Head of School: Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg
Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg MS, MBA is a passionate and enthusiastic individual with experience as an educator, pulpit rabbi, manager and business strategist/consultant.
Rabbi Guttenberg served as the Director of Judaic Studies at the Jewish Community School of the Desert in Palm Desert, CA. He developed and implemented the Judaic studies curriculum, guided school staff in all Judaic and Hebrew activities and was extensively involved in the many day to day operations of the school. He coordinated technology and audio-visual matters for use in teaching, school plays, student lessons and activities. Rabbi Guttenberg’s experience as a pulpit rabbi includes serving as rabbi at the Desert Synagogue in Palm Springs, CA and interim rabbi at Adath Israel Congregation in San Francisco. In his last position, Rabbi Guttenberg served as the San Francisco Director for the Jewish Study Network. He helped create the vision for, and launched a vibrant office for JSN in the heart of San Francisco. He developed a curriculum for, and created innovative Jewish educational programs, taught a variety of courses, engaged in recruitment and fundraising, and partnered, and developed important personal and professional relationships, with the broader Bay Area Jewish community and many of its institutions. He oversaw the strategic goals, metrics, branding, vision and follow up, and built a network of educational opportunities for Jews from all backgrounds and all ages to engage in Jewish learning.
Rabbi Guttenberg and his wife, Dina, currently reside in San Jose and are the proud parents of four children whom are proud students at South Peninsula Hebrew Day School.
Principal: Ann Goewert, PhD.
Dr. Goewert earned a PhD. in Earth Sciences from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Master’s Degree in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology from Iowa State University, and a B.S. from St. Louis University. Dr. Goewert is a passionate educational leader, a qualified teacher of mathematics and science, and she embraces the challenge of inspiring students in STEM subjects. Dr. Goewert was the General Studies Principal at Meira Academy in Palo Alto. While at Meira Academy, Dr. Goewert helped create and build the vision of the general studies program and worked collaboratively with faculty, students and Board of Directors to earn WASC accreditation in Spring 2013. She developed and implemented a rigorous mathematics and science curriculum and has trained teachers to differentiate instruction as well as to seamlessly integrate project-based learning and technology into the classroom. Prior to joining Meira Academy, Dr. Goewert taught at universities and community colleges, excelling at instructional design and the teaching of math and science.
Early Childhood Education Director: Liat Salman
Liat was born and raised in Israel and has taken her passion for Jewish Education with her wherever she goes. She has a keen understanding of the need to enhance Jewish education in a meaningful way. Through raising her own children, Liat discovered a passion for education, which drove her to switch career paths from Industrial Management Engineering to Early Childhood Education. Liat started her Early Childhood journey as a teacher at T’enna Preschool at the Palo Alto JCC and in 2012 was part of a team who established and created a new JCC preschool at Congregation at Beth Am. Continuing in her quest to enhance Jewish education, she founded and established a Bnei/Bnot Mitzvah program for 12-13 years old girls and boys to explore their Jewish and Israeli identity and enrich their adolescence while empowering and supporting these youth during that meaningful year.
Liat hold a degrees from Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College in Industrial Management Engineering, a JECELI Certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership, and is accredited as an Early Childhood Site Supervisor.
Rabbi Lieberman received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivas Chafetz Chaim in Queens, NY. He continued on to earn a Masters degree in Jewish Education and Administration from Azrieli Graduate School of Education. In the summer of 2016, Rabbi Lieberman attended the Art of Leadership Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. This year he is participating in the Principals' training initiative, which is under the auspices of the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools. Rabbi Lieberman came to the Bay Area in 2011 and joined SPHDS as a full-time Judaic Studies teacher. In 2015, he took on the additional role of Campus Rabbi and Judaic Studies Coordinator. Rabbi Lieberman's focus is on ensuring that all students develop and hone tools to be independent learners and critical thinkers. Rabbi Lieberman and the Judaic Studies faculty are committed to differentiating level of instruction so that all students will be challenged and proud of their growth and Jewish identity. In his role as campus Rabbi, he works to ensure that our school maintains its standards as an Orthodox day school while being sensitive to the needs of our diverse community. Rabbi Lieberman is passionate about students working on their middot and caring for one another. Rabbi Lieberman and his wife Aviva are the proud parents of three SPHDS students.
Director of Student Services: Kim Valle
Kim Valle is currently the Director of Student Services. Ms. Valle is a graduate of National University California with a BA in Liberal Studies, as well as an Education Diploma from South African College for Teacher Education and Johannesburg College for Education. Ms. Valle has taught Fourth & Sixth Grades at SPHDS since 2012, and previously served in the role of Student Study Teams Coordinator. All of us who work with Ms. Valle know of her attention to detail, her follow-through and her support for SPHDS and its mission.
Admission Director: Maya Yaniv
Maya Yaniv is currently the Director of Admissions and is also the Assistant to the head of school. She is a graduate of the Tel Aviv university with a BA in Literature & Liberal Arts, as well as an AAS degree in Fashion Merchandising Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Prior to SPHDS , Mrs. Yaniv held several positions in technology and retail fashion companies and had founded her own business selling handmade jewelry. It’s a known fact among SPHDS staff and parents that If someone has a question about anything in SPHDS, she can probably point him in the right direction.