WHO WE ARE

The Springboard staff brings decades of experience to help both our students and their families thrive.

Lois Mendelson, PhD, Director

Lois has been with the program since its inception in 1978 and has been its director since 2002. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a PhD from NYU. She completed a seven-year training program in child, couples and family therapy from the Institute for Child, Adolescent and Family Studies (ICAFS) in New York.

Lisa Bernholz-Balsam, MS, CCC/SLP, Speech Pathologist and Audiologist

Lisa is an ASHA certified, state-licensed speech and language pathologist and audiologist, specializing in the treatment of pediatric speech and language disorders. She earned her MS at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and has been with our school since 1998. She also has a private practice in Englewood.

Faye Katz-Graye, BFA, Teacher Assistant

Faye has a BFA in graphic design from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts. She has been with our program as an assistant teacher since 2003. Prior to that, she was an assistant teacher in the early childhood department at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, as well as an art specialist and program coordinator at the JCC’s Camp Dream Street. Currently she is a teaching artist at the WAE Center at Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled in West Orange, NJ.

Gila Harary, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
Gila is an ASHA certified NJ/NY licensed speech and language pathologist. She specializes in the treatment of speech, language and pragmatic disorders in both the pediatric and adult populations. She earned her MS at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has been with the school since 2015.

Michele Imhof, MS Ed, Special Education Teacher

Michele has 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher. She holds teaching certificates both in NY and NJ and has three master’s degrees from Bank Street College of Education: early childhood/elementary education, early childhood special education and early childhood leadership. She has been with our school since 2015. Prior to joining our staff, she was the early childhood director at the Grosvenor Neighborhood House YMCA Tender Care Program in NYC, a SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) for The Jewish Board and a pre-k teacher at the Weekday School.

Michelle H. Roth, MS, OTR, Occupational Therapist

Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MS in occupational therapy from Columbia University. Prior to joining our staff in 1996, Michelle worked in Manhattan at several special education schools and early intervention centers. For the past 17 years, she has also been a senior occupational therapist at Focus Children’s Therapy Center, where she provides occupational therapy for children in a clinic setting.

Lisa Sternbach, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker

Lisa graduated from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. She has been a clinical social worker with our program for 18 years. She provides weekly parent counseling and parent support groups, as well as play therapy for children who need it. She has also served as the Parenting Center Coordinator at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades for 20 years. She maintains a private practice in Cresskill.

Gineen Weiss, BA, Administrative Assistant

Gineen joined the Therapeutic Nursery/Springboard School in 1996 when it moved to the Kaplan JCC on the Palisades. She earned her BA with a concentration in Social Sciences from Thomas Edison University of New Jersey. She currently lives in Florida and works remotely because of her great admiration of the Springboard School Staff and their work with families.