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Thank You for Your Care and Commitment

By Shannon O'Connor, communications coordinator
LJCDS celebrates two retirees for their dedication and service.
La Jolla Country Day School congratulates longtime Learning Resource Center educators Julie Mindel, M.A.Ed., (16 years of service) and Sally Scheetz, ET/P (20 years of service) on their retirement this year. LJCDS honors their dedication to helping our Torreys at all grade levels become successful, independent learners. 

Julie Mindel believes that educators should promote a love of learning, provide a stimulating environment and encourage character building.

Described by colleagues as caring, patient, dedicated and knowledgeable, “she always made time to answer a question, collaborate, or share a quick story,” shares colleague Dani Bonfield, M.A. Ed. “She is warm, kind and patient with students and parents alike, and made our community feel more like home than just a school.”  

As a learning specialist, Mrs. Mindel positively impacted many lives, helping students to improve their executive functioning skills, reading, writing and math. “She made such an impact on her students. She cares so much about the whole child and their social-emotional health,” says speech pathologist Karen Frischwasser. 

Working with children has always been Mrs. Mindel’s passion. Prior to her time in the Learning Resource Center, Mrs. Mindel taught second grade for 10 years at LJCDS, and she spent four years teaching second and fourth grades in the Detroit area. She also worked for two and a half years as a K–5 reading specialist. 

Not only is Mrs. Mindel an educator, but she is a proud parent of two boys, Matt '15 and Jared '18. In her spare time, Mrs. Mindel loves spending time with her family, reading, taking long walks with her yellow lab and playing pickleball.
 
Sally Scheetz, an educational therapist, is described by her colleagues as dedicated, funny and committed to her work. 

“Sally is a passionate learning specialist who loves supporting students to improve their reading skills,” notes learning specialist Amy Rohrbach ’97 M.A. ET. “I will miss her friendly smile, great sense of humor and collaboration on all things reading.” 

Ms. Scheetz believes people with learning differences can accomplish whatever they want in life once they understand how they learn. In the Learning Resource Center, she facilitated a supportive environment that addressed students’ individual needs and championed their academic, emotional and social growth.

“I will always remember her kindness and patience towards kids like myself who didn’t always get things on the first try,” recalls Adrienne Sigeti ’11. “It’s because of mentors like Ms. Scheetz that I grew up to see challenges as learning opportunities to grow.”

During her tenure at LJCDS, Ms. Scheetz expanded her repertoire of specialized programs designed to address dyslexia, ADHD, executive function, and delays in reading, comprehension, writing, spelling and math skills. She re-established the Peer Tutoring Program in 2009, and during her five years as coordinator, turned the program into an online, student-run, cross-divisional community service program.

“Sally unfailingly advocated for her students. And by doing so, she earned their respect, and the respect of their families and teachers,” explains former Lower School librarian Susan Middleton. “Her commitment to her students and their success meant that she herself never stopped learning and constantly planned lessons and strategies to benefit her students.”

Off campus, Ms. Scheetz enjoys spending quality time with her three adult children and two grandchildren, traveling, gardening, cooking, listening to live music and cheering for the Cubs.
 
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