Getting to Know Bennett's Consultants: Meet Mona Kolsky
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Mona Kolsky is passionate about her work with families and their children. Her experiences as a middle school teacher, reading specialist, grant writer, adjunct professor, and parent have provided Mona with an ideal background to work with families searching for new schools.
Mona started her teaching career as a student teacher in a suburban school district, and as much as she loved her students, she was drawn to a more urban environment. Mona ended up teaching for the School District of Philadelphia for many years.
She was a history teacher and a reading specialist for grades 5 – 8. The lack of resources and funding in the urban school district compared to the abundance of funding in the suburban district was shocking to Mona. She took it upon herself to give her urban students the same resources as their peers in the suburbs by teaching herself how to write grants. Her goal was to give her students in the city access to museums at least once or twice a month. She said the key to being awarded grants, was to “know your audience and appeal to what the foundation values.”
After teaching in public schools for years, Mona became an adjunct professor and worked as a supervisor for student teachers. In this role, Mona observed student teachers in the classroom and helped them fine-tune their teaching skills. The families that Mona works with benefit directly from this aspect of Mona’s career. She has been in nearly every school building in the greater Philadelphia area, and knows and understands their culture and the community.
At Bennett, Mona primarily works with families relocating to Delaware, Southern NJ, and the greater Philadelphia area. As an educator and life-long student herself, she’s traveled all over the world and observed classrooms in places like Japan, Estonia, China, South Korea, Israel, and Ireland, to name just a few. The experience of sitting in on a classroom in a foreign country has given her a unique frame of reference for observing and recognizing cultural and pedagogical differences in classrooms.
When I asked Mona if she had a go-to message of comfort and encouragement for the many families she works with at Bennett, she said, “I tell families that their child or children will adapt to their new environment and school. Yes, they will make friends.”
For Mona, helping families find a new school where their children will flourish and grow and reducing some of the stress of a move is the most rewarding part of being an education consultant. She said, “I love being able to give a family some peace of mind in the midst of their relocation. I love having a small part in the success of their move.” We would argue that’s no small part!
Mona’s lifelong devotion to learning and travel makes her an ideal consultant. When I asked her one of our favorite questions about where she would spend a year’s sabbatical, she paused and really thought about it. She couldn’t decide. I reshaped the question and said she could split the sabbatical into thirds. She landed on Tel Aviv, Paris, and back to the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Thank you, Mona, for your time, warmth, and candor.
By Erin Brady & Annemiek Young.
Mona Kolsky is an Independent Education Consultant for the Philadelphia, Delaware, and southern New Jersey areas. She has worked with families from around the globe, including those repatriating, assisting them in finding the best schools, private and public, for their children. Prior to becoming an education consultant with Bennett International and School Choice International, Mona was a veteran teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. Additionally, she has been a curriculum writer for numerous institutions in the Philadelphia area for many years. Currently, Mona is an adjunct professor at Rosemont College in the Graduate Education Program. She teaches and supervises student teachers. Mona received her Master’s Degree from Temple University and completed post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also studied at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Trinity College in Dublin, Yale University, and the University of Illinois. Mona enjoys studying and traveling, having been awarded fellowships to study in Turkey, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Poland, and Israel. Volunteering is also of great importance to Mona. For many years, she worked on a hotline of a well-established child abuse prevention organization. It is there she enhanced her ability to listen. In addition, Mona is an education advisor to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and is active in other community nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia, such as the Nationalities Service Center and Career Wardrobe.
To read more about our top-flight team of consultants, please see here.
Bennett International Education Consultancy works directly with hundreds of families each year across the globe. We support families by helping them make informed decisions about the best-fit schools for their children; with our guidance, they secure placement in preschools, private day schools, public/state schools, boarding schools, colleges & universities, including schools with particular programs, such as special needs support.