Mark Bistricky, who has led private schools in Arizona and California, becomes head of school for Summit, effective June 30.
Mark_Bistricky_Future Head of School
With an undergraduate degree in history and master's degrees in history and education administration, Bistricky
comes to his
new role eager to prepare students for the future.
"I think it's critical for schools like Summit
to connect innovation with education and to be forward-looking (and) entrepreneurial," Bistricky
"Business and non-profit leaders say they need workers who can think outside the box, who can create, who can apply imagination, who combine facts and figures and source material from different areas in new ways," he
What's more, Bistricky notes, the traditional model of education, which consists of digesting information presented and then spitting it back on standardized tests, isn't going to cut it.
"The problem is that there's a very low level of learning that takes place in that model.
They're not being challenged to develop the kind of critical-thinking skills (or) the creative skills, the ability to apply what they've learned," Bistricky
"I think that Summit
already does a tremendous job of equipping the students with those kinds of 21st century skills, and I hope to be able to continue to develop those kinds of programs at the school."
When asked about the specifics on how innovative learning could best take place, Bistricky
gave a description of how students could learn about the desegregation of schools during the 1950s.
also sees students going beyond classroom walls to learn.
"I think it's really important for us to be a community school, one that is very connected, and that we're inviting people in," Bistricky
"We want to create a learning community in which all want the same thing: for the child to be challenged."
The pre-K through eighth-grade independent school boasts low student-teacher ratios and an extensive liberal arts curriculum.
"Independent schools can do innovative things with multi-disciplinary, project-based learning, where students are not just learning material but they're actually putting it into practice in a real world setting," Bistricky
So how did he
catch this innovation bug?
"I first started teaching and ultimately became an administrator when I was living in San Jose, in Silicon Valley, during the technology boom in the early 2000s.
So that experience and seeing the innovation and the creativity and the applied learning that was present with all of the technology companies and start-ups, it was a very exciting time for ideas and putting those ideas into action.
"And so I think that helped to form (who) I've become," Bistricky
"I want to be an innovative educational leader who's helping to pioneer new models that will serve our students more effectively in preparing them for a future that doesn't exist and we can't entirely predict."
All this excellence and innovation doesn't come cheap.
However, through a blend of tuition tax credits, corporate scholarships and financial aid scholarships, "It's more accessible than you might think," Bistricky
Summit School of Ahwatukee is proud to announce that Mark Bistricky has been appointed as the next Head of School, effective June 30, 2016.
was hired through a rigorous, multistage, international search.
The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed that Mr. Bistricky
has the ideal experience, skills, and personal traits to lead Summit School of Ahwatukee
in accordance with its mission.
enthusiasm for this position, Mr. Bistricky
noted, "In addition to the excellent faculty and staff, what attracted me to Summit
is its commitment to research-based and innovative education.
Many schools teach students facts.
Facts are important, but they are not enough.
The world's need for individuals who can synthesize and apply knowledge imaginatively to solve problems will keep growing.
School is perfectly poised to meet this critical need and to expand its reputation as a leader in education."
was raised in Phoenix.
In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Whittier College (magna cum laude), he holds two Master of Arts degrees: one in History from University of Arizona, and the other in Education Administration from Santa Clara University.
He has over seven years of experience as head of school/principal, including positions in both private and parochial schools.
Mr. Bistricky is currently Head of School at Tesseract School in Phoenix.
Prior to this position, he had served as Head of School at Valley Christian High School in Chandler, Arizona, and as Principal at Holy Spirit School in San Jose, California.
is a dynamic professional who will bring creativity, passion, and strategic vision to guide the school in the spirit of a liberal arts approach that fosters development of students' academic, social, creative, and physical skills.
Mark Bistricky, our new Head of School, has demonstrated the ability to do just that."