May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Idea School Welcomes Four New Hires

Dana Ponsky, director of College Counseling. Ponsky has a unique background in college and career counseling, student development services at the high school and collegiate level and in entrepreneurship. This provides students and families a chance to learn not just what it takes to have a great application to get into college, but most importantly, what is needed to have a meaningful and impactful academic experience that leads to long-term personal and professional success.

Sarah Bartges, biology and life science teacher. With over 10 years of teaching experience, Bartges’ most recent position was as middle school science director at Ben Porat Yosef. While there, Bartges taught sixth through eighth grade science and developed a comprehensive science curriculum modeled on the Next Generation Science Standards. Prior to BPY, Bartges taught high school biology at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan. In her teaching, Bartges strives to fuse together scientific exploration, hands-on work and advocacy. She has experienced a diversity of science education platforms, varying from a NASA internship exploring the potential of carbon sequestration practices, working with public school students to build a community garden on an abandoned city lot in Morningside Heights and as the director of education at the non-profit organization, the Rockland Farm Alliance in Rockland County.

Ben Zion Ferziger, Hebrew language teacher. Ben Zion Ferziger is an Israeli-American educator and Hebrew instructor. Having grown up in an American family in Israel, Ferziger is linguistically and culturally bilingual. Ferziger believes in Hebrew fluency as a gateway for meaningful Jewish self-expression, connection to Israeli culture and lots of fun. He brings a project-based-learning mindset to the Hebrew classroom, empowering students to creatively engage with Jewish and Israeli ideas, trends and challenges.

Boris Bukalov, calculus and physics teacher. Bukalov’s signature accomplishment is design and implementation of an innovative curriculum combining calculus and calculus-based physics. His teaching philosophy centers around the uniqueness of the learning style of each student, and he emphasizes the interdisciplinary connections and the practical relevance of the material taught. After graduating from a math specialized high school in his native Moscow, he spent four years studying at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Upon arrival in New York, he continued his studies at the City College of New York along with the Graduate School of Biomedical Research of the City University of New York at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center. He earned his master’s degree in physics in 1994. Bukalov also pursued intensive Torah studies at various yeshivot in the New York area. He received his semicha, from the Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem under the tutelage of Rabbi Dovid Feinstein in 2002.

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