Sherry Knazan – Accomplished, Versatile Educator

Written by coWORKer Linda Jay

CoWORKer Sherry Knazan has always been passionate about the profession of teaching.

In July 1978, she and her then-husband moved to Petaluma from Philadelphia, where she had been teaching at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.  Her interest in issues that involve hearing eventually expanded to the point where she considered training to become an audiologist.

At that time, there were no opportunities to teach deaf children in Petaluma, so Sherry gradually moved into Jewish education.  Eventually, she taught at all the synagogues in Sonoma and Marin counties.  Currently, she teaches Hebrew and Judaica at a synagogue in San Rafael.  Sherry also consults for Jewish LearningWorks, a central agency for Jewish education in the San Francisco, North Bay and South Bay areas.  The organization has an adult education program that involves speakers, and workshops that offer outreach to parents.

Sherry’s education is extensive: she has a BS in education from the University of Michigan, an MA in education from Temple University (Philadelphia), and an MS in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute of Jewish Leadership and Learning (Chicago).  Currently, she is enrolled at Spertus in a distance learning doctoral program in Jewish Studies.  “I love learning for learning’s sake, and I also love reading,” she observes.

Being involved in projects and various organizations is another of Sherry’s passions.  “I was one of the early members of the Petaluma Mothers’ Club in the early 1990s, and served as president.  When my youngest was a student at the University of Oregon, I served on the Board of the Parent and Family Association for three years, including a year as president.”

Sherry and her current husband have a total of five adult kids and 12 grandchildren, who live in such diverse locations as Santa Barbara and San Jose, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Portland.  “We travel a lot to see them all.”

One of Sherry’s favorite hobbies is baking – especially yummy cookies. “Ralph Scott from WORK Petaluma offered me a cookie selling gig with the Petaluma Radio Players last year. This year, I’ll be at PRP’s Sherlock Holmes performances on December 21-24 in the Ballroom at Hotel Petaluma.”

As for her impression of WORK Petaluma, Sherry is very clear:  “I often have papers to write for my studies.  Not only has WORK saved me from working alone at home, but also from coming up with excuses about why I can’t write my papers.  So I absolutely adore WORK Petaluma!”

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