The GJHP Program Director is critical to our mission of building socially aware, civic-minded and community-oriented individuals. Responsible for coordinating opportunities for volunteerism, community events and activities, as well as time spent in the Oasis, our program directors also help students reflect and process these experiences in the community, on the stage or in a social setting, in the context of mentors, counselors and advisors.


Michelle Friedman.png

A native Highland Parker, Michelle has lived on the North Shore for most of her life as both a student and now as a parent of five children. She feels fortunate as Senior Program Director of GJHP to work in such a wonderful community and is excited to partner with our students, parents, and local businesses in a variety of service projects throughout the year. 


With an MS in Education from Northwestern University, Michelle brings to GJHP a wide range of teaching and non-profit experience. She has taught both in Chicago Public Schools and in the suburbs and holds an endorsement in language arts and social studies. Most recently, she has worked in Special Education and ELL settings.  Michelle is thrilled to be part of the Glencoe Junior High Project where the creativity, generosity and the passion of the students make a difference.


Find Michelle in The Oasis or at michelle@gjhp.org.





Samara Harand has been a performing arts educator for over 20 years and is thrilled to be joining the GJHP team. She has directed and choreographed dozens of full-length musicals and revues at Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts, as well as Edgewood Middle School, Francis W. Parker, Starland Kids, and others.  Recent credits include: Mamma Mia!, Shrek Jr., Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde, Urinetown, All Shook Up, Footloose, Peter Pan, Bring it On, Once Upon A Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, Sweet Charity, The Wizard of Oz, 13: The Musical, West Side Story, and The Little Mermaid Jr. Samara currently helps manage her family’s musical theater camp – Harand Camp of Theatre Arts – now in its 66th Season!


Samara is also a Publicity Associate at Cathy Taylor Public Relations, which represents many theaters in the area, including Drury Lane, Writers Theatre, and more.  Samara launched her Chicago PR career at The Silverman Group, where she represented The Chicago Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and others. She then moved to NYC to earn her M.F.A. in Arts Management while also holding positions at Roundabout Theatre Company, The Producing Office (Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights) and the Tony Awards. She has also done freelance work for local theater companies and Team StarKid of A Very Potter Musical fame.


Contact Samara at samara@gjhp.org.