held internships at Marvel Comics and the US Department of State. His first job as an Educator was as a Social Studies Teacher at Cleveland Heights High School. Herb is an avid bibliophile, and an occasional illustrator who does commissions for independent authors, musical groups, magazines, and a variety of other clients.


Jackie Chapnick
Middle School Teacher and Assistant Primary and Middle School Division Director

216 464 0033 Ext. 2213


Meg Cull
Middle School Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext.1018

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B.S. Elementary Education, Utah State University, M.A. Education, (Instruction & Curriculum), University of Colorado-Boulder

Meg holds teaching certificates in both Utah and Ohio and has 30 years teaching/administrative experience/positions in Independent Schools. Meg has spent her professional life dedicated to teaching children from Preschool-Eighth grade. She has taught in American Samoa, Utah, Virginia, and now Ohio. Growing up in the West, the outdoors has played an integral part of both Meg’s personal and professional life. She is a frequent skier, hiker, and sometimes outdoor educator. Meg is married and has three step-daughters spread across the United States. When not at The Ratner School, she can be found exploring Cleveland and taking trips to see friends and family members. Meg and her husband Larry are enjoying their new home in Shaker Heights with their 4 year old fawn pug named Pippi.


Andy Persanyi
Middle School Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 2211

0134

Andrew B. Persanyi, or Mr. P (as he is commonly called), has been teaching for almost 30 years. He began his career as an educator at Lawrence School in 1989 (until 1997), and is now completing his 20th year at The Ratner School. In that time, he has taught every grade level just about every subject, but he has mostly taught 7-8th grade. For the past four years, he instructs students in three subject areas: American History/American Government, Language Arts/Literature, and middle school math. Since 1995, he has also been Ratner’s Technology Coordinator has juggled IT duties in addition to his teaching responsibilities. Mr. P began his university studies at Cleveland State University and completed his undergraduate work at Akron University. He acquired his Master’s in Education degree at Ashland University.

Mr. P enjoys being a father to his two children. He embraces his Hungarian heritage, and is proud of his amazing mother who raised three young boys on her own. He loves food and relishes his time cooking up a storm in the kitchen, including but not limited to  Hungarian fare . Mr. P. also enjoys golf, Cleveland sports, movies and concerts. Mr. P is well known for his great sense of humor. In fact, his friends (and students) often request that he perform his voice impersonations of various celebrity characters, such as Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Homer Simpson.


Pat Schwab
Middle School Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext.2210

0113

BS. ED.  Keene State College, University of New Hampshire, MS. ED. Northeastern Illinois University

Pat spent twenty years raising her family and teaching north of the city of Chicago. While sons Kurt and Brian attended college, Pat and her husband followed a job opportunity to Ohio. In 1998, Pat joined the Ratner staff in teaching sixth grade. Pat has one grandchild, Maddie, who she describes as “the love of her life.” Pat loves travel and frequently visits family in Connecticut and Florida. Pat is also an avid reader and museum aficionado.


ADDITIONAL FACULTY AND STAFF

Tim Beckette
Assistant Custodian

216 464 0033 Ext. 1017

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Cindy Berkland
Spanish Teacher – Primary Grades

216 464 0033 x2205

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Cindy joined Ratner in 2016 with more than 10 years of experience teaching Spanish at various levels. She earned her Master’s in Education and has completed her coursework for a Master’s in Spanish at The University of Akron. Apart from her in-classroom experience, Cindy has traveled to nine Spanish-speaking countries as well as several other countries in Europe. She lived in Bolivia and Ecuador for a year doing various types of volunteer work. Cindy currently lives in Willoughby with her husband, Doug, and three kids: Silas, Sedrick, and Adele. All three are attending Ratner this year! If she had any free time, she would enjoy watching and playing soccer, painting old furniture and reading.


Denise Falcon
Middle School Learning Specialist

216 464 0033 Ext. 2222

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B.A. Kent State University in Special Education and Elementary Education

Certification in Wilson Language System Levels I and II, Lindamood Bell: Visualizing and Verbalizing, Neuhaus: Grammar both Elementary and Advanced, and Framing Your Thoughts

Denise has been married to her husband Jerry for over 40 years.  They have two children, Justin and Jamie, and two grandchildren Gabriel and Julian.  Denise enjoys biking with her husband and traveling.


Patti Fields
Art Teacher

ratnerschoolart.blogspot.com
216 464 0033 Ext. 1108

0010

Patti Fields  is a graduate of The Cleveland Institute of Art and attended The California College of Art and Craft as well as the Penland School of Craft. She has taught various workshops and classes across the country. She taught K-8 students for 2 years at the Lippman School in Akron and is currently in her 13th year teaching art at The Ratner School. Patti is also an accomplished jeweler and metalsmith and is very active in the Cleveland art scene. She has run her jewelry business for 26 years and travels in the summer to participate in various shows. She owns a 1969 Airstream trailer that she enjoys living out of during the intensive summer show season. Along with her jewelry business, she creates larger scale sculptures and art with her husband.

Rose Finnerty
Physical Education


Erin Gabay
Middle School Math Teacher and Cultural Celebrations Coordinator

216 464 0033 Ext. 2214

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Nicole Gerami
Speech Pathologist

216 464 0033 Ext. 1008

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Nicole Gerami is Ratner’s speech language pathologist. She attended Penn State University for her undergraduate degree and Case Western Reserve University for her Masters. Nicole has been working with children since 1993, serving in public and independent schools, clinical settings, and her own private practice. She is also a published author. Her publications include the Narrative Builder, Tell Me What Happened (e-course) and new in 2016, a book for parents and therapists that is being published by XY Verlag in Switzerland. Nicole speaks both across the country and internationally on both social skills development and narrative development in children on the autism spectrum. Nicole works with children with autism spectrum disorders as well as those with a speech and language, stuttering and language delays and disorders. Nicole has also created the acclaimed Friendship Groups, which she continues to run today. As well, she is the co-creator of Friendship in Teams (FIT), which was created in 2007 and is the founding member of Nicole Gerami, LLC (formerly Western Reserve Speech & Language Partners). Nicole is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In her free time, Nicole enjoys skiing and horseback riding. Nicole is married and has three children.  


Cherie Glassman
Hall Monitor and Arrival/Dismissal Assistant

216 464 0033

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Cherie has worked for Ratner for over thirty years. For the first nineteen years, Cherie worked as a Montessori Pre-Primary assistant. After that, she assisted in the after school program (We Care) for five years. Since 2010, Cherie has been the Montessori Pre-Primary Hallway Monitor, assisting our youngest students as they learn important elements of independence. Cherie has been married to her husband, Chuck, for forty-seven years. She has two adult children – Eric and Aimee (deceased). Cherie is raising her grandchildren, Samantha and Joshua. Cherie and her husband have two classic cars, and they enjoy going “cruising.” Cherie also loves flea markets, garage sales, and antique stores. She collects porcelain dolls and teddy bears.


Mike Griffith, Jr.
Custodian Assistant


Dominic Ianiro
Physical Education

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Jennifer Jarrett
Music Teacher (Montessori Pre-Primary, Primary and Middle)

216 464 0033 Ext. 2232

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Ratner’s music teacher, Jen Jarrett, has been with Ratner for 8 years and teaches all the students in the school, from toddlers to 8th graders. Jen graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. From there, she taught at Agnon School for four years. While with The Agnon School, she formed and implemented a successful middle school band program that continues today. Jen has also spent some time teaching Physical Education, both at Agnon and at Ratner. Jen lives in Shaker Heights with her fiance and her two teenage children. Her daughter, Parker plays softball and her son, Alex enjoys fencing with the Shaker Heights Fencing Club. Biking, walking, swimming, and hiking in the Metroparks are among some of Jen’s favorite activities. She even rides her bike to school as long as there is no snow on the ground. In the summer, she enjoys relaxing in her hammock in the backyard while listening to audio books.


Jan Meloon
We Care Coordinator


Anjali Patel
Science Specialist

216 464 0033 Ext. 1117

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Anjali Patel began her post high school education at the University of Georgia. Anjali completed a 2 year degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught Pre-Kindergarten for four years. After getting married, she moved back home to Pennsylvania and finished her Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth Sciences Education 7-12. Anjali moved with her family to Richmond, Virginia and taught for five years at Hopewell City Schools as an 8th grade science teacher. Following the birth of her son, Rohan, she returned home to Elyria, Ohio to be closer to family. Anjali loves books and movies, especially fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction genres. Anjali is a Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter superfan!


Jodi Richardson
Lunch Program and Library Supervisor

216 464 0033

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Jodi grew up in Shaker Heights. After a couple of years in college, Jodi returned to Cleveland and became a licenced realtor and massage therapist. After some time in both professions, Jodi found her passion in photography. Jodi also spent many years working in restaurants, which is where she met her husband, Stan. Jodi and Stan have two sons, both attending Ratner.


Kevin Rolli
Physical Education


Nicole Smyk
Primary Learning Specialist

216 464 0033 Ext. 2220

0029

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a Master’s certificate from Southern Methodist University. Nicole has Wilson Level I certification, is a Certified Academic Language Therapist, and holds IDA Dyslexia Therapist certification. Nicole is married and is the mom of six children. Nicole’s oldest daughter struggled to learn to read, and was diagnosed with dyslexia at the end of 4th grade following years of frustration. This experience shaped Nicole’s career, and she now specializes now in reading strategies, dyslexia and similar reading disabilities. Nicole is also on the board of the local chapter of the International Dyslexia Association. Nicole enjoys hiking with her husband and attending shows at Playhouse Square as a season ticket holder.


David Steinweg
Consulting Psychologist

216 464 0033 Ext. 2217

David Steinweg, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist specializing in children, adolescents and families. He earned his doctorate in counseling psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992. He was awarded the University Teaching and Research Fellowship for his graduate scholarship and research. He completed his doctoral internship at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine — University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is a full member of the American Psychological Association and its divisions of Clinical Child Psychology and Family Psychology. David enjoys being a husband and father. He likes playing blues and bluegrass guitar. He is in a never-ending search for the best burritos and barbecue in Cleveland. He also likes to ski, go to the beach and hike in the woods with family.


Patricia Villaseca
Middle School Spanish Teacher

216 464 0033 Ext. 2205

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Señora Villaseca has been teaching Spanish in the United States for 27 years, from 2nd Grade to College Level. Before relocating to the United States, Señora Villaseca taught drawing and art history in Chile. She also worked as a freelance designer. Señora Villaseca has also been inducted into the Sociedad Nacional Hispánica, Sigma Delta Pi – Spanish Honor Society. Señora Villaseca enjoys spending time with her grandsons, who live in California, because they amaze her with their unconditional love, their inquisitive minds, and their great sense of humor. She also enjoys simple pleasures like gathering with family and friends, gardening, taking long brisk walks, listening to classical music, reading good literature, and enjoying good restaurants and good movies. She loves going to concerts at Blossom and Severance, and shows at Playhouse Square.  


Nadia Vinogradov-Carek
Communications Coordinator

216 464 0033 Ext. 1123

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Nadia holds a BA from Hofstra University and an MA from Cleveland State, both in American History. Nadia is a Ratner Alumni Parent (Eben Carek and Maddy Carek), and has been a Ratner staff member since 2002. Nadia loves writing and is an avid reader. Most surfaces in Nadia’s home are covered with the books she has read, is reading, or plans to read. Nadia enjoys running but doesn’t love races, though she will happily take last place in a 5k if it supports a good cause. Each summer, Nadia returns to her Canadian homeland for a brief visit. She is rarely seen without a cup of coffee in hand.


Virginia (Ginny) Wagh
Executive Administrative Assistant

216 464 0033 Ext. 1125

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Upon graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Sociology, Ginny began a 15 year career in the Social Service industry as a Director of Social Services/Admissions in the geriatric field. Her passions changed, and Ginny decided to make a career change. She has tried several fields, each gaining more knowledge in areas that would not have a typical social service job. Ginny has been drawn to the education field, and feels she has found her passion again.

Ginny came to The Ratner School in July of 2013. She and her family moved to Cleveland from Maryland, and Ginny is thrilled to be here. The Cleveland area is very much like where she grew up in Western Pennsylvania. Being a mom of four keeps Ginny busy, but in her downtime, she loves reading, hiking, and crocheting.


Liz Wollaeger
Administrative Assistant

216 464 0033 x1177

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