Mark Vickers-Willis

Mark Vickers-Willis

Santa Monica, United States

Having worked across cultures and contexts, from remote aboriginal communities of Australia to leading Independent Schools in Australia and the USA, I'm dedicated to liberating human potential.

Mark Vickers-Willis, an educational leader, is the Director of Community Engagement at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California. He holds a BA, Post Graduate Diploma of Education, Master of Teaching and Master of Education (Wellbeing) all from the University of Melbourne as well as credentials in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Mark was Dean of Students within the Middle School at New Roads and has been responsible for founding and creating exceptional internal and external programs such as the Critical Conversations Speaker Series and The Climate Changemaker International Teen Film Festival. Having worked across cultures and contexts, from remote aboriginal communities of Australia to leading Independent Schools in Australia and the USA, Mark is an exemplary teacher, communicator, leader and expert in social and emotional learning. Prior to New Roads he served as the inaugural Head of Program for Yiramalay Wesley Studio School, a groundbreaking educational approach that bridges the cultural divide between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia and delivers a learning experience that transcends culture and location.

As a passionate and experienced educator, Mark believes context should be the key ingredient to shape relevant, meaningful and connected learning. To that end he actively seeks to create and inspire designed learning experiences that leverage physical, social, cultural or natural elements by building strong community partnerships within and beyond the school. Mark has experience and particular interest in fostering cross-cultural understanding, community wellbeing and liberating human potential. Central to his work is the exploration of how interconnected relationships deepen and nourish our sense of self, other and our environment and prepare young people for life. He has built and delivered curriculum across different ages and developmental stages, including leadership, resilience and mindfulness curriculum for a transglobal student travel business.

In his various roles Mark has shown great capacity to foster strong student relationships. He’s also demonstrated an ability to build trust and rapport with countless community stakeholders such as Tribal Elders, Heads of State, International delegations, Business Leaders and more. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a local, state, national and international level. He currently sits on the General Advisory Board for Santa Monica College, the Education Committees for both the Santa Monica and Venice Chambers of Commerce, and the Advisory Board of the National Diversity Coalition. Most notably he is the proud father of three young children, an environmentalist and a fanatical supporter of his Australian Rules Football Team, Geelong.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

To foster the bridge builders, creative innovators and complex problem solvers the world so desperately needs, I think young people need to learn in a climate and culture that honors differences and promotes compassionate linkages, where collaboration is paramount. As educators we need to model this and HundrED is a living expression and embodiment of these values in action.

How can education support students to flourish?

When a student can present themselves as they truly are and can be met socially, emotionally and intellectually with a desirable level of challenge within a safe and generative climate and culture then the research and evidence is compelling that this type of educational habitat can nurture the developing mind and liberate human potential. The very conditions that support flourishing.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Innovation plays a central role in education. Education should seek to meet and respond to the evolving needs of individuals and society to find meaning, foster wellbeing and serve the common good. In order to meet these evolving needs innovation is vital to find possibilities, come up with solutions and consider perspectives that enhance our quality of life and shared humanity.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Positive Education - I'm an alum of Geelong Grammar and have seen up close the impact and quality of the programs and outcomes from this innovation. Kahoot - I have seen this game-based learning platform bring classes to life in moments in ways that are captivating, engaging and collaborative. Scratch - A brilliant open source coding platform that introduces and unlocks new worlds of possibility.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

New Roads School - Our human centered integrative educational system, underpinned by interpersonal neurobiology is the fullest conception of a wellbeing model I've seen. Yiramalay Wesley Studio School - This studio school concept reconceives 'school' as a flexible construct inviting generative contextual ingredients into the learning. Council - A transformative indigenous inspired practise.