The St. Mark’s campus once more came to life with the return of 911 boys and the beginning of its 117th school year. A rainy morning did nothing to dampen spirits as lockers were stocked, summer assignments submitted and homework folders organized.
Following several uncertain years from the tornado of 2019 to the ongoing global pandemic, many community members lauded the return of a “normal” first day of school. As the year kicked off, the entire campus community gathered in the Great Hall for Opening Convocation. The Upper School Band led the students in the singing of the Alma Mater, led by new band director Analisa Rodriguez.
Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini welcomed the boys and teachers back to school and offered some words of advice, borrowing from the words inscribed on the Path to Manhood statue.
“The first word on the base of that statue is ‘integrity,’” Dini said. “Remember that your integrity is the most important thing you have. It's developed one day at a time, in developing habits of positive behavior. Notwithstanding the pressures you may feel from the contrary, it's not what you achieve, but who you are that matters the most.”
Board of Trustees President Jeff Hillier ’76 also greeted the community and encouraged everyone to soak in their experiences at 10600 Preston Road.
“Enjoy your time here and seize every opportunity,” Hillier said. “And after you graduate, stay connected and give back to our alma mater. Take it from this old alumnus: you will get more out of that experience than you ever put in.”
Student Council President Sal Hussain ’23 recounted lessons he learned from Winnie the Pooh as a child and the importance of recognizing the individual value each person brings to the community.
“When I think about my last five years here, I certainly think about the memories I've had,” Hussain said. “But just as important are the people I made those memories with. The different personalities, talents and skills that so many of you have – it inspires me every day to be more myself.”
Jackson Cole ’16, who joined the faculty this year as an interim math teacher, recalled fond memories of his time sitting on the floor of the Great Hall as a student and shared the lessons he took with him.
“It can be tempting to equate our grades or our scores as metrics of our success as people,” Cole said. “How to define success and grow as a young man each day is one of the critical components of a St. Mark's education. Each of you must confront this individually during your time here. I feel confident though, that any one of your teachers, me included, would be happy to discuss more as the year goes on.”
The 2022–2023 school year began with 911 Marksmen on campus, including 408 in Upper School, 343 in Middle School and 152 in Lower School.