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Our Alumni

Michelle (Saplicki) Azout ‘02, Art Advisor & Board Member

What aspect of the Scheck Hillel experience stands out as a mark of excellence? 
There are a few things that stand out for me including the community, the academics and most importantly, the teachers. I cannot speak highly enough about my children's teachers and guidance counselors this past year. In the most challenging of circumstances, they never gave up on my kids and pushed them to reach their full potential. I attribute my children's current academic success to our teachers from this past year.

What is an area at Scheck Hillel where you've seen the most advancement since you graduated?
The improvements to the campus are incredible and the advancements in STEM curriculum are very noticeable. 
Where do you feel your background could make a difference? 
I feel that I have a unique perspective as a "newcomer.” While I am an alumna of the school, I haven't lived in Miami for over fifteen years, so I can bring a fresh set of eyes to our school and our community, especially thinking about how schools are operating in New York City and California, where we used to live. 

What is something your children are learning/doing at Hillel that makes you happy because you experienced it too?
My first grader had his Siddur presentation a few weeks ago. It was very professional and beautifully done on Zoom. It was such an emotional moment for me, since I vividly recall receiving my first siddur (though not at Hillel) and I felt that the cycle of M’dor L’dor is so powerful that even a global pandemic cannot stop it.

What academic/life skill did you take with you from Hillel that has been a constant in your life? 
In terms of academics, I attribute my writing skills to my AP English classes that I took at Hillel. Writing is really a skill you need in every profession, so I feel lucky to have gotten that foundation at Hillel. In terms of life skills, the foundation I received in terms of Jewish values, Zionism, learning to speak and read Hebrew are all things I learned at Hillel. Finally and most importantly, I also met my husband through Hillel and my best friends are still the friends I made in my days at Hillel.

What is your current profession?
I recently launched my own Art Advisory, which means I help people buy art for their homes. Many people want to buy contemporary art, but feel intimidated, or have no idea where to start. I facilitate the process and help clients discover what art they like and assist in negotiating the price and installation of the work. Prior to this, I worked at several museums and galleries across the country including the Guggenheim and the Cantor at Stanford. 

What is the last book you read/podcast you heard that taught you something you didn’t know before? 
I love podcasts! With all the driving you have to do in Miami, I have been taking advantage of all the content available on podcasts. I recently listened to a podcast on ArtTactic about NFTs which is a whole new space in the art market.