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The Mid-Pen Promise

A Strategic Plan for the Next Five Years: 2019-2024

It seems fitting that Mid-Peninsula High School is celebrating its 40th anniversary at the same time that the school is launching The Mid-Pen Promise. While we look back at the early days of our school and celebrate our successes over the past four decades, we are also looking to the future as we collectively shape the next chapter of Mid-Pen’s history.

Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year, the Mid-Pen Strategic Plan Task Force – a dedicated group of trustees, teachers, parents, and alumni parents – engaged in generative discussions, conducted visioning exercises, shared stories, and collected data. The group interviewed dozens of community members and educators from middle schools, high schools, and colleges. In January 2019, Design Day drew more than 80 Mid-Pen constituents whose thoughts and contributions sparked many of the central ideas in this plan. Along the way, we kept Mid- Pen’s mission and values at the heart of our work. 

We are excited to present a plan that builds upon our history and our many strengths to create a shared vision of Mid-Pen’s future and look forward to sharing our progress with you as we bring The Mid-Pen Promise to life over the next five years. 


WHEN MID-PENINSULA HIGH SCHOOL opened its doors in 1979, its founders were intent on creating a small, nurturing, student-centered school on the Peninsula. With public schools feeling the effects of reduced funding from Proposition 13, the need for a supportive, flexible school grew more urgent. Families on the Peninsula wanted an environment that put their children into relationships with expert and compassionate teachers as their children made their way through high school and into adulthood.

Forty years later, with enrollment growing, solid finances, and a strong faculty in place, Mid-Pen is in an ideal position to launch its new five-year Strategic Plan, The Mid-Pen Promise.

The plan will further enrich the student experience in myriad ways. The Mid-Pen Promise is focused on three platforms:

  • The Student Learning Experience
  • Support for Teachers
  • Access, Equity, and Excellence

Strategic Plan Task Force Members

Tim Biglow P '13
Trustee, Task Force co-chair 

Lisa Braun P ’10, ’12
Task Force co-chair, former Trustee 

Alan Cameron
Mid-Pen History Teacher, Cross Country Coach

Kris Chiongbian P ’21

Mike Foster P ’05 

Patricia Galligan P ’12 
Former Trustee

Merrilee Harris P ’15

Kathy Marek P ’20, ’21

Tara Theobald-Anderson 
Mid-Pen English Teacher

Andrea Thurber P ’08, ’14

Cammie Vail P ’18
Former Trustee

Shelley Willig P ’18
Former Trustee

Carla Silver
Consultant from Leadership+Design 

The Student Learning Experience

THROUGH THIS PLAN, Mid-Pen will enhance its strength–offering a deeply individualized education to a wide range of learners that balances knowledge and skills with student passions and real-world applicability.

The Mid-Pen Promise will reshape the student learning experience in the following ways:

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration among teachers that promotes student engagement and creates new course offerings
  • “Dragon Days,” immersive experiences in the arts, humanities, science, and technology that will provide time for students and teachers alike to pursue their personal interests in depth
  • An expanded four-year Core advisory curriculum that places social-emotional learning at the center of the student experience
  • A commitment to explore and implement project-based and experiential learning on campus and in collaboration with local entrepreneurs and businesses
  • A post-high school support program for our alumni

The Mid-Pen Promise also includes campus improvements:

  • A new 2,000 square foot addition to our campus for flexible, modern teaching and learning spaces
  • A redesign of our current classrooms to accommodate different physical and educational modalities that serve a broader range of learners and a variety of learning experiences


MID-PEN’S expert and compassionate teachers are the essence of our school. They inspire students to work hard and to dream big. The Mid-Pen Promise will enable us to attract, retain, and support the strongest educators from across the nation. From increased salaries to robust professional development funds, we will provide our teachers with the resour

ces they need to continue to make a difference in students’ lives in high school and beyond.

The Mid-Pen Promise will reward our faculty in the following ways:

  • Access to professional development in:
  • Project-based learning
  • STEAM fields
  • Teaching a variety of learners
  • Cultural Proficiency
  • Restorative Practices
  • A commitment to developing leadership skills and trajectories for career advancement through workshops, mentoring, and other professional learning experiences
  • Increased funding to support faculty and staff salaries


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE requires that students develop empathy and other key interpersonal skills to reach across differences in the worlds that they will inhabit throughout their lives.

At Mid-Pen, we build bridges among students, teachers, local communities, and the world around us. Mid-Pen’s commitment to inclusion starts with an admissions process open to a variety of scholars, artists, and athletes every year. The Mid-Pen Promise will allow us to deepen our connection with neighborhood families who enrich our local communities and Mid-Pen. From the moment students step onto campus for an Open House to the time when they walk across the stage at graduation, all students will feel at home at Mid-Pen.

Mid-Pen commits itself to making sure that everyone feels welcome on our campus in the following ways:

  • Cultural Proficiency training for trustees, students, and families to make Mid-Pen even more equitable and inclusive
  • Educational and recreational partnerships with local organizations that serve school-aged children
  • Establishment of The Mid-Pen Scholars Program for students who will be the first in their families to go to college


BUILDING UPON the culture of philanthropy at Mid-Pen, the campaign behind The Mid-Pen Promise will focus on people, programs, and capital improvements. We will be guided by an experienced consultant who will conduct research and interview key constituents to help determine the scope and sequence of our campaign efforts. We will cultivate individuals, foundations, and corporations throughout the campaign.

  • Hearts and Minds: Funding for teacher and staff support, financial aid, and program improvements
  • Brick and Mortar: Construction of an additional building and improvements to our current classrooms


MUCH OF THE WORK for The Mid-Pen Promise will follow the following timeline.

Conduct research, gather data, identify and pursue professional development. Prepare for campaign.

Implement initial curricular changes, launch campaign, and update classrooms. Launch alumni support program.

Begin construction of the new building and launch neighborhood partnerships. Establish the Mid-Pen Scholars Program.

Evaluate progress on curricular changes and continue to conduct research.

Complete the campaign and the new building.


AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION of Mid-Pen’s Strategic Plan, our students will be more joyful learners who have worked with inspirational teachers and who have had real-world experiences that will enable them to make an impact on their communities. Mid-Pen alumni will make the world a better, more compassionate place. Additionally, Mid-Pen teachers will be compensated in ways that reflect their true value, and they will continue to touch the future of every Mid-Pen student. Our campus will be revitalized, with an additional building and redesigned learning spaces, and our doors will open wider for new students. We will be a beacon on the Peninsula and a model for the future of learning.

Download a PDF copy of The Mid-Pen Promise, a summary of our five-year strategic plan.