Imaani F. Sanders, new Admissions Director: hopes and dreams, hidden talents, and thoughts on challenges for urban families

Ms. Sanders joined the MSS staff in early August 2018 as the Director of Admissions and Community Relations.

Where are you from?

I was raised in both Montclair and Newark, NJ.

Tell us a little about your experience.

I studied Business Administration and Management at Penn State University and Bloomfield College.  I have worked in Independent School Admissions for seven years.  I truly enjoy helping families find a school that is the right “fit” not just for their child, but for the entire family.  Choosing the right place to send your child for schooling is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. It’s crucial to ensure that the “fit” is right for everyone.

MSS is a big “hopes and dreams” place. What are some of your hopes and dreams for the year?

I hope to build community with current MSS families, and find the next group of prospective families. MSS needs to continue building our safe, strong, and beautiful community. I hope to contribute!

Part of my job is exmissions: helping our eighth grade students go through the high school application process. I hope to leave a lasting impact on our eighth graders as I help them choose their next school family.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love shopping, exercising, and trying new restaurants and activities with my family.

Any hidden talents?

I danced ballet and modern from the age of three through college.

Favorite book and movie?

My favorite movie is the original Disney Cinderella and my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It was on my summer reading list my freshmen year in high school. The issues discussed in the book are still relevant to survival in the world we live in today.

We hear that you like to cook. What’s your favorite thing to cook?

My dad was a chef, and as a little girl I always loved watching him move through the kitchen as he carefully sprinkled spices and took in the aromas. Some of my favorite dishes to make are turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, macaroni & cheese, baked ziti, lentil bean soup, and tacos.

Do you prefer baking or cooking?

I prefer cooking, but my kids love both!

Tell us about your family.

My family is quite busy! My husband works in New York City, so we take the train every day. We have two little boys, Rico Brett (7) and Brees Mason (3).  They are quite the busy bunch, always playing basketball or football. We have lots of fun together, trying new things like batting cages and swinging our golf clubs at the driving range. Anything to tire them out!

Morning beverage?

I am a faithful Starbucks espresso and coffee drinker!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

The hardest thing I’ve ever done was join a nationally recognized sorority when I attended Penn State University.  I am still very involved, and at least once a year, I go back up to State College with some of my sorority sisters to volunteer at a Nittany Lion concession stand.

Is there anything else that you want to tell us that you think MSS families might want to know?

I’ve been working in independent school admissions for almost 8 years. Amongst all of my career experiences I have always been most passionate about admissions and assisting families through the application process steps. It can sometimes feel overwhelming, and I’m here to help.  

The mission at Mustard Seed allows me to be a part of making a huge difference in the lives of students and their families. I am truly honored to work in such a great community and school family.



Abby Liu

ABBY LIU, Director of Marketing and Communications

Ms. Liu loves to tell the Mustard Seed story. She’s the parent of a current MSS student and a recent alum.