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Dr. Monica Benton Palmer has been named Milton’s next Upper School principal, effective July 1. The following is a message from Head of School Todd Bland announcing Dr. Palmer’s appointment to the Milton community.

I am happy to announce Dr. Monica Benton Palmer as Milton Academy’s next Upper School principal, effective July 1, 2022.
After rigorous evaluation of candidates in a national search under highly competitive circumstances, Milton acted swiftly to bring Dr. Palmer to Milton, and we are delighted she chose to join our community.

Monica has 19 years of independent school experience, and her passion for working with upper school students results from a desire to connect with and guide students in their formative years. After working at the university level, she pursued this passion by joining the performing arts faculty at the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia. She soon progressed to parent liaison for the Head of School, enrollment manager for diversity outreach, as well as head dorm adult and department chair. At Lake Forest Academy in Illinois she continued her work with students as the Director of the Fine and Performing Arts department where she established the endowment for the arts while teaching, directing, and serving on the residential team. Since 2017, Monica has worked at the Governor’s Academy, a boarding and day school in Byfield, Massachusetts. She is currently the dean of faculty, overseeing faculty recruitment, retention, mentoring, and performance evaluation, faculty professional growth, and professional development. In addition, Monica teaches in the theater department and is an active presence in the afternoon and the residential life programs. She is a member of the Governor’s Academy senior leadership team and supports the head of school in the overall management and oversight of the school.  

Monica brings significant experience in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) work, school governance, and fostering connections within school communities. She serves on the boards of the Fessenden School and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). Monica’s board experience is varied and includes serving on finance, advancement, search, DEIJ, and strategic planning committees.    

Monica received her undergraduate degree in dramatic arts and law and society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She holds two master’s degrees from Columbia University: an M.F.A. in theater and a M.Ed. in educational leadership from the Klingenstein Center for Private School Leadership. Monica earned her Doctorate in Education and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, where she focused her dissertation on the financial sustainability of Midwestern boarding schools. Monica, her husband, Malcolm, their three children, and their Yorkshire Terrier will relocate to Milton in July.

I am thrilled for Monica to join us as the new Upper School principal. Please join me in warmly welcoming her to Milton. 



Todd B. Bland
Head of School