Halima Taha Is Kew-Forest School Admission, Financial Aid Director
Since the beginning of his tenure at The Kew-Forest School, Forest Hills, Headmaster Mark Fish has prioritized an examination of the school’s administrative structure. Fish quickly discovered that the role of Director of Admission was crucial to the school’s continued success, and so to fill this redefined, senior-level post, appointed Dr. Halima Taha as Director of Admission and Financial Aid. “We have put in place a critical piece of a restructured administration,” Fish said.
Taha is an accomplished academic and professional, with a wealth of experience in education and business, including marketing, public relations and publishing. Her vision for the admission process and her knowledge of Kew-Forest will make her an asset to parents in the greater metropolitan area seeking out remarkable educational opportunities for their children. “Our Admission Office focuses on what is best for our prospective students and families,” Taha explained, “We want families to discover for themselves our vibrant learning community where a traditional liberal arts education includes critical thinking, character building, community service and an interdisciplinary love for learning.”
As an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence, Taha acquired a strong liberal arts background to build upon. While earning her Masters degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at NYU, she gained the practical skills and expertise she would need to excel, and in preparing her dissertation for her Ph.D in Art History at Shepperton University in England, she analyzed in depth the application of traditional valuation theory on African-American Art. An author of three books and numerous articles, Taha regularly taught, curated and spoke on a variety of educational, historical and artistic issues. She sees her new role as a natural extension of her passion for art. “I was always interested in the ideas and people behind art, which continue to inspire me to seek out opportunities to learn and share,” Taha said. “As Director of Admission at Kew-Forest, I share my passion with prospective families for a nurturing academic community where students are inspired to become their best selves.”
Taha will also bring to bear her years of experience in the business world. As an entrepreneur, Taha founded halima ink and discovered the many facets of running her own business. As a consultant and advisor to museums, galleries and individual collectors in the art world, she has regularly been trusted for her sound counsel and perspective. In her statement for the position at Kew-Forest, Taha wrote, “Collectively, my academic, professional, and personal background have taught me to look beyond the superficial, to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team, and to have the courage to pursue one’s vision and inspire others to pursue theirs.” Taha expanded on the sentiment, “Admission at Kew-Forest is about actively listening to how each family thinks and feels about their educational goals. By working with them as a ‘professional friend’, I can be candid, supportive and nurturing, while simultaneously helping them clarify their vision, whether it leads to Kew-Forest or elsewhere.”
Taha’s position in Kew-Forest’s senior administration is demanding, but she has taken to it with aplomb. “In just a short time, Halima has engaged the senior administrative team and is already leading us forward,” Fish declared. “She brings tremendous passion for the school, its multiculturalism, its rigor, its diversity and its civility to her job. It is a pleasure to welcome her to Kew-Forest.”
The Kew-Forest School, established in 1918, is the oldest independent, coed, college preparatory school in Queens, New York. Located in Forest Hills, Kew-Forest offers a challenging core academic experience, a culturally diverse peer group and a structured, caring environment to students in grades K-12. Kew-Forest boasts one of the most diverse student bodies amongst independent schools, reflecting the demographic diversity of Queens, while drawing students from all over Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island. For more information, visit www.kewforest.org.