Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll

Key School Teacher, Head Coach - Cross-Country and Track & Field
B.A., Quinnipiac University
MAT, Quinnipiac University
Key School

Mark Driscoll teaches grade 6 math and science, as well as middle school physical education and technology education in Key School. Since 2008, he has served as the head coach for cross-country and track and field. During this time, the teams have won eight state championships. Prior to working at Carolina Day School, Mark earned a B.A. in Interactive Digital Design and a Master of Arts in Teaching at Quinnipiac University, where he also competed as an NCAA D1 cross country and track athlete. He is very active in the Asheville running community through coaching, racing, club organization, and race directing. Mark lives in West Asheville with his wife Kaitlyn and son Callum. 

Get to know Mark Driscoll:
 
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? Two major ways that CDS differs from other schools are 1) how well we know our students as individuals and 2) the way we give our students the tools necessary to become independent learners. At Key Middle School, and CDS as a whole, I have the opportunity to work in very small groups.  This allows me to really connect with my students and deeply understand their learning profiles. With this understanding, I am able to implement truly individual teaching strategies. Our students are also taught to become self-advocates who understand how they learn, and are active and engaged in the learning process.”
 
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “I enjoy the community at Carolina Day School. The faculty and staff are highly skilled and excited about the work we do. The parents are supportive and act as partners in the education of their children. The students are interesting, eager to learn, and high achievers.”
 
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? CDS fosters curiosity, self-discovery, and independence. We challenge students to explore, take risks, and reflect. We give students the opportunity to find their passions through academics, athletics, and the arts. These talents and passions are encouraged and celebrated.”  
 
How would you describe your classroom? My classroom is a safe and supportive space where students can feel comfortable enough to take the risks necessary for growth. People passing by will often hear laughter and occasionally witness a dance party (you’ve gotta take brain breaks).”  
 
What books and authors inspire you? Marc Prensky’s Teaching Digital Natives has been influential in my approach to understanding my students’ needs and motivations, as well as helping them connect with the curriculum in a real way.”
 
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Everything you need is already inside.” —Bill Bowerman
 
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “I am motivated to help others reach their goals.”

Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “I have had success with guest speakers (in person or through Skype) who give my students unique and informed insight on specific topics. My students have talked with a foreign policy journalist about the global ramifications of the conflict in Syria, and a U of Chicago PhD student about the circumstances that led to the Arab Spring. In my technology class, the students Skyped with a smartphone game developer about his introduction to programming and his work in game design.”  

What personal passion brings balance to your life? Running brings balance to my life. I enjoy putting in the daily training necessary to work toward goals (specific races, times, etc). This gives me a chunk of time every day to work hard, sweat, and spend some time in the woods.”

Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “I wear a lot of hats at CDS and enjoy the variety of my day. In my time at Key Middle School, I have taught Math, US History, Global Studies, Earth Science Technology, and Physical Education. I am the Key School coordinator for Technology and I have served on the CDS Curriculum team. After school, I coach Grade 6–12 students on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams.” 

How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “In my experience in school as a child, it was easy for me to fall into cruise control and stay under the radar. At CDS, I know the strengths and weaknesses of all of my students, how to motivate them, and how to appropriately push them to reach their potential.”