About Us

Head of School & Leadership


Welcome to Shady Hill. Here, we offer children a fundamentally different way of teaching and learning. 
While there are innumerable ways that Shady Hill profoundly shapes each student’s experience, five dimensions, in particular, stand out to me: 
  • Expert, Caring FacultyOur outstanding teachers know each of our students as individuals and guide as well as instruct them in discovery and exploration.
  • Joyful LearningOur student-centered approach promotes independent thinking, creativity, and healthy risk-taking while developing an ethical mindset. Older students engage with younger ones, reinforcing their roles as community leaders and contributors.
  • Central SubjectIn Grades 3–8, students spend the year studying an overarching topic through literature, geography, writing, and history. Before Grade 3, classes pursue a variety of Thematic Studies, each embracing the Central Subject methodology but in shorter, age-appropriate units.
  • CampusOur beautiful campus has a small-village feel. Students use its open spaces, natural areas, and wetlands as extended learning spaces as they observe and explore their world.
  • Teacher Training CenterEach year, our renowned program brings 8-10 aspiring teachers to campus. The benefit is two-way. The apprentices train to be progressive educators while our faculty keeps abreast of innovative trends and best practices in education.
For a virtual tour of our program and campus, I invite you to explore a set of interactive pages that showcase Shady Hill. The combination of videos, interviews, and classroom highlights will give you an inside view of what we value and cherish as a school and as a community. To access the tour, click here.
I hope you will be energized by what you read, hear, and see in your exploration of this website and discover what a remarkable learning environment Shady Hill is for children.
Mark J. Stanek
Head of School

List of 3 items.

  • + Mark on the Lighthouse Counsel Podcast



    Mark Stanek became Shady Hill's sixth Head of School on July 1, 2010.

    • B.A. in Mathematics, Hamilton College
    • M.A. in Private School Leadership and Education Administration, Teachers College, Columbia University
    • Recipient of the Klingenstein Scholarship & Rose Scholarship
    Previous Experience
    • Head of School at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York
    • Middle School Principal at Milton Academy
    • Authored the 2nd edition of The Middle School Handbook for NAIS.
    Board Experience
    • President of Association of Independent Schools of New England (2018 to 2021)
    • CCAE (2018-present)
    • Charles River School (2017 to present)
    • The Heads Network (2012 to 2020)
    • Beacon Academy (2013 to 2016)