Mark Brooks

Welcome to MCDS! We hope you enjoy exploring our school and learning more about our student centered approach to education.

MCDS is a “world school” educating our students for the future, whatever that will be. Our engaging and enriching academic program includes an emphasis on visual arts, performing arts, and athletics. When asked to describe what makes MCDS different I respond without hesitation that “at MCDS we teach students how to think, not what to think.” 

We are guided by two key principles: 

  • Effort is generally more important than ability; and
  • Every child possesses an extraordinary capacity to learn

These tenets combined with our school mission are born out of a passion shared by all members of the MCDS community to fully engage with each other. The classrooms, science labs, maker space, choir, orchestra, band rooms – the entire school reverberates with students excited about learning from our world class faculty and each other.  

Our beautiful 40 acre campus adjacent to the Yahara River is a purposeful extension of the school mission. At MCDS, students forge lifelong friendships with their peers engaged in and helping each other discover the magic of learning together.

MCDS stands apart in Madison as a profoundly unique educational institution and I look forward to welcoming you here for a visit.


Mark A. Brooks
Head of School


Mark Brooks is currently the Head of School at Madison Country Day school (MCDS). Prior to leading MCDS, Mark served as Head of The Center for Early Education and Pilgrim School, both in Los Angeles. He holds an A.B. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. He is also a graduate of the Klingenstein Fellowship program at Columbia Teachers College. Mark served as president of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Board of Trustees and as a trustee of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and he served as the secretary of the Enrollment Management Association.  Mark currently serves on the board of The Principals' Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and on the ISACS Accreditation Review Committee, is a trustee of the Ahmanson Foundation and the Slingerland Literacy Institute, and is a member of the Head’s Collegiate Forum.



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