Category Archives: Dr. Jones

Houston: Flood of Support

In a very short week lots has happened. Along with all the amazing teaching and learning that occurred, the drone club has almost completed their quadcopter builds, Sci-Tech students presented their projects in school, the debate team hosted the Spring Jewish Congress (congratulations to Mr. Benji Halprin for placing third in the competition!) and we […]

The Maker Shabbaton

Last Thursday a group of VTHS students along with Mr. Joseph and myself headed up to the bay area for a Maker Shabbaton! A Maker Shabbaton you ask? Well, the main reason for our trip was to go to the Maker Faire which “is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, […]

Please don’t vomit on your test booklet

For the last two weeks there was a certain atmosphere of intensity, anxiety and mild excitement as we administered the Advanced Placement (AP) tests to our students. AP’s are a set of standardized tests to assess college-level learning of a specific discipline in high school. If a students does well they can receive college credit […]

A Week In Pictorial Review

VTHS Improv Team attends ComedySportz College Show! Ok. This did not actually happen this week. It happened last Thursday, but it was awesome and I wanted to share it. I am behind the camera and the gentleman on the right is Tom Clark our ComedySportz High School League coach. Monday 4/27/15: Staff Development Day! This […]


The final score of their final game against Beth Tfiloh at the annual Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament held at Yeshiva University was 68-61. The Pack lost. In fact, they officially only won their first game. However, after this last game the true score for the pack was a tournament win for VTHS. You see, these […]

Student-Centered Purim

As you hopefully know by now, I believe strongly in a student-centered or learner-centered model of education versus the more traditional teacher-centered model. If you are not sure what that is click here for a comparison. However, if there was ever a recent example of a student-centered learning environment at VTHS it would have been […]

Change is Exhausting

This has been wonderful week of learning. Not just for the students, but for the staff as well. We began the week with a staff development day focused on Leader In Me. We spent most of our time on our current mission and vision of VTHS and where we are headed in regard to bringing […]

VTHS Guitar Center Guitar Club

A picture of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach holding a guitar at the Kotel hangs on my dining room wall. Why? Because it inspires me that a Rabbi picked up a guitar years ago and combined his immense Torah learning, love for Judaism and passion for music to inspire generations of Jews towards our faith. Known as […]

Authentic Buzzwords

In a recent post on a Jewish educators facebook group I belong to called JEDLAB, someone asked this question. “What do you find to be some of the most over-used, cliched words/terms/phrases in Jewish education today? (you know the ones that you hear over and over again that seem to lose their meaning because everyone […]

Light It Up!

Last week we had the VTHS Shabbaton and it was amazing. Before I begin let me give a huge shout out to Rabbi Semmel for organizing such a high quality program and to all the Rebbeim and staff who supported the Shabbaton. The first night when we arrived we were greeted with many inches of […]

Living the Talking Points

This year for me has come with many firsts and this week was no different. I was a part of my first VTHS roundtable discussion for parents interested in sending their children to our school. Having no experience in such a presentation I did not know what to expect. There was no prep, written speeches […]

What is Winterim?

This week was the first official VTHS “Winterim.” What is Winterim you ask? It might be the greatest thing since a student started selling hot churros at the VTHS breakfast cafe. Yet, I was asked many times before the Winterim started why we have school if we are not “learning.” I find this problematic. First […]

High School Interview Skills

This week began the interview process for potential incoming 9th graders. I have been enjoying meeting the future of Valley Torah and it got me thinking about if anyone is preparing these students for the interviews. Not that anyone that I have met has done a poor job. In fact, I have been very impressed. […]

I am sick of talking about technology

I am sick of talking about technology. I want to be talking about education. Yet, the current discussion around “21st Century Learning” always seems to revolve around the technology when it needs to be focused on the teaching and learning. Don’t get me wrong. I feel strongly that technology can and should be integrated meaningfully […]


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