A JK-12 pluralistic school that engages students in an exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish education.

Brett Kugler, Upper School Learning Specialist


CESJDS Staff Spotlight: Brett Kugler, Upper School Learning Specialist, at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

Staff Spotlight: Marnina Cowan

Brett Kugler, Upper School Learning Specialist, has been teaching at CESJDS for the past 12 years. He strives to help kids with a variety of learning needs to understand their academic profile, and to learn how to apply new strategies inside and outside of the classroom. He sits with each student and they, in tandem, develop effective strategies on how to learn.

"I get to know students as people, and use an individualized approach that helps them to learn new skills that will work best for them. There is no greater feeling than seeing a student find success when they come to me feeling stressed out, and take and apply a strategy that they learned in my class to feel confident and at ease!"

Brett fell in love with teaching while working as an inclusion counselor at the Bender JCC, where he also met his wife! At the time, he was pursuing a Bachelor's in Studio Art from the University of Maryland. He completed his degree, and then went back to school at Johns Hopkins University where he received a Master's degree in Special Education.

In addition to being a Learning Specialist, he leads the Middle School Mechitzah Ashkenazi Minyan, coaches Middle School Girls Basketball (this is his third year), and has been a class advisor for 8 years--he is currently advising the Class of 2018, who is graduating in just a few short weeks.

Brett genuinely loves working for CESJDS. "The students and staff are wonderful, and everyone is so dedicated to honing their craft. As a Maryland resident from birth, who has been an active part of the Jewish community, and in Jewish day schools all of my life, I have an appreciation for the diversity at CESJDS, and I love having discussions and integrating Judaism into my job," Brett said.

In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and 3 children, watching sports, curling up with a good book, and writing a blog of places to go with kids (300,000 visitors!). Check it out at, www.familyfuninmdandbeyond.blogspot.com.

He is also the youth director at Young Israel Shomrai Emunah and volunteers with NCSY in his spare time.

"I get up in the morning excited to go to work and I'm sad to leave it each afternoon!"

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