Saara Mahjouri will be next Assistant Head of School
Saara Mahjouri has been appointed the next Assistant Head of School taking on the role as Robbie Pennoyer becomes Grace’s next Head of School. Saara is currently the Upper School Head (grades 5-8) at Bank Street School for Children. She has worked at Bank Street since 2015 and the Brooklyn Urban Garden School prior to that.
Robbie Pennoyer described her appointment, “I'm thrilled that Saara Mahjouri will be Grace's next Assistant Head of School. Throughout the hiring process Saara stood out for her obvious skill as a leader, her knowledge and love of children, and her passion for helping them to learn and grow. It’s a great delight to welcome her to Grace.”
Saara is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and completed a Masters in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, studying human development and psychology. Following her M.ED. Saara worked as a Learning Specialist, consulting with a variety of independent, parochial and public schools while completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles in Educational Psychology.
At UCLA Saara studied the theoretical and practical frameworks for child development in the context of education and ways to utilize the systems of support in a student’s life to promote resilience, self-determination, and academic success. Her background in educational research and her work as a practitioner shape her approach to school leadership, giving her valuable perspective into the intersection of research and practice in schools. Saara has a deep interest in understanding the different ways students learn and in creating environments that help them to thrive.
Saara said of her new role, “I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Grace community. During my visits, I was inspired by the ways Grace instills a joy for learning and acknowledges the importance of belonging. From board members, families, staff, and most importantly the students, every person I interacted with spoke to shared values of kindness, curiosity, and a deep passion for learning in ways that resonated with me and aligned with who I am as an educator. I am so looking forward to getting to know this community better, and being a part of the magic I experienced at Grace.”
Saara has published widely and has extensive experience in curriculum design and leading professional development for educators. Saara is an avid reader, with a particular passion for YA novels. She enjoys theater, arts, and dessert. She also loves spending time outside, walking in the park with her dog, Koji.