Religious School Teachers

Kol Ami’s Religious School Teachers for 2019-2020

Angela Kearney, 1st and 2nd Grades

Angela and her husband Mike live in Middletown. They have three grown daughters and a grandson, with another on the way. They also have a “Chessie” named Maggie. Angela and Mike own several local businesses, Strike Zone Batting Cages and Happy Paws, Inc. Angela is working towards becoming a professional dog trainer. This is her fourth year teaching 2nd grade.

Michaela Black, 3rd and 4th Grade

This is Michaela’s third year teaching at Kol Ami. She taught pre-school for six years before teaching at Kol Ami. Michaela lives with her husband Colt, their three children, dog, goats and cats in the mountains close to Camp Louise. Michaela and Colt own a local funeral home. She loves to be out in the sun reading or around a campfire with friends.

Colt Black, 5th Grade

Colt is the owner of Black’s Funeral Home in Thurmont, MD and a licensed Maryland Mortician and Pennsylvania Funeral Director. He holds multiple emergency services credentials. He is married to his loving wife Michaela and is the proud father of three children; Denver, Atlas and Liberty. When not working, Colt enjoys spending time with his family and doing outdoor sports. This is Colt’s second year teaching at Religious School and he is looking forward to the challenge.

Joe Anderson, 6th Grade

Joe, a Virginia native, relocated in 2013 from Richmond to Frederick with his wife Michelle and daughter Anna, a second-grader at Oakdale Elementary. He is a data scientist for the Army, and has taught Bioinformatics and Internet of Things Engineering to high school and college students. Joe also builds motorcycles, welds, does woodworking, and travels widely. He is a new Religious School teacher this year, but you’ll most likely recognize him, as he manned the door for us many times last year. He aims to set a good example as a Jewish man and looks forward to having a great year and doing mitzvot with his students.

Samantha Lieberman, 7th Grade

Samantha is beginning her eighth year teaching at Kol Ami and her third year teaching 7th grade. She feels privileged to work with students and their families as they are reaching their B’nai Mitzvah. In addition to teaching religious school, Samantha works at Beth Sholom’s pre-school. She lives in Urbana with her husband Mike and their three children; Grant, Brooke, and Hunter. Samantha also serves on the congregation’s Board of Trustees.

Rabbi Simon Stratford, 8th Grade

Joanna Sieger, Director of Education

After teaching for eight years in Kol Ami’s Religious School, Joanna became Kol Ami’s Director of Education. She is also the director of the Beth Sholom Early Childhood Center in Frederick, where she teaches the two-year-old class. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of Kol Ami as the Immediate Past President, having served as the President from 2016 to 2018. She is the mother of three children—Molly, Zachary, and Sarah. She feels that our children’s Religious School education is incredibly important because it is where our youth gain their sense of community. 

Mary Cat Lasko, Assistant Director of Education

Mary Cat has been married to Jeff for 19 years and lives in Walkersville. They have three children; Mitch, Caelyn and Eliana. Mary Cat works full-time as a medical coder for a local billing company. The Laskos have been members of Kol Ami since 2012 and Mary Cat serves on the congregation’s Executive Committee as Vice President. She also volunteers for the Boy Scouts as the Troop Committee Chair.