California educator is named director of school for children with dyslexia

Shifrin to take over at Jemicy on July 1

April 01, 2002|By Linda Linley | Linda Linley,SUN STAFF

An educator from California has been named director of the Jemicy School in Owings Mills, effective July 1.

Benjamin Shifrin, 47, head of Emanuel Academy of Beverly Hills, will replace interim Director Mark Westervelt, a 28-year teacher at Jemicy School. Westervelt will be assistant director under Shifrin.

Jemicy School is a private coeducational school for children with dyslexia. Founded in 1973, it was one of the first schools in the nation for children with dyslexia, a neurological condition that impairs the ability to recognize and comprehend the written word. It has 144 students, ages 6 to 15.

"We interviewed five people for the job," said Richard F. Blue Jr., co-chairman of the search committee and vice chairman of Jemicy's board of trustees. "Ben came with the highest qualifications because he was knowledgeable about the world of dealing with children with dyslexia."

Shifrin, a native of Philadelphia, has been an educator for 24 years, in public and private schools. He was head of Westmark School in Encino, Calif., a school for children with learning disabilities, for seven years.

Blue said Shifrin, who has been head of Emanuel Academy for the past year, wanted to return to the East Coast and to be at a school that deals with children with "learning differences." Shifrin was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

"We are delighted with the outcome of the search and look forward to welcoming Ben Shifrin to the school and community," said Harry Rosenthal, chairman of Jemicy's board.

Shifrin has bachelor's and master's degrees from Temple University and is a board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the International Dyslexia Association.

Jemicy's previous director, Ellen Kelly, resigned Aug. 31.

The school Shifrin is leaving, Emanuel Academy, offers community-based Jewish education for preschool through eighth grade.

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