The 2019-2020 school year marked the conclusion of my two-year tenure as President of the Board of Trustees. It has been a tremendous honor for me to serve the St. Mark’s community. I am grateful for the opportunity to work closely with so many outstanding men and women who are dedicated to the future of our great School.
Without a doubt, the 2019-2020 school year will be remembered as one of the most challenging periods in the 114-year history of St. Mark’s. From the devastating damage to our campus caused by the tornado in October to the ongoing disruption brought on by the pandemic, it was a year of unprecedented adversity.
But in the face of these historic challenges, the students, faculty, administrators, parents, and alumni of the St. Mark’s community met each obstacle with resilience and perseverance. Thanks to the leadership of David Dini and his team, St. Mark’s welcomed students back just 10 days after the tornado ripped through the northern portion of campus. It was nothing short of a Herculean effort to restore operations swiftly and effectively, and it was an impressive show of resolve by everyone involved.
To date, with the exception of the Hicks Athletic Center and the Hill Tennis Center, nearly all affected areas of campus have been remediated or reconstructed. Additionally, planning continues on the replacement of the damaged athletic facilities which will allow us to reimagine the north side of campus.
Five months after the disruption brought on by the tornado, our School managed through another unprecedented challenge with the pandemic. In mid-March, on-site classes were suspended and students, faculty, staff, and the administration worked diligently to make the shift to remote instruction. Although far from the typical on-campus experience, the students and faculty adjusted quickly and admirably to the new normal. Many of the traditional spring-semester events had to be cancelled or conducted virtually. However, the class of 2020 was able to enjoy their commencement ceremony in person at a socially distanced event in July.
Despite the obstacles presented over the course of the school year, progress on Goals IV continued. After several years of planning, the revised daily school schedule was completed and ready for implementation at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, considerable progress was made on the campus master plan, and the board of trustees and administration initiated work to enhance access and affordability for future students. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not also complement our athletic teams for their exceptional performances earning four SPC championships even without the benefit of the spring athletic schedule.
Serving as President of the Board of Trustees has been an incredible honor, and it has only deepened my appreciation for St. Mark’s and the men and women who work tirelessly to make it an elite institution. David Dini is a remarkable leader, and the future of our School is bright in the capable hands of David and his team. Thank you for the opportunity to work alongside such a talented and dedicated group of people.