Head of School: Rabbi Perry Tirschwell
Rabbi Perry Tirschwell was raised in a passionately Zionist home. His Jewish day school journey began as a transfer student from public school in ninth grade. After studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion and graduating from Yeshiva University, he earned his smicha (ordination) at RIETS and a Masters in School Leadership and Supervision from the Graduate School of Education of the College of New Rochelle.
After serving a number of years as a Judaic studies classroom teacher, RPT (as he is known by his students) subsequently served in the positions of Department Chair, Director of Judaic Studies and Assistant Principal, teaching throughout. Rabbi Tirschwell was then given the unique opportunity to create and head the first Jewish high school between Miami and Atlanta- the Katz (formerly Weinbaum) Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton.
In his spare time, Rabbi Tirschwell organizes the Torah Educators Network, which brings together leaders of Jewsih day schools from throughout North America to share best practices and innovative ideas.
Rabbi Tirschwell’s wife Miriam is a speech therapist in Los Altos, they live in Palo Alto and are the proud parents of five daughters, four sons in law, and six grandchildren.
K-8 Principal: Cathy Robinson
A lifelong faith-based educator, Cathy Robinson is currently the Principal for South Peninsula Hebrew Day School with over 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership from Concordia-Portland University. Cathy also holds a Bachelor of Science in Bible and Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Educational Leadership from William Jessup University as well as an ACSI Administrator Credential. She is passionate about educating all learners. Cathy has extensive experience in education with a special focus on learning disabilities. She has worked in both public and private education. She is certified in many multi-sensory teaching methods and has served on the International Dyslexia Association of Northern California Board of Directors as the membership chair. Cathy is known as a children’s educational advocate and consultant. She is a motivational speaker for children and adults with learning differences.
Cathy and her husband Rob reside in Sunnyvale, California. They have a daughter, Audra, who teaches in education as well. Cathy feels abundantly blessed to be living out her dream of helping children grow into the unique individuals G-d created them to be. She looks forward to continuing to lead students into maturity as an educational forerunner.
Director of Early Childhood: Hang Dang
After obtaining her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Mills College, Hang Dang has spent 11 years in various early education settings in the Bay Area such as UC Berkeley, Google Child Care Centers, Santa Clara Office of Education and Stanford Childcare ICRI. Deeply rooted in emergent curriculum, Hang is passionate about empowering children, their families, and educators to reach their fullest potential.
Hang married to David Bruce, a software engineer at Cruise. She lives in Cupertino with her husband and five children. In her free time, Hang enjoys hiking, cooking and gardening.
Director of Admissions: Judith Pacifici
Judith Pacifici was born and raised in Rome, Italy.
Director of Finance: Mariana Vega
Mariana Vega grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she started working as an HR Manager (all while pursuing a professional career as a Ballet dancer). Upon moving to the Bay Area, Mariana added Finance and Bookkeeping to her toolbox. She began supporting companies in many industries (Professional Services, Non-Profits, Educational, Wholesale, and Manufacturing to name a few), creating customized procedures for each company, which helped improve their daily activities. Mariana holds a degree in Social Psychology, as well as several other certifications in HR and Finance. She is also a Certified QuickBooks ProAvisor. Mariana is excited to join SPHDS, “My goal is creating a space of respect and open communication, where I can bring my expertise to support and improve SPHDS’ daily activities.”
When Mariana is not supporting institutions like SPHDS, she can be found choreographing and rehearsing with her dance company, eMotion Arts, and teaching Ballet to students of different ages and backgrounds. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family: her husband Joe, daughter Ailen, and their fur babies Nico, the dog, and Teany, the cat.
Director of Marketing & Operations: Patrick Hathaway
Patrick Hathaway joined SPHDS in 2016. After spending three years as the Middle School Humanities teacher, he transitioned into the front office. In late 2019 he was given the opportunity to become the Director of Marketing & Operations.
Before coming to SPHDS Patrick worked for The Harker School in San Jose where he was Assistant Director of MS BEST. He helped to build successful enrichment programs and activities and established an on campus teen center.
In his free time Patrick can be found outside hiking or on the golf course. He also loves reading and film (both television and movies), but is a sucker for a good documentary or docuseries.