Hidden Sparks, the leading nonprofit focused on providing Jewish day school educators with the tools to support the broad range of learners in mainstream classrooms, has named Tamar Appel as its incoming director of education. In this new position, which will begin on July 6, 2022, Appel will oversee Hidden Sparks’ curriculum development and spearhead educational initiatives that provide Jewish day school teachers and parents with the skill sets required to understand and support struggling students.

Appel joins Hidden Sparks after a long tenure at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, New Jersey, where she has been serving as associate principal for more than a decade. There, she has supervised faculty across both general and Judaic studies in pedagogy, curriculum design and communication, helping them to achieve their goals for students; academic and personal growth. She has also overseen professional development for the institution’s educators and the orientation and acclimation processes for new teachers, mentoring several of them through the Jewish New Teachers Project.

Outside of Ma’ayanot, for the last two years, Appel has served as a mentor for Jewish day school leaders through the YOU Lead program, under the auspices of Prizmah, the highly acclaimed network for strengthening Jewish Day School and Yeshiva initiatives. She’s also recently served as a team member on the Middle States Association – Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools accreditation committee for a Jewish day school in New Jersey.

Throughout her career, Appel has taken part in professional development seminars including Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Summer Institute for Principals, and YU Lead, Yeshiva University’s school partnership program for school leaders.

“Tamar is one of the region’s most dynamic educators, with a strong record of innovation in teaching, curriculum building and professional development,” said Hidden Sparks Executive Director Debbie Niderberg. “We were impressed with Tamar’s educational expertise and insight, her strengths in nurturing other educators and her passion for education. We are very much looking forward to her joining our team. Over the course of her career, she has proven to be an insightful leader and administrator who can help other teachers better understand the range of student learning profiles within our day school system.”

“I am thrilled to join the Hidden Sparks team in their unwavering commitment to educating every student in the classroom,” said Appel. “In my new position, I will be privileged to advance Hidden Sparks’ objective of strengthening the capacity of Jewish Day Schools to advance the education of diverse learners.”

Appel earned both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She resides in Englewood, NJ with her family.

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Hidden Sparks
Founded in 2006, Hidden Sparks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teachers and schools educate struggling learners. Through professional development programs and on-site coaching for teachers, it helps educators deepen their understanding of learning and approaches for teaching all kinds of learners, particularly those who struggle. With 125 participating day schools and a total of 3,875 educators trained by the Hidden Sparks curriculum, the organization has impacted a total of 47,450 students since its inception. For more information please visit: www.hiddensparks.org.
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