Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Suzanne Sands

School! This is the place I have spent most of my time and dedicated most of my energy. As a young student, I looked forward to the day when I would be done with school. When I was a senior my calculus class was discussing the lack of quality teachers in our school. Our teacher asked how many of us were considering being teachers. Only one person raised her hand. It wasn’t me but it got me thinking. By the time I entered Tufts, I had decided I would become a teacher.

In short order, it was apparent to me that while teaching appears to be straightforward, possibly even easy, when you are a student, really doing it well is incredibly challenging. Learning is very complex and everyone learns differently. As a teacher, I learned from my students, their parents and my colleagues every day. After a decade of dedicating myself to my students, I became a mother.

With three children ages 14, 11 and 7, parenting continues to be my most challenging learning experience to date. To that end, I am currently reading, How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. As soon as my oldest entered school, I started volunteering at their schools. Now I also volunteer at Whittier Elementary in Waukegan through Jeremiah and I love every minute of my time there. I currently serve on our local school board and NSSED’s board giving me the opportunity to draw upon my education, professional expertise and life experience to have a positive impact on the learning for the children in my community while also allowing me to grow and learn in roles that are far different from being a teacher.

In many ways, I am still “in school” with no plans to be done any time soon. Over the years I’ve developed a deep respect for the powerful role that learning and education play in our lives.  As our children go back to school, let’s commit to growing and learning with them. Learning is a lifelong endeavor so I hope you have the opportunity to be “in school” in some way this year.

Dina Bauwens

About Dina Bauwens

Dina moved to Highland Park from San Francisco with her husband Randy in 2017. She is very excited to join the Temple Jeremiah family! Dina received a double Bachelors in Communication and Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She went on to hold a number of professional and volunteer positions in the Jewish and general non-profit community, including the Director of the Women’s Division of the SF Jewish Federation, Development Manager at the Oshman Family JCC, and Program Manager of the Hillel of Orange Counties. She was a Wexner Fellow finalist, a participant in the Professional Leaders Project (PLP), a board member of the Junior League of San Francisco, and staffed Birthright. She is now pursuing her Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute. When Dina and Randy aren’t working (he’s the Assistant General Manager at Exmoor Country Club) they love cooking and eating out, traveling, and going to baseball games. She is enjoying bringing her passion and experience to the Jeremiah community.
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