Mesivta Faculty - General Studies
Prior to his appointment at the Mesivta, Keith Bradburd served as Director of Athletics at Friends’ Central School for 34 years. In addition to his duties as Director of Athletics, he coached a variety of athletic teams, including both the varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer teams for more than 28 years. Mr. Bradburd earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Lock Haven State University, where he was a member of their National Championship Soccer team, and his Masters of Education Degree from West Chester University. In addition to teaching at the Mesivta, he is currently the Coordinator of Club Sports at Widener University.
Ray De Sabato
Principal of Secular Studies/Language Arts
Prior to his appointment as Principal of Secular Studies and Language Arts teacher at the Mesivta, Ray De Sabato served as a principal at the Friends’ Central School for more than twenty-five years. He has spent many years teaching Reading, English, and Language Arts. A passionate sports fan, Mr. De Sabato coached tennis, football and track teams, as well. Mr. De Sabato is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. majoring in Psychology and Reading Education, an M.S. in Education, and a Teaching Certificate for Reading, Language Arts and Study Skills. He also serves as an interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Admissions.
Lee Ann Erlbaum
Lee Ann Erlbaum is a certified English teacher. She has a B.A. in Corporate Communications and an M.B.A. in Communications and Marketing from Drexel University. Lee Ann recently completed her teaching certification from Villanova University and has taught 12th grade English at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Prior to teaching, Lee Ann was an Account Manager at Lexis-Nexis for 10 years and a cooking teacher. She stayed home to raise her family, and her love of children inspired her to return to school to teach. Lee Ann and her family live in Lafayette Hill.
U.S. History AP
Charles Henneberry is a certified teacher of social studies. His educational experiences and degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from Dickinson College, post-graduate work in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University, and a Master of Education in Secondary Education from Temple University. He worked at the University Of Pennsylvania Museum before joining the faculty at Lower Merion High School in 2005, where he has taught courses in American History Advanced Placement and Western Civilization.
Calculus and Algebra II
In addition to teaching Geometry and Pre-Calculus at The Mesivta this year, Peter Kaczmar has taught Algebra II at the Mesivta and has been teaching math at Lower Merion High School since 1996. Mr. Kaczmar is currently teaching Honors Math Analysis/Trigonometry, AP Calculus and a Senior Seminar Course; he has taught across the curriculum from pre-algebra through calculus. He serves on the District Curriculum Committee and has provided a series of in-service programs for teachers, as well as workshops at the state and national levels. Mr. Kaczmar has been the recipient of the Cornell University Merrill Scholars Program Award as "the high school teacher who most inspired scholastic development” and the Mathematical Association of America’s Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching. Mr. Kaczmar graduated from Rutgers University and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Joseph’s University and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Villanova University.
In addition to teaching Chemistry at the Mesivta, Larry McAfoos teaches Chemistry at Lower Merion High School, where he served as Science Department Chair for 13 years. At Lower Merion he teaches general, Honors and AP Chemistry. He also teaches Honors Chemistry at Kosloff Torah Academy. In addition to receiving accolades from professional colleagues, he was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011. Mr. McAfoos received his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and his M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland, in Cortland, New York.
Pre-Calculus and Algebra II
Justin Occhiogrosso has been teaching mathematics for more than ten years. In addition to teaching Pre-Calculus and Algebra II at the Mesivta this year, he has taught geometry to our students in the past and is a math teacher at Harriton High School, where he has taught Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, AP Calculus, and College Prep courses. Mr. Occhiogrosso also has experience with differentiation, and has developed “flipped” classrooms to provide additional support for students who learn in non-traditional ways. Mr. Occhiogrosso graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Mathematics, and also received his M.A. in Mathematics from Boston University, where he received an award for mathematical modeling.
Kevin Ries is a certified teacher of Biology. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Delaware, and earned his Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Pennsylvania State University. He has been teaching Biology and AP Biology at Lower Merion High School for more than 17 years. He is an award-winning teacher and soccer coach.
Senior Science Seminar
Douglas Ross received his Bachelor’s Degree from Haverford College and a Masters Degree in Urban Education from Antioch-Putney School of Education. He was awarded a Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education in 2013. After teaching for seven years in the City of Philadelphia, Mr. Ross taught at Friends’ Central School, where he developed the Middle School Science curriculum and taught eighth grade science. In 1990, he was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Award for leadership in science education. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University and the School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is pleased to join the Mesivta faculty after his retirement from teaching and coaching at Friends' Central for 36 years. He and his wife live in Bryn Mawr. Douglas and his wife enjoy traveling and spending time with their two granddaughters.
Rabbi Moshe Starkman
Moshe Starkman is a Senior Consultant at nThrive, a full revenue cycle management services company. He is an accomplished small business owner and educator, and has served as senior advisor to two presidential campaigns. Over the past 5 years, Moshe has transitioned into advancing health IT and has developed the software behind one of the most successful PQRS registry solutions available to Medicare Part B beneficiaries. Moshe is an executive leader in community organizations; a nationally recognized political consultant; software architect; and a value-based, quality-driven health care consultant. He has 16 years of experience in the areas of business development, team building and efficiency training, program development, full lifecycle software development, classroom teaching, and public speaking.
Rabbi Moshe Starkman has developed solutions for the United States Postal Service, a team of former FBI investigators, two leading presidential campaigns, and several medical societies. He currently serves as a member of the HIMSS Health Business Technology Task Force and as vice president of the Torah Youth Association.
John Vaccaro is currently enjoying his 25th year of teaching mathematics at the secondary level. In addition to his teaching duties at the Mesivta, Mr. Vaccaro is a teacher and Mathematics Department Chair at Lower Merion High School. Mr. Vaccaro taught for seven years near his hometown in Westchester County, New York before making his way to Pennsylvania and joining the Lower Merion High School faculty in 2000. He has been a local and nation level presenter around the ideas of integrating technology, differentiating instruction and problem solving. While Mr. Vaccaro has taught many different courses throughout his career, his two favorite classes to teach are Geometry, which he is teaching this year at the Mesivta, and Math Analysis & Trigonometry. Mr. Vaccaro has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Western New England College and a M.A.T. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Manhattanville College.