Meet the BEECC Faculty


Janice Berke

Pandas (Gimel)
Co-Lead Teacher

Janice has been an educator for more than 30 years.  She has BA in Education from Hofstra University and an MA in Education and Psychology from Queens College. While teaching in NYC, Florida, and Texas, Janice became certified to teach gifted/talented students as well as teach English as a 2nd language.  After spending much time at BEECC with her granddaughter Vivi, Janice became fascinated with the Reggio-inspired approach used at BEECC. Ultimately, her passion for teaching brought Janice "out of retirement." She is excited to continue to be a part of the BEECC community!


Robin Cohen
BEECC Curriculum
Specialist & Shalom
Shabbat Leader

Robin has worked with children in a variety of settings over the past 25 years.  From designing self-esteem building cooperative games to being a founding Pre-K teacher of Capital City Public Charter School in DC, Robin's passion continues to be making learning (and teaching) meaningful and fun. She earned her a BA in Psychology and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Robin and her husband David have two daughters, Lilah, 8, and Dahlia, 5, and a son, Gabriel, 4. Lilah and Dahlia are both BEECC Alums! This will be Robin's 4th year working closely with the BEECC faculty to help planning and implementation of curriculum. In addition, Robin runs the monthly Shalom Shabbat program help on Saturday mornings.


Nancy Costa
Pandas (Gimel)
Co-Lead Teacher

Nancy has been at BEECC for 17 years. After receiving a degree in early childhood education she  taught preschool and elementary school in DC , Florida , and VA. Her husband is an environmental consultant. Her daughter works and lives in New York City. Her son is working in Rockville, Maryland. Most of her free time is spent enjoying the ocean on the Jersey shore.


Karen Fangio
Owls (Dalet)
Assistant Teacher

Karen Fangio is a former Jersey girl who has been a teacher's aide at BEECC for 12 years. She has been married for 34 years to her Italian honey, Fred, and they have 3 children: Kevin, 25, is an assistant manager for Enterprise; Jenny, 21, is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech with hopes of a career working with animals; and Melissa, 19, is a rising sophomore at George Mason University pursuing a degree in Education. When Karen isn't busy hugging children and wiping noses at BEECC, she enjoys art, sewing and long walks in Frying Pan Park, which is right across the street from her neighborhood.


Judy Fox-Tepper
BEECC Director
Email

See "Meet the BEECC Director" for Judy's Welcome Message, Bio and Blog "The Preschooler."

Rabbi Mina at her desk

Rabbi Michelle "Mina" Goldsmith
BEECC Music Teacher

See "Rabbi Mina's Corner" for the Rabbi's Welcome Message, Bio and Blog "Mina's Musings."


Gayle Gropper
Pandas (Gimel)
Co-Lead Teacher

Gayle has been working at BEECC for 7 years and has been an early childhood educator for more than 20 years. She has a B.A. in psychology from C.W. Post University in New York. She has been married to Dan Gropper for 32 years and has two children. Richard, 26, lives in Richmond and Allison, 23, who lives in Clemson, SC, is studying to become a nurse.


Alina Kirshon-Goldman
Music Instructor

Dr. Alina Kirshon-Goldman has studied and performed music for more than 25 years. She graduated with a PhD in voice performance from Shenandoah Conservatory, Winchester, VA and with a BA in viola performance from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel. Being a mother to three little boys, Alina is passionate about music education for young children. Alina and her husband Mark have three kids, all current or former BEECC students! This is Alina’s first year at BEECC and she is looking forward to joining the BEECC team as a music instructor.


Theresa Lenski
Bear Cubs (Bet)
Co-Lead Teacher

A teacher at BEECC in one of the Bet classes for the past 10 years, Theresa is passionate about creating a safe, loving classroom environment for children. She lives in Chantilly with her husband of nearly 28 years and their miniature schnauzer Jayda. Theresa has two children, Lauren (25) and Craig (22) and spends most of her weekends at her cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains hiking, kayaking, reading and enjoying her family.


Jane Mellman
Owls (Dalet)
Co-Lead Teacher

In her sixth year at BEECC, Jane has eighteen years of experience in Early Childhood education and a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from NYU. She has been teaching using the Reggio-Emilia principles for almost eleven years. Her previous experience being a zoo keeper and a mother combines giving her special insight into the emotional life of children. She is married and has one son.


Anna Nurmi
Music Specialist

Anna has been teaching music in private schools in Fairfax County for 17 years. She also teaches piano lessons in her home and uses movement and instruments to share the joy of music with my students. Anna has a piano pedagogy certificate from George Mason University and a communication studies degree from Virginia Tech, where she met her husband, Scott.  They've raised two daughters: Taylor, an event and marketing specialist in San Antonio, TX, and Amanda, a communications assistant with the Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, DC.


Jamie Paul
Owls (Dalet)
Co-Lead Teacher

Jamie and Martin and their three children, Gillian, Jacob and Madeline, moved to Northern Virginia in June of 2001. The whole family quickly became very active at Beth Emeth. Jamie began working at the religious school immediately and joined the BEECC family the following year. Jamie has now taught Alef, Bet, Gimel, and Dalet classes. The Paul children all participated in CBE youth activities and worked as madrachim. They all remain active in Jewish activities although they no longer live in this area.  The family grew when Gillian married Aaron at CBE in 2011. Jamie and Martin wish to have many more years to enjoy life at CBE.


Beth Weller

Bear Cubs (Bet)
Co-Lead Teacher

Beth Weller is happy to join us for her first year at BEECC.  Born and raised in California, Beth moved to Virginia 25 years ago and cannot imagine living anywhere else, as she loves the history and the beautiful seasons we experience here.  Since she was a young girl, Beth's dream was to be a teacher.  She taught for 13 years in Montessori schools until she left the workforce to be a stay at home mom to her two children: Jeremy, 22, who lives and works in Chicago, and Rebecca, 17, a senior at Woodson High School.  As the children grew, Beth started teaching at a nearby synagogue school. Beth loves to spend time with her husband and two dogs, Jake and Zippy.  She loves to read, cook, eat and spend time outside.


Renée Williams
BEECC
Administrative
Assistant
Email

Renee has been with BEECC for 11 years as the Administrative Assistant. Originally from a small town in Western Maryland, she now lives in Sterling, VA, with her husband of 25 years, Greg. They have two adult children. Her daughter works as a Clinical Technician at Inova Fairfax Hospital and her son works in State College, PA. Most of her free time is spent spoiling her 4-year old grandson.