Our Associate Heads of School
There is a great deal of communication at Atlanta Jewish Academy Upper School. I look forward to welcoming students at the front door each morning, often with a quick check-in concerning an AJA sporting event, preparation for a particular test or project, or even a health update. Teachers can be seen enjoying conversations with students in their classrooms, in the cafeteria, at off-campus events, at their homes on Shabbat, and at the Hunger Walk. Parents come to school to attend parenting programs while also getting to know each other better, for parent-teacher conferences, for our amazing programs and events.
The Torah refers to the communication between Hashem and Moshe as “panim el panim,” referring to the way Hashem and Moshe truly knew each other. The reference to “face to face” communication describes this level of communication and this level of knowing, a deep connection built on a granite foundation of trust. According to this understanding, one might not achieve “face to face” communication even when standing directly before another person and, at the same time, one might be able to engage in significant “face to face” communication across vast reaches of physical distance.
It is, we hope, this spirit of “face to face” communication that animates our conversations at Atlanta Jewish Academy.
"Children learn through interacting: interacting with teachers, peers, environment, and content."
AJA is a school that values process, rather than product. To put it another way, we focus on verbs, rather than nouns. My goal is that our students not be satisfied with a static reservoir of information, but learn to seek out opportunities to use and apply the information in meaningful ways. A learner at AJA never arrives at an end, as each new learning begets new questions to be answered and new problems to be solved.
"We teach kids; not just curriculum."
Leah Summers is Associate Head of School at Atlanta Jewish Academy's Greenfield Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School. Before coming to AJA in 2007, Leah lived in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where she served as a teacher, director, principal, and ultimately co-head at the Cohen Hillel Academy over a 27-year period. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education and an MS in Symbolization and the Reading Process.