Dr. Mark Carleton
Dr. Mark Carleton has been Head of School at Presbyterian School since 2009. During that time, Mark has encouraged a new long-range vision as well as several key initiatives that have helped reshape the program and outreach of the School. Examples of these initiatives include a vertically-aligned and child-centered curriculum focused on the “just-right challenge” for each student; creative and extensive fine arts electives in grades 6-8 that include partnerships with neighboring museums and cultural organizations; and targeted, Mission-focused servant leadership initiatives that include partnerships with area charitable organizations. Nurturing and supporting each child as a whole child is central to the PS mission, and Mark is an avid believer in this commitment. Finally, Mark is a man of faith who believes deeply in the importance of developing school programs that are rooted in moral purpose and that guide the minds and build the souls of children. He and his wife Laurel are the parents of two children of their own: Camille (PS ‘ 18) and Richard, age 15.
Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of Tennessee
M.A. - English, Lousiana State University
B.A., Centenary College
Q & A with Mark
What are your top five CliftonStrengths, and which ONE do you find yourself leaning into the most these days?
Competition, Futuristic, Strategic, Achiever, and Significance are my top five strengths. I’m leaning into Competition these days, especially as it relates to the daily victories of our Team. As one of my great mentors used to say, “If it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, we all win!”
What’s your favorite part of the PS Mission ("Family, School and Church united in the education and support of each Child") and why?
I love the word “each” in our Mission because it’s a constant reminder of our commitment to bringing out the personal best of the whole child every day.
What’s your motto?
My personal motto comes from the last line of Tennyson’s famous poem Ulysses: To Strive, To Seek, To Find, and NOT To Yield.
What was your best academic subject when you were in school?
I’ve always loved English class, and I can still recite all the prepositions, in alphabetical order, from my 7th grade English class.
What was your favorite activity as a ten-year-old?
I have two older brothers, and we all loved sports and competing against each other growing up. Over the summer when I was ten (and they were twelve and fifteen), we created this game we called “Nerf Ball,” which was essentially indoor baseball played in the long hallway outside our bedrooms. Games were intense, lasted late into the night, and drove my poor single mom CRAZY!
What’s your favorite musical group and song?
I love an Australian R&B/Funk group called The Bamboos; their song Tomorrow is pretty strong.
What’s an obsession you have?
I agonize over LSU football games AND must complete the NYT Wordle every morning. Not sure if those are connected…