STAFF

Alef Academy Staff

Each of the school’s certified early childhood educators brings to their job a unique and special blend of professional skills and personal experience. Our teachers are an unusually dedicated group of professionals whose commitment to each child under their tutelage does not stop at the classroom door. 


The staff meets weekly to discuss curriculum, plan programs and share and exchange ideas in order to uphold the high standards of our program. Staff development is ongoing to ensure that teachers can successfully adapt to the ever-changing needs of today’s families and to the findings of current research.

Estee Popack, School Director

Estee completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program. Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!

Shprintza Davidson, Teacher

Shprintza completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program. Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!

Devonya Thomas, Teacher

Devonya completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program. Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!

Sarah Jones, School Adminsitrator

Devonya completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program. Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!

Jon Yukelovitch, Chief Bottlewasher

Jon completed her B.S. in elementary education at Penn State University, and her Masters Degree in the same area at Temple University. She spent 22 years as a public school teacher teaching kindergarteners. She has served on many school district committees, including one specifically for researching and implementing a developmentally appropriate full day kindergarten program. Wanting to stay true to her values and beliefs and continue to provide excellent children’s education in a child-centered, nurturing, and respectful atmosphere, Diane took a year off to take courses and network with people and organizations that truly believe in children. Upon observing CCJP utilizing the Reggio Emilia philosophy, she felt right at home with CCJP. Diane lives in Center City Philadelphia and is very excited to join the Daled class this year!