In 2000, A Group Of Parents From Silicon Valley Asked:


Dinah Lord

Summit Prep
Redwood City, California

Subject: AP English Literature and Composition

Education: MA, Stanford Teacher Education Program
BA, Northwestern University, English, History


Why teach at Summit?

What drew me to Summit at first was its diverse student population. It’s public,  it’s diverse, it has a standard of excellence and it has been successful in getting students of all backgrounds to college. What keeps me here is the people: the other teachers, the director, and assistant director. Everyone is collaborative and supportive. I get so many ideas from my colleagues.

Why teach English?

I like English because it’s so relevant to kids’ lives. Themes are basically life lessons. Books either confirm or expand how we observe the world. And writing helps students to think more clearly.

What makes Summit different from traditional environments?

First of all, we live out our mission: getting kids to actually graduate from a four-year university. The way we do that is by challenging them with projects and having them develop strong study habits on their own. Secondly, we structure our day to allow students to develop cognitive skills. In a more traditional environment you may see students do busy work, whereas at Summit our kids can choose where to focus their energy without waiting for the teacher to tell them. That’s not traditional at all.

How does Summit support you professional development?

My first year teaching was hard. I was struggling. My director stepped into my classroom and co-taught with me for a month. I learned so much from her. We believe in growth mindset here. Now, in my fifth year of teaching here, I receive feedback every week. It’s never evaluative. It’s always focused on how to keep getting better.

What has been the biggest surprise at Summit?

Students at Summit develop a feeling of having a home-away-from-home and being known and understood by adults. The mentoring program makes this happen. Students don’t feel anonymous here, and this impacts how they think about their school work and motivation. With our purposefully diverse student body, Summit students learn to be with other kids who are unlike them. This helps them develop strong social skills and a deep understanding of the world.

Click to Enroll

Enroll Today

Enroll in a Summit middle or high school near you

Click to find Info Sessions

Find an Info Session

Visit us and learn more about our free, public charter schools

Click to see Jobs at Summit

Join Our Team

Be a part of an organization that empowers its students and teachers

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Summit Public Schools (SPS) is committed to making its website content accessible to all persons, including individuals with disabilities. For information regarding how to request SPS to provide access to online information or functionality that is currently inaccessible, or how to file a formal complaint under Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title II), please view our policy regarding Website Accessibility.

site design by