Je Banach comes to The Ethel Walker School with experience in the fields of education and development, law, and arts and culture. She received her BA from Manhattanville College, majoring in English (with a concentration in writing), philosophy, and religion. In addition to her work as Campaign & Prospect Research Manager, she is also a practicing writer. A recipient of the New Boston Fund Fellowship in Fiction, Je has written for many academic and popular venues, including The Paris Review, Granta, Bookforum, Oxford University Press, Publishers Weekly, and PEN. She is the author of teaching and reading guides to works of fiction and non-fiction for Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simon & Schuster. Most recently, she wrote guides to Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth, Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life, and the Dalai Lama’s Beyond Religion. She was also a longtime contributor to Harold Bloom’s literary series. In 2013, Je was awarded the state’s Artist Fellowship for Prose by the CT Office of the Arts. She is currently a member of the Residential Faculty in Fiction at the Yale Writers’ Conference.
I first experienced Walker’s as a high school athlete, when my school’s tennis team visited to play against EWS. I was struck by its gorgeous campus (and fierce but friendly competitors!). I returned to Walker’s as an adult because I believe in the power of education for young women and the importance of women’s leadership. Immediately I (re)discovered what an inspirational place it is to be. Walker’s has a unique and beautiful spirit that comes from its strong, supportive, creative community. It’s a place like no other.
When I am not working at Walker’s, I do advocacy work in the areas of health and chronic illness to help break down harmful stigmas and (hopefully) bring us a few steps closer to better research and cures for those who are ill. I also write essays, fiction, and reading guides to works of world literature and am an avid reader. I am lucky to be part of a community that values literature as much as I do and encourages everyone to make time in our busy lives to “Drop Everything and Read”!
Through my work in Advancement, I have the joy of helping our faculty and students to thrive and reach their goals. Every day I have an opportunity to see their amazing accomplishments and know that we played a part in helping them to succeed, and each day I witness the generous spirit of our community and those who believe so strongly in our mission. It’s a privilege to continue engaging with alumnae, who are the heart of our school, long after they have graduated and have made their way out in the world. The relationships created at Walker’s are something special and lasting.