The 2018-2019 school year marked the first half of my two-year tenure as President of the Board of Trustees. Serving St. Mark’s in this capacity has been an immense honor for me and my entire family. Since my arrival on campus in 1971 as a first-grade student, to my time as alumnus, parent, and Trustee, I have witnessed our community come together to create new opportunities for our great School. This past school year was no different, as we opened buildings, added new programming, strengthened existing programs, and continued to build on our strong foundation.
St. Mark’s is now more than 113 years old, and, as we face recent challenges, we are especially grateful for the thoughtful work of the dedicated leaders and generous benefactors who have come before us. We face these challenges from a position of strength and remain inspired to continue this legacy. Goals for St. Mark’s IV, the School’s strategic plan, remains a guidepost for our work, and we made significant steps regarding many key programs in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In the coming years, our work will be complex, but the strategic initiatives outlined in Goals IV will remain our focus.
I am pleased to highlight several important developments from the 2018-2019 school year, including:
- Great progress was made on Character and Leadership Education, an essential component of Goals IV. Our Character and Leadership Handbook and an accompanying website were distributed to our parents and alumni, along with several teaching digests, which were created for our English curriculum.
- We launched a subcommittee of the Board, which will work with the Administration to study enrollment, access, and affordability at St. Mark’s and ensure the School has the resources necessary to assemble the most qualified student body from a broadly diverse pool of applicants.
- Thanks to the commitment of our entire community, we successfully opened the doors to the Winn Science Center in January 2019, and we rededicated the renovated McDermott-Green Science Building in August. I am pleased to report that the project was completed on time and on budget, and we were able to fund the project without incurring any debt. Already these important spaces are allowing for innovations in the classroom and opportunities for student programming in science and other disciplines across campus.
- The Board worked closely with the School to support our 10-year reaccreditation with the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. We completed this effort last fall with a positive report from the Visiting Committee, which highlighted many of the qualities that differentiate St. Mark’s and reinforced several of the opportunities prioritized in Goals IV. As a part of this process, our Board Committee looked at several opportunities to improve our own processes, and we continue to evaluate our work as a governing body to strengthen our support of the School’s leadership.
I want to thank David Dini for his incredible leadership throughout the year and the recent storm recovery. We are in very good hands with David and his team.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you for everything you do for St. Mark's. Your dedication makes a difference in the lives of our boys and our faculty. It is an honor to join you in serving this great School.