Since our founding in 1935, Hillbrook School has been committed to a simple and compelling vision - to inspire children to achieve their dreams and reach beyond themselves to make a difference in the world.
At the center of our campus lies the Village of Friendly Relations, a set of small buildings designed and built by our earliest students back in the late 1930s. School founder Mary Orem imagined that this small working village, which included a bank, general store, and a newspaper, would help children learn how to collaborate and co-exist and provide the children the skills they would need to help ensure a more peaceful and just world. Innovative and inspiring, the Village of Friendly Relations was highlighted in Sunset Magazine in the late 1930s.
More than eighty years later, we remain a school that is at the leading edge of education. Our innovative schedule balances skill development with integrated project-based learning, and includes dedicated time each week for students to reach beyond and make a difference in the world. We are also home to the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship, one of the only JK-8 centers dedicated to social impact education in the world, and our brand-new Hub, a state-of-the-art makerspace that serves as our campus epicenter for design, science, art, and engineering. We are deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, knowing that the best schools and the strongest academic programs are also intentionally diverse communities. At every step of the way, our school is connected by a close-knit, welcoming, generous community, whose support helps make a campus like ours possible.
We encourage you to step foot on our 14-acre campus and enter a space where children are known and valued as learners, where exceptional educators co-design learning experiences each day that challenge children to reach their highest potential, and where laughter, friendship, and joy are an integral part of our community.
Hillbrook is an extraordinary place to be a child. We hope you will visit soon.
Mark Silver is the Head of School at Hillbrook School, a JK-8 independent school located in Silicon Valley. Since his arrival at Hillbrook in 2009, Mark has deepened the school’s connections to its historical roots as a leader in innovation and best practices in elementary education. As part of the school’s ambitious strategic plans, Visions 2015 and 2020, Hillbrook has launched the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship, established itself as a leader in the use of technology, earning designation since 2012-13 as an Apple Distinguished School, and placed itself at the forefront of conversations about the Maker’s movement, social entrepreneurship, learning spaces, and co-teaching.
Prior to his arrival at Hillbrook, Mark spent a number of years as an administrator, teacher, and coach in independent schools, including Holland Hall School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California, and Francis Parker School in San Diego, California. Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Amherst College with a degree in American Studies, and later earned an M.A. in American History at Stanford University and a Ph.D in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego. Mark was a fellow at the Heads of School program at the Klingenstein Center at Teacher’s College Columbia University in 2014. He currently serves as a Board member for the California Association of Independent Schools, the Elementary School Heads Association and Los Gatos Safe Routes to School, and is also a member of the CalWest Advisory Board.
Mark has three children and his wife, Carla, is the Executive Director of Leadership & Design, a non-profit organization that “designs experiences for the people who design the future of education.” They live in Los Gatos, and can be seen running on the trails or sitting on the sidelines of various Los Gatos youth activities including soccer, basketball, swimming, and rowing.
Recommended Reading from Mark Silver
How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David Epstein