New resource specialist befriends all kinds of students

Emilie Benyowitz BP Staff

Tamar Willis, Staff Writer

Students who are falling behind in classes or have trouble learning have a new Resource Learning Specialist, Mr. Josh Horwatt.  He also teaches an eighth grade math class.

Mr. Horwatt primarily teaches students with more intense needs, such as Autism or Aspbergers Syndrome, while Inclusion Specialists Beth Schoen and Mia Markoff focus on students who need remedial work in one or two subjects, evaluation for extra time on exams, or help with organizing.

“The [resource] program has always been here in some respect — it just hasn’t had as many teachers as they needed,” Mr. Horwatt said.

He also has an 11th-grade Advisory, and in September, he accompanied the seniors on their retreat in San Diego.  

“Even though we had just met him, I felt like I’d known him longer,” said senior Rachel Lesel.  “We all just clicked with him.”

Mr. Horwatt previously worked at Maimonides Academy and Sinai Akiba Academy.  At Sinai, he taught Judaic Studies for students with learning disabilities or students who merely learned at a lower level. At Maimonides, he worked with a program called Arrowsmith, a “cognitive brain training program,” he said.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, Eliyah, 4, and Nili, 2, doing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing.  His favorite music is anything country or bluegrass, and his favorite movies are, as he describes, “the stupid comedies, like Will Ferrell movies.