Moorestown Friends School has announced the appointment of Jenel Giles as Lower School Director, effective July 1, 2019. Giles succeeds Kelly Banik, who will depart at the end of the school year to become Head of School at the Raleigh School in Raleigh, NC.
Giles is an experienced educator, serving for more than a decade as a kindergarten lead teacher at Bank Street School for Children in New York City. In May, she will complete her Ed.M. from the Klingenstein Leadership Academy at Columbia University’s Teacher College. She also has an M.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education.
A graduate of Barnard College (B.A.), Giles began her career as an assistant teacher at Bank Street before moving to Collegiate School, also in New York City, where she was a first grade teacher before returning to Bank Street. In addition to her teaching duties at Bank Street, Giles has served on the school’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Brain Research Team, Diversity Leadership Council, and Faculty Council.
“When I visited, I was struck by the care and thought that is put into every element of the program at Moorestown Friends,” said Ms. Giles. “Faculty are always thinking about best practices to help students develop the tools they need to be active learners. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to becoming part of the Moorestown Friends School community.”
Giles was a leader in Bank Street’s Summer Camp program for 14 years. She served in various roles including Middle and Upper Camp Director for a program enrolling 200 campers ages 6-15. In this role, she oversaw curriculum development, discipline, and parent communication. She worked with the leadership team to shape the vision and growth of camp programs and hired and supervised 20-40 staff across various subject areas including science, Spanish immersion, creative arts, travel, and sports.
Giles has been a presenter at the Everyone Reading Conference at New York University, the Bank Street Teaching Kindergarten Conference, and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference. Her professional development experiences have included: the Interschool Leadership Institute, Handwriting Without Tears, Sounds In Motion, Undoing Racism, Border Crossers, Responsive Classroom, and more.
Giles’s appointment concludes a national search conducted by a committee clerked by Associate Head of School Chris Kimberly.