Welcome Letter from Summit's New Head of School, Kurt Pusch 

SCS Kurt Pusch HeadshotDear Summit Families,

We are thrilled to start the 2019-20 school year, our 23rd year at Summit! In my first month, I’ve had the privilege of talking with and gathering perspectives from many of our school’s stakeholders and supporters. There is a clear sense of pride in Summit--in our growing place-based approach to education, in our seven virtues, in our deep commitment to educating the whole child, and in our partnership as staff, parents, and community in stewarding excellence in our school. And, I have heard so many inspiring aspirations for the possibilities for our school in the years ahead as we grow in our mission to engage students in learning experiences that stimulate discovery, inspire excellence, and nurture a positive influence in an ever-changing world. 

As Summit expands from K-8 to K-12, it is important that we nurture and strengthen qualities of Summit that have enabled our success for over twenty years. In assessing the state of our school in pursuit of our mission, three key qualities of our program have surfaced as key to our focus in this upcoming year--strong parent partnerships, high standards of academic excellence, and our place-based learning approach. The vitality of these roots will ensure that our growth and evolution as a school builds from our unique identity at Summit. With this in mind, we will focus on three priorities at Summit this year: 

1. Strong parent partnerships: Summit was founded on the principle that parents are our children’s first teachers. As a school, we embrace the vital partnership of teachers, school leaders, and parents in supporting our children’s education.

2. Rigorous-data driven instruction: A key to ensuring a motivating and rigorous learning experience is aligning instruction and learning experiences to clear standards, continuously monitoring student learning, and providing students ongoing feedback and opportunities to achieve mastery of content.  

3. Engaging place-based learning experiences: With deep student engagement and personal development as our purpose, we will strive to position student learning in the context of our student’s individual interests and strengths, the community in which they live, and our larger global context. These keys of a place-based education are fundamental to our mission. 

I feel incredibly inspired to lead Summit into our 23rd year with these priorities at the forefront. Thanks to so many who have poured their hearts into Summit over the years, there is so much potential for what we can become in this next chapter. We have an incredibly dedicated community of faculty and parents, long-standing support from our community, world-class facilities--including the much awaited opening of our Summit Center and new high school building, and limitless learning opportunities in our natural surroundings on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. There is so much to be grateful for at Summit. I look forward to stewarding these many strengths in building for an incredibly promising future.

With gratitude,

Kurt Pusch

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828-743-5755


About Kurt Pusch

Kurt Pusch joined Summit's as its new Head of School on July 1, 2019. Most recently, Kurt served as Chief Schools Officer at KIPP Colorado Schools, overseeing six charter schools serving nearly 2,000 students from early childhood through twelfth grade with the mission of educating students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character for success in college and life. Prior to his tenure at KIPP, where he also served as principal, academic dean, and middle school history teacher, Pusch was a Teach For America Corps Member, serving as a fourth grade teacher at Northside Elementary School in Norlina, NC. He graduated from The Lovett School in Atlanta, Colgate University in Hamilton, NY and received his Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from National Louis University in Chicago, IL. In June, Kurt received his Executive Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Kurt lives in Trillium with his wife M.C. Pusch and has four wonderful children: Briggs (8), Kate (6), McKinley (4) and Henry (2).

Pusch Family Photo