Continuing its mission to provide a solid educational foundation to elementary schoolers with mild to moderate learning disabilities and children on the autism spectrum, IVDU Five Towns is welcoming Mrs. Deborah Katz as its new principal for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Mrs. Katz brings 35 years of experience to IVDU, with a successful track record in the field at Gesher Yehuda, Ichud Mosdos Hachinuch, Darchei Torah and PTACH. Despite having officially retired in June 2022, Mrs. Katz accepted an invitation from IVDU’s head of schools Rabbi Michoel Druin to visit the Five Towns school last winter. Seeing the critical role that IVDU plays in the community, Mrs. Katz chose to come out of retirement, accepting Rabbi Druin’s offer to serve as the school’s next principal.
For the past three months, Mrs. Katz has been working part time at IVDU and getting to know its students. She looks forward to officially taking charge of the school for the upcoming academic year.
“I want parents to know that if they service their children in their earlier years, the success rate later on is much greater,” said Mrs. Katz. “Giving children a good educational foundation is like putting in a good foundation in your house. If you do it right, you will have your house forever, but if you cut corners you are going to have to keep putting on Band Aids.”
IVDU’s flexible-grade curriculum includes literacy, kriah, parsha, yahadus, math, science and English, with a high teacher-student ratio and visual hands-on learning provided in a warm environment. The school also provides on-site speech, physical, occupational and art therapy, with out-of-the-class learning fostered during through gardening, weekly gymnastics and other extra-curricular activities. In addition to expanding IVDU in order to serve even more students, Mrs. Katz hopes to be able to add additional learning opportunities that go beyond the classroom setting to the school’s program.
With special education requiring unique skills and expertise, Rabbi Druin explained that bringing in a veteran principal was of paramount importance to IVDU.
“Devorah Katz’s experience and leadership will most definitely contribute to the growth and success of IVDU,” observed Rabbi Druin. “As a principal who is both professional and warm, Mrs. Katz will create a positive and inclusive school environment that will foster the students’ development and well-being, ultimately benefiting the Five Towns Jewish community.”
The educational arm of YACHAD, IVDU started its first school in Brooklyn in 2002, with two more divisions subsequently opened to meet communal needs. IVDU launched its Five Towns elementary school in North Woodmere in 2017, giving parents in the area and surrounding neighborhoods a high-quality academic institution geared to helping children maximize their potential, without having to travel to Brooklyn.