Montclair Kimberley Academy is excited to announce that Katie Pabarue Banks has been hired as the next Head of Primary School. Katie will officially join MKA on July 1, 2024.
A comprehensive and inclusive search process, led by Co-Chairs Associate Head of School Steve Valentine and Assistant Head of School for Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism Paris McLean, considered valuable feedback from students, faculty, staff, parents, administrators, and Trustees. The caliber of candidates reflected MKA's reputation as a sought-after destination for exceptional educators and leaders. Head of School Nigel D. Furlonge shared, "Katie's collaborative nature, curious mindset, and resilient personality shone throughout the search process. We are thrilled that Katie will be joining the MKA community."
Currently the Assistant Head of Lower School for Academics at Brooklyn Friends School, Katie brings a wealth of classroom and administrative experience to MKA. She was a classroom teacher for 12 years, spanning first through fifth grades in independent schools in New York and abroad on a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan. Katie now coordinates and oversees divisional curriculum, works closely with specialists and learning teams, and supervises Associate Teachers. She serves as a representative on the enrollment committee, leads in-house professional development and initiatives, and regularly presents to families on the academic programming of the school and the social and emotional development of young children.
Katie received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education from Vassar College, her M.S.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Bank Street College of Education, and her M.A. as a Literacy Specialist from Columbia University Teachers College. She recently completed a Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in 2021. Looking back on her professional journey thus far, Katie shared, “As I explored teacher-leadership positions, I realized the incredible responsibility and honor of being a school leader and how closely it related to my time in the classroom. Leaders must balance the long-term vision with the important details of the day-to-day and nurture, listen, negotiate, and collaborate. They can inspire change. They have an opportunity to grow, shape, and support the ecosystem that is a school community.”
Committed to cultivating children’s success within and beyond school walls, Katie supports students as they explore and make sense of the world around them. She has led workshops at local and national conferences, and she is passionate about project-based learning, whole child-centered education, collaboration, creativity, and cultivating joy in the classroom and school community. When she is not at school, Katie enjoys reading, discovering delicious bakeries and restaurants around her neighborhood, gardening, and spending time with her husband, Harry, and their puppy, Reggie.
Please join MKA in welcoming Katie and Harry to our community.