Next spring I will celebrate my 40th St. Mark’s reunion with the Class of 1979, and I am incredibly grateful that St. Mark’s has remained such an important part of my life – as an alum, a parent and a trustee – over those 40 years. Serving St. Mark’s is among my most rewarding commitments, and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of the Board of Trustees for the past two years.
I am particularly grateful to Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini and to my fellow trustees. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside David and his team to advance the School’s mission, and I have been overwhelmed by the support, commitment and generosity of my colleagues on the board as well as the entire St. Mark’s community. Throughout, we have tried to be ambitious, to build upon our strengths, and to look to the future with optimism and determination.
The 2017-2018 school year was marked by several important developments, including the following:
- Through the diligent efforts of our extraordinary science faculty, members of the administration, dedicated trustees, and our team of professional advisers and contractors, significant progress was made on construction of the Winn Science Center. We are on target to welcome students into this incredible facility when they return from Christmas break in January 2019.
- Goals for St. Mark’s IV, the latest iteration of the School’s strategic plan, has guided much of our conversation. David Dini and John Ashton have assigned responsibility for each implementation step and are monitoring progress closely. I expect that Goals IV will remain a focal point for the Board over the next several years.
- Last school year, the board focused particularly on financial aid, affordability and admissions, where we are seeking to attract and enroll the best possible student body, which will enhance the experience for all students.
- We also made progress on Character and Leadership Education, which is an essential component of Goals IV. A Character and Leadership Handbook was completed and distributed to faculty and staff at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 school year. This comprehensive document outlines the School’s Character and Leadership Education efforts from grades one through twelve.
- As part of our 10-year reaccreditation with the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, we completed a self study, which provided many opportunities for meaningful reflection and discussion across campus about how we can best serve our boys in the future.
It is with great enthusiasm and confidence that I pass the mantle of Board President to fellow Marksman Clark Hunt ’83. Clark has served as a Trustee for more than a decade, including as a member of the Board’s Investment Committee and Executive Committee. He and his wife Tavia have three children, including a Marksman in the Class of 2021. I know the Board is in great hands under Clark’s leadership.
On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Trustees, thank you for your continued and generous support of St. Mark’s. Your dedication makes a real difference in the lives of our boys and their teachers. With a talented and dedicated faculty, hardworking, well-rounded boys and an incredibly supportive community, St. Mark’s is poised to continue its great legacy into the future.