Staff Profile: Ellen Loebner

Staff Profile: Ellen Loebner
Azriella Friedman

Meet Ellen Loebner, a passionate educator with a rich background in education and a deep love for language. Beyond her role at Hausner working with English language learners, Ellen is a devoted mother, an avid reader (aiming for 70 books this year!), and harbors dreams of culinary ventures if she weren't teaching. A seasoned traveler, Ellen once circumnavigated the globe on a ship at the age of 20.

1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us about your background and experience?

I grew up in Palo Alto and went to Gunn High School. I graduated from UCSB with a degree in sociology and education and went to Santa Clara University for my Master's degree in Education. I have been involved in Education and working in schools since 2010. I currently live in Emerald Hills with my Husband, two kids, and two dogs. Fun fact- I met my husband teaching Sunday School at Beth Am! 

2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?

I started working at Hausner in the Fall of 2022 and I have been working with English Language Learners This year, I am continuing to work with students one-on-one or in small groups. Together we work on reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and phonics—everything related to language! 

3. What inspired you to become a teacher?

I always wanted to be a teacher. After college, I moved to Israel for one year to teach English, and then I came back to California to get my Master's degree. I was previously a kindergarten teacher for ten years before I came to work at Hausner. Over the last 15 years, I have spent a lot of time working and volunteering abroad in different countries where I didn't speak the language, and I have a deep appreciation for everyone who has helped me with language and communication skills. When I lived in Israel, I lived in an Ethiopian Immigration Absorption center (Mercaz Klitah) with zero English speakers and was immersed in a Hebrew Ulpan program for three months. This was before Google Translate and iPhones! I only had a pocket dictionary to work from. I know how hard it can be to try to communicate with others as I have had first-hand experience of what it is like to be a newcomer in a new country. I have so much respect for the students I work with who try their best, aren't afraid to make mistakes, and are eager to learn English.  

4. What do you do when you’re not at work?

I love to play with my two kids (2.5 and 10 months) and my two miniature schnauzers! I love to exercise, cook, watch reality TV, and read books. This year my goal was to read 70 books and I have already read 67 books this year! 

5. What do you think you would do if you weren’t a teacher?

I love to cook and I would love to go to culinary school and open a restaurant! I would also love to open a little wine bar in my neighborhood. 

6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself

When I was 20 I lived on a ship for four months and circumnavigated the world! Some of my favorite places I visited were Africa, Brazil, India and Vietnam. I have not been on any type of boat since...

What is your favorite Hebrew word or Jewish Holiday?

My favorite Hebrew word is balagan. I feel like my house is always a balagan! Total chaos!