The Community Synagogue of Port Washington is proud to recognize Shelley Roff for 25 years of outstanding service to the Early Childhood Education Center (ECC). Ms. Roff will be honored at a special Family Shabbat Service on Friday March 8th at 6:30 pm at The Community Synagogue, 160 Middle Neck Road, Port Washington, NY, followed by a community-wide Oneg (Sabbath celebration with refreshments).
Shelley Roff began her career at The Community Synagogue’s Early Childhood Center as a teacher in 1987. A year later, she successfully interviewed for the open position of ECC Director. For one year Shelley doubled as teacher for 3-year olds and ECC Director until her position as full time Director was solidified in 1989. History came full circle when her grandson Mason enrolled as an ECC student in the new Baby Time class.
Shelley Roff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from Queens College. Prior to her time at The Community Synagogue, Shelley taught for three years in the New York City Public Schools and directed a toddler program and camp for preschoolers for eight years. She currently serves as an officer on the Executive Board of the Jewish Early Childhood Association and is active in many other local and national early childhood organizations. She was also asked to serve on the Port Washington School District's committee to study the preschool needs of the community.
The Early Childhood Center program has more than tripled in size under Shelley Roff’s direction, including a sought after summer camp program she instituted in 1989. The 2008 dedication of the newly constructed Early Learning Center “wing” brought state of the art classrooms additional playgrounds. A bicycle track was added last year. Expanded offerings include a new 2’s class, early 2’s classes, Mommy and Me programs, after school enrichments, special family events, and early drop off hours. Coming soon is “Pardes,” a natural outdoor classroom and garden.
Shelley and the synagogue clergy have worked closely over recent years to foster strong synagogue relationships and Jewish values for ECC families. New to the ECC and a treat for the children are regular in-class visits by the clergy. Shelley derives great joy in seeing the ECC alumni grow to return to the ECC as camp counselors.
As you may imagine, the role of ECC director is not for the faint of heart. Parents have high expectations, and the ECC must earn its place as a top-rated preschool. There are emergencies, weather issues, class placements, separation anxiety for both child and parent, early intervention services, illnesses, and tears to comfort. Shelley Roff has held more than a thousand children’s hands, and continues to calm parents’ nerves as she beautifully manages all that comes her way.
Shelley Roff and her husband Ted live in Glen Cove. The couple has two adult children: Brian, who is a theater director, and Alissa, a preschool teacher.
For more information about Shelley Roff’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and to RSVP, please contact Sue Freire, ECC/RS Education Office Manager 516-883-3144 ext. 316.