Mark Filippone is a staff member at the Philly Free School. Before moving to Philadelphia, he earned his degree in elementary education and worked at the Clearwater School (a Sudbury-model school) in Bothell, WA. After three years, he received the Clearwater School’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award (other notable recipients include Shawna Lee), and moved to Philadelphia with his wife and daughter. After briefly teaching for the School District of Philadelphia, he joined the Philly Free School founder’s group and has been working ever since to ensure that this type of educational opportunity is available to students in Philly.
Working in conventional schools only strengthened Mark’s belief that democratic schools are superior learning environments that allow students the time and space necessary to figure out who they are, what they want, and how to pursue their goals. He believes that students at Free schools prepare for life by living it, with full and equal rights and a tremendous amount of responsibility. He is happy to be part of this growing school community and looks forward to watching democratic education flourish in Philadelphia.