Head of School Blog: Nurturing, Rather Than Stifling, Creativity
About the Author: Heather Mock
An engaging and energetic leader, Heather Bushnell Mock is the founding head of school at Compositive Primary. In her 21 years as an educator, she has come to view herself as a “warm demander” and has grown to embrace the social and emotional development of the student as the most effective means to success in academics and life. Heather’s experience covers the full primary through secondary journey, having taught and administered grades K-12. She comes to Compositive Primary from Dawson School in Lafayette, Colo. As associate head of school and K-8 director, she oversaw 270 students and 45 faculty members in both the middle and lower school divisions at Dawson. During her seven-year tenure, the school saw record levels of applicants, student retention and parental engagement. Prior to Dawson, Heather was an upper school class dean at Kent Denver School, shepherding the class of 2011 from their freshman year through successful graduation. She was responsible for everything from nurturing students’ academic achievement and character development, to serving as the main administrative point person for families and handling the logistical imperatives of class scheduling and discipline. Heather has also held teaching and/or administrative positions with progressively increasing responsibilities at The Maple Street School (Manchester, Vt.), The Head-Royce School (Oakland) and Sandia Preparatory School (Albuquerque). She has served on four Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS) reaccreditation teams and received multiple awards for excellence in teaching. Additionally, she has served on the boards of The Joshua School Boulder and Montview Community Preschool & Kindergarten. A graduate of The Spence School in New York, Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Princeton University and a master’s degree in elementary education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is also a graduate of the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) Aspiring Heads Institute. In addition, she attended the Harvard College Admissions Institute (2009) and spent a semester in Patagonia with the National Outdoor Leadership School (1992). Married with two teenage children, Heather is a marathon runner, has performed in community theater productions, and has been a certified Wilderness First Responder.