Jackie Bogdanoff, the longtime office manager of Ezra Academy in Woodbridge, will join students and faculty when they leave for winter break in December — but when classes reconvene in January, she will be noticeably absent. “To think that I have been here for 22-plus years is mind boggling,” says Bogdanoff. “Many people have said to me, ‘You’re like the face of Ezra Academy,’ and I guess I am.”
Bogdanoff’s career at Ezra began when her children, Paul (’99) and Jill (’02), became students at the Woodbridge school. As a parent volunteer, she managed the school’s Ad Book and served as a classroom parent and field trip chaperone. Soon, she took on the role of substitute teacher and later as office manager. “I was extremely blown away and flattered,” Jackie recalls.
Over the course of her tenure, Bogdanoff served four heads of school, including the current Head of School Tani Cohen-Fraade, who knew her when he himself was a student at Ezra. Cohen-Fraade graduated from Ezra in 2001, when Bogdanoff was working as a substitute teacher. “I think it’s actually one of the things that is really nice about this community, that different people have been in different roles and things sort of come back around,” he says, noting that Bogdanoff has been “completely supportive” since he first came to interview for his role as head of school.
According to Cohen-Fraade, Bogdanoff is especially adept at remembering the personal stories and milestones that make up the lives of all Ezra families. “She really knows the past and the present, and also a lot of what the future holds for this school and community,” says Cohen-Fraade. According to Bogdanoff, she especially loved participating in new and exciting activities at the school on a daily basis. She enjoyed the ever changing energy that only a school environment can provide and always felt she was learning something new. “My whole life would be different if I didn’t work here…I’m going to miss everything,” she says.
One of her most cherished memories come from visiting Israel with Ezra’s 2013 graduating class. “That was really, so incredibly life changing and impactive,” she says of the trip. Now, though she will miss coming to work every day, she is looking forward to having time to travel, garden and enjoy her family, especially her grandchildren, Sophia and Carson. “I’m really going to miss the camaraderie and relationships with people, and just being in a place where you learn something every day,” she says.
Not surprisingly, Bogdanoff would like to stay involved with the school and will be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities. And so, she says, “It’s not goodbye, it’s l’hitraot.”