Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees is a vital element in our Einstein Academy community, and we work to ensure a positive, effective, and collaborative relationship between our Board and other stakeholders, all working together for kids, for families, for the community, for today and the future.
Debra Michaud is originally from Orlando and attended University of Florida and Santa Fe Nursing School, obtaining a secondary degree in education. She spent the first half of her professional life in the area of medical quality assessment, which then transitioned into the assessment of the operational end of law firms, which has continued into her current professional life in the capacity of operational and financial consultation to small businesses (primarily legal and medical). The Michaud family was one of the founders of Hillel Day School in Boca Raton, Florida, which opened its doors with 42 students, in 1989. The school now serves over 500 children in ECE through eighth grade. She has also served on the board for Camp Ramah Darom since 2007, including on the Executive Committee for many years and as Board President for a two-year term. Over the last five years, she and her husband, Scott, have begun spending more time in Denver and are transitioning their lives toward full-time Colorado residency as both of their children and their grandchildren live in Denver.
Melanie Salniker has an undergraduate degree in journalism and earned her JD from the New England School of Law. She practiced as a corporate attorney for 15 years before taking time to be home with her daughter. She has long been passionate about education and strongly believes in the Einstein Academy model. In addition to her role as a mom, she volunteers her legal services with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, representing immigrants seeking asylum.
Laurel Davis worked as a producer, writer, and director in New York City and Denver for over two decades. In that capacity, she created productions for finance and entertainment media, commercial industries, professional agencies, and public and educational institutions. Her experience includes project planning, budgeting, scheduling and supervising production, creative development, and scriptwriting. She has been actively involved in the dyslexia advocacy community in the Denver Metro area through Learning Ally and YES! programs for the visually impaired and dyslexic. She is dedicated to building and supporting an educational environment that thrives on the diversity and individual abilities of all children, including those who do not typically have access to high performing schools.
Pastor Sam Fisher is completing his Master of Divinity from The Iliff School of Theology. Sam is a Nebraska native and obtained his degree in communication studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University. While attending Wesleyan, Sam was on staff with the Nebraska Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church as the Youth Coordinator. Following graduation Sam became a Local Licensed Pastor and was appointed to Olive Crest UMC in Omaha, Nebraska where he worked on revitalization and worked closely with the community outreach daycare center, among other projects, before being recruited to become the Associate Pastor at Indianola First UMC in Indianola, Iowa. Sam loves to preach and is passionate about worship design. He also enjoys teaching bible study and small groups, especially guiding people through the Bible in unorthodox ways. When Sam isn’t working or studying for classes he can be found spending time with his partner Adam in the kitchen or taking care of their houseplants and garden. Sam is passionate about community education and the development of the future generation.
Adina Suzette Gasser has worked in the nonprofit sector for over five years in program development, communications, and marketing in Denver, New York, and Israel. Adina grew up in Michigan, where she attended Michigan Technological University and received a degree in scientific and technical communications. Adina also attended Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya and She’arim College of Jewish Studies for Women – both located in Jerusalem, Israel. She is currently employed, as the Director of Marketing with The Jewish Experience. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors and doing just about anything enriching or educational with her spouse and three high-energy boys. When she isn't throwing a football or racing to hockey practice, she enjoys teaching classical ballet in the community, and after 30 years of training, still tries to squeeze in a company class once a week for herself. Adina has experience advocating for educational support for children that are deaf or hard of hearing and is a strong believer that each child is unique and deserves an education that supports and reflects his or her individuality.
Max Kramer grew up in Colorado and attended Jewish days schools for his entire primary education, struggling to feel confident in himself as a learner, until he connected with Einstein Academy's very own Mr. Parmet. After high school, having always loved people and being fascinated with the way in which they interact, he studied sociology at the University of Colorado Denver. This is where he really excelled and found confidence not only in his ability to learn, but also his ability to understand people. This brought him to join his family’s business Kramer & Co, where he helps people build a solid finical foundation in an ever-changing and complicated finical world. In his free time, he is an avid home chef and loves gardening and spending time with his finance Blair and their miniature poodle, Fozzie Bear.
Lynn Pollard is a management consultant with over 30 years of experience assisting leaders in varied industries -- healthcare, education, governmental agencies, financial services, manufacturing and technology -- in creating and executing a vision. She is committed to education that is robust, engaging, and thought-provoking. She is a mom of one and a grandmother to four (which is frankly the job she loves best).
Dr. Sam Rubinson
Dr. Sam Rubinson was born and raised in Denver, CO. He obtained a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado and his medical degree from St. Louis University. He came back to Denver to do a surgical residency and has been practicing general surgery since 1985. He is now enjoying semi-retirement. He has three wonderful grown children and 5 grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them as well as staying fit outdoors in Colorado and Florida. He has been very active in the Jewish community all his life and am happy to serve on the board of Einstein Academy.
We are fortunate to work with a team of experts from across the world during the creation of Einstein Academy, creating a huge body of collective wisdom in various areas from which to draw.
We have worked especially closely with our advisory board members who have provided an added layer of support and guidance.
Dr. Tal Grinfas-David
Dr. Tal Grinfas-David is the Day School Education Specialist at CIE. In July 2011, she became the Elementary School Principal of the Epstein School in Atlanta, GA. She earned her doctorate from Capella University in 2011 in curriculum and instruction, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Portland in 2006 with honors, a Bachelors of Education in the Advanced Teaching Certification Program focusing on English as second language at Beit Berl Teacher Education College, Kfar Saba, Israel from 1997-1999, and a B.A. from Boston University in 1995. In 2005, she came from the Portland Hebrew Academy to join the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel as the senior curriculum designer. From 2005 to the present, she led and conducted the pedagogy portions of the ISMI/CIE one-week Israel Education Teacher Workshops.
Sharon Freundel, managing director of the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge, attended Jewish Day Schools followed by studying at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University and earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland. She completed graduate courses at Teacher’s College of Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Education at the Baltimore Hebrew University. She taught and was the department chair for TaNaKH (Bible) and Torah SheBa’al Peh (Rabbinics) and was the Mashgicha Ruchanit (Spiritual Guidance Counselor) of the Upper School at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy. Most recently, she was the Director of Jewish Life at the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital.
Rabbi Dr. Yechiel Hoffman
Rabbi Dr. Yechiel Hoffman currently acts as the US Director for Jewish Interactive. He previously served as Director of Youth Learning and Engagement for Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles and, prior to that, as LimmudLA’s Executive Director. As an organizational leader, Hoffman employs his professional and academic experience to support innovation and growth for both start-up endeavors and legacy institutions. An educational innovator, Hoffman created the Teens@LimmudLA Presenters program, the Viral Judaism Project, and the High School Jewish Futures Project. He also co-founded JEDLAB, a field-wide Jewish education network. Hoffman serves on the board of Jumpstart, transforming the broader Jewish community through social entrepreneurship. As a community activist, he serves as a rabbinic adviser, activist and outreach expert for issues related to LGBT inclusion, Women's issues, and education. Hoffman holds a doctorate in education from Northeastern University.
Dr. Bruce Powell
Dr. Bruce Powell founded de Toledo High School (dTHS), formerly New Community Jewish High School, in West Hills, California. In addition to founding dTHS, he has helped to found, develop, and lead two other Jewish high schools in the Los Angeles area. He has also consulted on the development of 23 Jewish high schools in cities throughout the United States. Dr. Powell holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Southern California and has won both the Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Award (2005) and the Covenant Award (2008) for his contributions to Jewish education.