Dynamic Leadership: Head of School


Summit School of Ahwatukee is pleased to announce that Mark Bistricky has been appointed as the next Head of School, effective June 30, 2016. Summit is a private, independent school of approximately 350 preschool through 8th-grade students in Phoenix, Arizona, that is committed to promoting academic excellence and developing in its students a love of learning through an innovative, thematic curriculum.

The search process for a new head was initiated in 2014 due to the planned retirement of Pat O’Brien, who has led Summit for the past eight years through a period of growth in enrollment, academic programs, and extracurricular offerings, as well as the attainment of national accreditation.

Mr. Bistricky was hired through a rigorous, multistage, international search. Corey Saba Basha, Chair of the Summit Board of Trustees, led the search efforts in conjunction with a Head of School Search Committee comprising five trustees and assistance from the national search firm Triangle Associates/Heads Up Educational Consulting.

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. Describing his 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. Summit School of Ahwatukee is perfectly poised to meet this critical need and to expand its reputation as a leader in education.”

Mr. Bistricky 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.

Mr. Bistricky 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. Regarding desired qualities for the Summit Head of School, Corey Saba Basha noted, “I envision a person who will teach our children to manage in the world we live in today and also in a world we have yet to encounter, who can manage in chaos, who is willing to roll up their sleeves and show leadership in all domains at Summit, and who is willing to teach shoulder to shoulder and lead by example. Mark Bistricky, our new Head of School, has demonstrated the ability to do just that.”