About Us

Meet Head of School Mark Stanek

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      Head of School Mark Stanek speaks about what makes Shady Hill special.

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 Faculty—Our outstanding teachers know each of our students as individuals and guide as well as instruct them in discovery and exploration.
  • Joyful Learning—Our 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 Subject—In 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.
  • Campus—Our 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 Center—Each year, our renowned program brings 18 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

Meet Mark Stanek

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 present)
  • CCAE (2018-present)
  • Charles River School (2017 to present)
  • The Heads Network (2012 to present)
  • Beacon Academy (2013 to 2016)
    • Mark Stanek, Head of School at Shady Hill School in Boston

A Selection of Mark's Writing

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