Up Close with Kari King

Date: April 19 2017

Next week, Daystar Academy Sanlitun’s designated Elementary School Principal Kari King will be visiting Beijing! Originally from the United States, Ms. King currently works and resides in Panama. Ms. King is very much looking forward to spending her week getting to know Daystar & Ivy, observing our classes, meeting all the students and our wonderful community, and of course, experiencing a little bit of China as well!

In anticipation of her visit, we have conducted a short Q & A with her. Here is a chance for you to get to know Ms. King, her educational philosophy, and much more.


1. What made you decide to become an educator?

I believe that I was born to be an educator. I was raised by a mother who was a special education teacher and I spent my entire life in a school. I was surrounded by people who worked tirelessly to support children, families and communities and who valued growth and knowledge. It was only natural, then, that when it came time to choose a career path that I decided I wanted to be an educator as well. There were many people along the way that inspired me with their dedication, patience and enthusiasm. Teachers who supported me academically and those who believed in me and saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. Because of these people and my mother, I believe that education is the true vessel for change.

2. Could you share with us an example of a situation/event/incident that really showcases what you are like as an educator?

I have been involved, from the beginning, with the Destination Imagination program and the Battle of the Books competition at my current school. Destination Imagination is a program that develops creative thinking, independent thought and teamwork in students; Battle of the Books is a competition that encourages a love of literacy and a pursuit of knowledge. Our first and youngest Battle of the Books team was only 3 students strong when we began and in conjunction with the school Librarian, we were able to support these students throughout a school year that eventually ended with a first place victory. With Destination Imagination, I was able to not only administratively support this initiative but I was also a part of the weekly practices, student planning, community involvement, parent education and, eventually, a 3rd place win at the Latin American regional tournament. These experiences were not only important because our students won but also because of the obstacles our community overcame, the commitment that our students showed and the support we received from entire school community. I have never been more proud.

Kari with the first Battle of the Books team and first place winners, “Three Brave Girls”. 

3. What made you decide to pursue an education career outside the US?

I had the fortune of working in a very open minded and supportive public school system at the beginning of my career. During my time as a public school teacher, I was introduced to students and families from around the world. These experiences and relationships left me with a curiosity for the world and with the support of my family, friends and colleagues, I found my way into international education.

4. How has your international experience shaped you as an educator?

My experience in international education has changed me in a million ways. Some of the most profound ways are how it has helped me become a more empathetic human being, a reflective educator and a lifelong learner.


5. What made you decide to join Daystar Academy?

From the moment I began my research into Daystar Academy, I knew that we were an ideal match. The school’s mission and vision truly reflect my own personal educational philosophy and the emphasis on character development and creative thinking demonstrates Daystar’s commitment to educating today’s students. The opening of the new campus is a unique opportunity to help build and grow a community that is focused on true learning.

6. What do you hope to bring to Daystar Academy?

As we open the Daystar Academy Sanlitun campus I hope to instill, as its foundation, the ideals of community and collaboration. Schools collaborate in many different ways, but in order to create a successful partnership, you need to know your children, your area and your community. The learning journey never ends and by working together we can ensure that we are preparing students for a rapidly changing world.

Kari leading the first Elementary Student Advisory meeting with all candidates from grades 3, 4 and 5.

7. How do you feel about moving to China?

I am thrilled to be moving to China with my husband! Daystar Academy and China offer the opportunity of a lifetime to broaden my perspective both professionally and personally. I am excited to learn about the rich history of China and it’s culture and look forward becoming a part of the Daystar Academy family.

8. What is your motto when it comes to education?

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” By Margaret Mead

In a world that is constantly evolving, it is important that we equip students with the skills necessary to be positive member of society. This is done, not by memorization and repetition, but rather by learning how to think. With this ability, students become creative, critical thinkers who are ready to face the world.

Join us for our next information session to find out more! Please register here.