Lower School’s New Teacher’s Aid: Valerie Freeman


Freeman having recess with the third grade class. Image by Denah Thomas.

Denah Thomas, Writer

The 2022-2023 school year at HBHA has started off with a number of new teachers. Among them is Valerie Freeman, the new Lower School Teacher’s Aid. You can find Mrs. Freeman downstairs in the lower school jumping from classroom to classroom. Whether it is a student or teacher who needs help, Freeman is always present and helpful. 


Freeman is originally from Chicago but moved with her family in the summer of 2019 from Las Vegas to Kansas. She says, “We had about eight months here to get to know people, and then Covid hit and everything shut down. So I feel like I’m just starting to rebuild again.” 


Although she just started working at HBHA, Freeman is actually quite familiar with the local Jewish Community Center. Before working at HBHA, she was a kitchen assistant at the JCC, where she worked part-time providing food for the preschool.


Southwest Airlines and Walt Disney World were some companies for which Freeman previously worked. She says that she definitely misses traveling with the free tickets! You can be assured though, no matter whether she is working with kids or airplanes, she will always have a smile on her face and bring a positive vibe to the community.


Freeman is enjoying her HBHA job and warming up to the other teachers. Working 45 minutes in one room, an hour in another room in lowerschool with all the classes and teachers, Freeman is doing a lot of jumping around. She says, “The kids are getting used to me, and they do come to me, and it’s nice that they want my help. I think because I’m not in there every day for the whole day, it’s gonna take longer.” It takes time for students to adjust to a new teacher, but Mrs. Freeman is doing quite well with the kids. 

Freeman helping 3rd grade students with their reading time. Image by Denah Thomas.

Freeman says, “If there’s a kid that needs a little more direction, I’ll sit with that child and help them stay focused, help read questions, help write something that they are struggling to write.” Along with helping the kids with learning, she also helps them stay focused. She speaks Hebrew so she is able to help them learn the language.


Previously Freeman was a teacher’s aid at Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas. Morah Leah, another teacher at HBHA, actually suggested the HBHA position to Freeman. She says she is grateful for that. Since the end of the first quarter Freeman has had a lot of time to get used to her new position. She says, “First quarter, getting my feet wet, was a learning experience everyday… Sometimes not always knowing what to do, but it’s okay, …figure it out and just keep a smile on your face. …I like doing different things, it’s a sink or swim kind of mentality and I like to swim.” Working at a new place, especially somewhere like HBHA where everyone really knows each other can be daunting, but Mrs. Freeman has a great attitude about it and is able to still stay positive.

Freeman spending quality time with her husband and kids. Image courtesy of Valerie Freeman.


Freeman cares deeply for her family and truly enjoys all her special moments with them. 


She spends most of her time with her three kids and husband. She says, “Most of my afternoon is taken up with the kids’ activities cause we’ve got soccer, dance, tumbling, and then dinner, homework, bedtime routine,” and the rest is relaxing since she is very busy. Freeman also takes a lot of pride in hearing how well her kids are doing in school. When she hears how kind and amazing her kids are, it brings her joy. As she says,”You teach these things at home.”

Along with her love for teaching Freeman loves to be outdoors. She loves cooking, doing puzzles, and watching shows similar to The Lord of The Rings with her family. She actually takes a lot of pride in having her happy, healthy, stable family: She says: “I think the only thing I was ever most certain of that I wanted in my life was a family. …my home, my children, being a wife, really do take a lot of pride in my family… to be where we are today, it feels good. I feel like I’ve accomplished something, even if it’s not anything big. It may seem simple, but I’m happy in my life.”