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Summit Foundation Announces Scholarship Donation of $150,000 for Inaugural Senior Class

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Update: Since this announcement in March of 2022, an anonymous friend of the Quicks donated an additional $108,000 and the Quicks increased their total to $175,000 to support the Class of 2022 Trailblazers, bringing the financial aid to a generous grand total of $283,000. Words fail to express our true gratitude.

Major Gift from Linda and Mark Quick Bolsters Scholarship Aid for the Class of 2022 to $214,000

The Summit Charter School Foundation, which raises vital funds to support Summit Charter School–a tuition-free K-12 public school in Cashiers, North Carolina–is thrilled to announce it has received $214,000 in scholarship funds to support its inaugural senior class. Affectionately known as the “Trailblazers,” Summit’s Class of 2022 includes 15 high school seniors from Jackson and Macon counties, who, to date, have received 36 offers of admission from 21 colleges and universities across the United States. The first-ever Summit High School Graduation Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at 3:00 PM in the Summit Center.

Trailblazer Scholarship

The Summit Charter School Foundation has received a transformational commitment of $150,000 from Linda and Mark Quick to fund the Trailblazer Scholarship, which is a multi-year scholarship opportunity for Class of 2022 seniors that exemplify Summit’s three pillars of its “Portrait of a Graduate” – Academically Prepared, Engaged in Community, and Strong in Character. Successful candidates demonstrate excellence in each of these pillars as reflected in their four-year holistic experience at Summit High. To be eligible to apply, students must have a minimum weighted GPA of 3.2, an offer of admission to at least one four-year college or university, and attendance at Summit from ninth through twelfth grade. The number of recipients and amounts will be determined during the application process based on both merit and financial need.

“At Summit, we strive to foster learning experiences that equip our students with the academic knowledge and skills, character, and sense of confidence to thrive in college and all their future endeavors. Summit offers each of our high school students and their families individualized college counseling as an essential component of our commitment to preparing each student with the choice to attend and the readiness to succeed in college,” states Kurt Pusch, head of school at Summit Charter School. “As we graduate our first high school senior class, we are incredibly grateful for the generous support of the Quick Family and our scholarship benefactors who have stepped forward to help ensure our graduates have access to a college education as they pursue their life goals and aspirations.”

About Linda and Mark Quick

The Quicks have been visiting and living in the Cashiers-Highlands plateau area for 20 years. They are very involved in the community and investing their time and resources into the students' lives at Summit Charter School. They feel the importance of investing in the local youth, giving them the opportunity to make higher education more affordable, and expand the number of high-achieving scholars. Linda Quick–a former Trustee of Summit Charter School and board member of the Summit Charter School Foundation–chaired the Foundation’s most recent Capital Campaign in 2016, which raised over $7 million to expand Summit from a K-8 to a K-12 school. The funds raised under her powerful leadership enabled Summit to pay off debt, construct phase-one of a high school building, and build the Summit Center, a multi-purpose facility for athletics and fine arts. The Foundation, which has to raise nearly 30% of the school’s operating budget on an annual basis during this critical growth period, remains debt free.

"We have been so impressed by the achievements of these young people, both as scholars and as citizens,” says Mark Quick. “They have earned every right to move along the path as trailblazers do. This won't be the last you've heard of them, and we feel lucky to be a small part of their journey. Maybe twenty years from now, you'll hear about the Class of 2022 awarding scholarships to another class of Summit students,” concludes Quick.

In addition to the Trailblazer Scholarship, the Summit Charter School Foundation is pleased to offer three additional scholarships:

STEM Scholarships

Two separate scholarship opportunities are available to graduating Summit Charter School seniors who are interested in pursuing a postsecondary degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education:

The Summit STEM Scholarship – a yearly $5,000 scholarship awarded to a graduating senior. This scholarship is made possible by an anonymous donor who hopes this scholarship fund will continue to grow for years to come.

The Strong Family Fund Scholarship – a four-year $10,000 per year scholarship awarded to a graduating senior. For the Strong Family Fund Scholarship, the awarded student must remain committed to a STEM related major and qualify for the scholarship each year. This scholarship is made possible by Kathy and Stan Strong, with their family.

Eligibility for each STEM scholarship will include: academic merit as demonstrated by GPA and rigor of high school coursework, financial need and how the scholarship will impact their opportunity to attend their ideal college, vision and goals in the STEM field as demonstrated through responses to required three 250 word essay questions.

One Summit Family Scholarships

Through the generous support and philanthropy of ten community members, a $1,250 scholarship will be awarded to every graduating student in Summit’s first high school graduating class. These generous scholarship funds were raised as part of the Summit Charter School Foundation’s 2020-21 annual giving campaign under the theme of “One Summit Family.” Each scholarship will be awarded in honor of a scholarship benefactor, which include the Altec-Styslinger Foundation, Sarah and Jud Chapin, Gerry and Allen Davidson, Carolyn and Don Glisson, Carol and Rob Hunter, Kathy and Joe Sanderson, Amanda and Don Sentell, Myfifident Foundation (Lisa and Derek Smith), Kathy and Stan Strong, and the Tickle Family Foundation (Barbara and Charlie Tickle).

To be eligible to receive the One Summit Family Scholarship, the student must successfully fulfill all Summit High graduation requirements necessary to be awarded a Summit diploma at the time of graduation on May 21, 2022 and must be enrolled in a college, university, or vocational school. Graduating seniors entering a non-degree or certificate program, such as the military, may submit a written request for alternative use of the scholarship award with explanation of how the funds will support the individual’s career goals.

College Counseling at Summit

As Summit grew from a K-8 to a K-12 school, school leadership recognized a clear and critical need for a comprehensive college access initiative to support its high school students. As such, Summit’s college counselor, Lauren Bennett, partnered with nationally recognized College Access Strategies, which specializes in strategic college access planning support for schools aimed at creating sustainable change.

“Summit’s approach to postsecondary advising centers on the individual student strength-passion intersection and aims to nurture student learning throughout the college planning process,” explains Lauren Bennett, director of college counseling and student experiences at Summit. “This strategic approach and our partnership with College Access Strategies has yielded extraordinary results. We are very proud of our trailblazing seniors and grateful for the tremendous financial support we have received from the community to ensure our students have resources they need to succeed in college and beyond.”

Summit’s commitment to their college access initiative has yielded positive results to date. 100% of students in the Class of 2022 have submitted one or more applications to a college or university. As of press time, Summit seniors have received offers of admission from Appalachian State University, Brevard College, Carolina Coastal University, Cape Fear Community College, Clemson University, Eckerd College, Flagler College, Guilford College, Hawaii Pacific University, Liberty University, Meredith College, Montreat College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), University of North Carolina - Asheville, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Pratt Institute, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Virginia Commonwealth University, Western Carolina University, and Western Carolina University Honors College.

Even with these generous scholarships, the majority of graduating seniors will have significant gaps from what they will receive and what they need financially to attend college. Donors interested in helping Summit students with life-changing scholarship funds may contact Melissa Hudson at 828-743-5755 or

About the Summit Charter School Foundation

The Summit Charter School Foundation raises vital funds to support Summit Charter School, a tuition-free K-12 public charter school in the beautiful mountains of Cashiers, N.C.

Summit’s mission is to engage students in learning experiences that stimulate discovery, inspire excellence, and nurture a positive influence in an ever-changing world. The school’s primary goals are to graduate students who are academically prepared, engaged in the community, and strong in character. A picturesque 33-acre campus and state-of-the art facilities provide an ideal setting for teachers and students to embrace high expectations, build meaningful relationships, and practice the seven virtues that comprise the Summit Pledge: “Each day in my words and my deeds, I will do my best to live these seven virtues: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, and Giving.”

For the 2021-22 school year, Summit serves 257 students and 45 faculty and staff. The student population represents five counties in western North Carolina. To learn more, please visit or call 828-743-5755.

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