Welcoming Next Year's Lower School Leaders

May 21, 2018

Head of School Jeff Bissell welcomes Dr. Mary Anton and Ms. Kim KazOf the many gifts Anne Valentino and Anna Donnelly have brought to CAIS, the gift of time for (and participation in) the process to find their successors may prove to be one of their most lasting. Thanks to being able to start the process earlier in the school year, we attracted two spectacular additions to our administration, Dr. Mary Anton (left in photo) and Kimberly Kaz (right in photo).

For several months, both have been working extensively with Head of School Jeff Bissell as well as Ms. Valentino and Ms. Donnelly to prepare for and ensure a smooth transition. Dr. Anton and Ms. Kaz traveled to CAIS this month to meet with teachers and students. They also met with parents at a special reception, where Jeff Bissell shined a spotlight on their outstanding skill sets.

Kimberly Kaz

Proud of her mother’s Shanghai and Hong Kong roots, like many of our families, Ms. Kaz studied Chinese at Brown and at Beijing Institute of Education. She earned her master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is a National Board Certified Teacher Early/Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading­ Language Arts. At Qinghua International School 清华大学附中国际部, she taught English and music and started a golf team. At Sheridan, an independent school in Washington, DC, she taught second grade, fourth grade, 8th grade geometry, and helped develop curriculum including a social studies unit on the Silk Road. At Georgetown Day School, another independent school in Washington, DC, she was third grade lead teacher and a recognized teacher leader. Ms. Kaz is an experienced practitioner and mentor with Readers and Writers Workshop as well as with Responsive Classroom. In her practice as a teacher she has shown deep commitment to engaging with issues of social class, gender, race, and social justice.

A Chinese and German speaker, she is also a:

  • soprano with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC
  • golfer
  • triathlete 
  • skier 
  • SCUBA diver (PADI certified rescue diver)
  • certified emergency first responder

Dr. Mary Anton

After three decades in the Boston area, Dr. Anton is returning to her home in the Bay, where she received her bachelor’s in education from UC Berkeley. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and has taught everything from Kindergarten through graduate school in schools in California and Massachusetts including Simmons College, HGSE, and Tufts. She served as Director of Literacy Development Services for Teachers21, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the professional practice of educators and creating supportive schools where students and adults are able to learn, grow, and achieve. She has served 21 districts and 500 teachers over a period of 10 years, including as principal of two elementary schools in the Boston area, one of which she started. Her current school, Bowman Elementary is rated as the #2 elementary school in Massachusetts (a state which consistently ranks as having the best public schools in the nation).

The author of two children’s books, Dr. Anton is deeply knowledgeable about best practices in literacy, second language acquisition, learning differences, mathematics and science. She also is a nationally recognized leader on issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice in education known for her mentoring, training, research, publications, and presentations. In addition to working on the implementation of the “Dismantling Racism” curriculum at Bowman Elementary school, most recently she has worked with Dr. Lee Teitel at HGSE on the Reimagining Integration and Diversity for Equitable Schools Project.

In a bit of serendipity matching Ms. Kaz’s SCUBA skills, Dr. Anton is an avid underwater photographer! Future field trip in the deep blue?