Title: Principal – University Scholars Program
At PALCS Since: 2009
Education: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Texas State University
Master of Arts in International Management, Baylor University
Education Certification, Eastern University
Brief Biography: Mr. Stiles’s father was a fighter pilot in the Air Force, so he grew up globe hopping between various states and other countries such as Germany, South Korea, Japan and Panama. He first realized the importance of education when he saw his mother’s efforts to go back to college and earn her degree. He remembers attending her graduation when he was in 4th grade. It was a pivotal moment for him to see how her education empowered her. Later, after earning his bachelor’s and first master’s degrees, Mr. Stiles served as a volunteer in Mexico. It was on the “frontera,” or border, of Mexico that he was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful young woman from West Chester, Pennsylvania. They were married a year later and now have five awesome children. Providence found him again in 2009 when he met Jane Ferris, former director of the University Scholars Program, who told him about the Advanced Ideas Center (AIC), “where tomorrow’s leaders come to grow, thrive, and prosper in a vibrant community of learners.” Mr. Stiles jumped at the chance to join the team of teachers, parents, and students working together to forge students into scholars, and scholars into leaders.
Vision for PALCS: “One of the very best features of PALCS and cyber education is the flexibility inherent in the educational model. This flexibility allows students to become more than they might have been if they stayed in a traditional school. In our area of Pennsylvania, we have some terrific public schools, but even in the very best of these, traditional schools are sometimes still working on the old industrial model of education where students move through as if they were on a conveyor belt, as if their most defining feature is the date they were born. For the many students, this model can work well. Four of my five children are thriving at our local public schools, for example. However, one of my children is here at the PALCS/University Scholars Program. For this child, and hundreds like him, the traditional school model puts artificial limitations on growth that can limit achievement and creativity. Here at PALCS/USP, and our sister school, the Center for Performing and Fine Arts (CPFA), students are not on a conveyor belt. Together with their parents and teachers, young people can craft an education that will meet their needs, and one that is tailored to their dreams.”