Sara Jean Banks

National Faculty

Sara Jean Banks is a master teacher, education consultant, and expert in Project Based Learning. 

Also known as SJ, she has over a decade of experience in the classroom working with students of every age - although her jam is high school - and has been working with students with diversity of needs and backgrounds for over 15 years throughout the country. 

She has not only refined her PBL practice as a high school science teacher, but she has also directly led the charge to implement Project Based Learning at two different high schools in Denver Public Schools, and advised countless school systems across the country in PBL pedagogy and change management. She knows PBL works because she witnessed how it transformed classroom learning for some of the country’s most marginalized students. “It is the type of learning that they have long been denied, but have always deserved.” 

After earning her degree in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, SJ started her career with youth as an Environmental Educator in northern Texas for elementary students. Following her work with younger students, she moved to Hawaii and began her work as an activist working with teenagers across the state to pass tobacco control & comprehensive sex education legislation. Soon after, she earned a Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Denver and began her formal teaching career as a high school science in Denver, Colorado. 

SJ is on an intentional lifelong journey to understand her identity and how she shows up as a woman of color in this world. She believes in taking back her power in order to give power back to others and is chasing a life of freedom, dignity and humanity that honors her ancestors. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, son, and two German Shepherds.