Faculty Directory


Through the generous support of donors committed to educational excellence, St. Mark's is proud to have so many endowed Faculty Chairs. Listed below are the chairs and brief personal autobiographies.


  • Andrew M. Harris

    Recipient of the Independence Foundation Chair
    The school’s first endowed faculty chair
    Established by the Independence Foundation

    I enjoy many aspects of my work at St. Mark’s, but none more than coaching the girls’ varsity crew. Properly executed, the rowing stroke is fluid, natural, and efficient. Thus coaching is largely a matter of removing impediments, progressively improving a series of movements that rowers are equipped and motivated to perfect. It is my favorite form of teaching.

  • Karen Bryant

    Roland D. Sawyer Memorial Chair
    An endowed chair established by the former faculty member’s family and friends

    Teaching at St Mark’s is inspiring. I am surrounded by people who are passionate about their subjects and teaching, along with students who are discovering their passions. I have always loved Mathematics. I think that mathematics can be used to explain many aspects of our world and since the world is always changing, the way math is relevant is also changing. Teaching math at a school like St. Mark’s allows me to work with students in many different ways: in the math classroom, in the dorm and on the cross country course. It is exciting to help students see the beauty of mathematics and how it is applicable to all aspects of their lives. It is incredibly rewarding to have former students return and tell me how they use the math they learned here in their careers.

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  • Peter Glomset

    Recipient of the Weezie Foundation Chair
    Presented in memory of Lucile Thieriot Walker
    Established by the Weezie Foundation

    “Men do heartily wrong themselves when they refuse to be present in all ages, and neglect to see the beauty of all kingdoms, and busy themselves only with things at home.” This reflection, by the 17th century English writer Thomas Traherne touches the heart of my aims and pleasures as a teacher. I like to approach literary works from past centuries as a kind of travel, one that gives us an opportunity to encounter ways of thinking that are now foreign to us. I believe that students enjoy the challenges of broadening their horizons; in doing so, they gain an understanding of themselves, their own time and place--as well as of other times and places--that is near-impossible if they remain “busy at home.”

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  • David Lyons

    Recipient of the O’Neill Chair
    Recognizing the connection between St. Mark’s and George, Abby and Grover O’Neill
    Established by George O’Neill ’45, P’69

    Teaching at St. Mark’s provides me with a great opportunity to work in a supportive community that emphasizes excellence in the two arenas that I most enjoy: the classrooms and the athletic fields. Moreover, I get to work with a group of students that embodies the values that St. Mark’s holds most dear: curiosity, intelligence, hard work, independence, and compassion.

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  • Sarah McCann

    Recipient of the Tyler Chair in Creative Writing
    An endowed faculty chair used to support the teaching of creative writing
    Established by Sidney F. Tyler ’25

    My high school English teacher returned my first poem with the words, “Promise me you’ll be a writer.” That comment, the extra time she took to meet with me, and the enthusiasm we shared has kept me enthralled with the possibility of helping people through well-placed words, through poetry. I strive to encourage writers and creative thinkers at St. Mark’s as my teacher inspired me.

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  • Barbara P. Putnam

    Recipient of the William W. Barber Jr. Chair
    Presented in honor of Bill Barber, a former headmaster
    Established by alumni/ae and friends

    If there is a logical intersection between disciplines, it is the arts. My special interest is the woodcut, a relief printmaking method characterized by its directness and rich tradition. For me, the knife is a drawing tool that cuts, scratches, divides, and alters surfaces. I am interested in wetlands and ocean circulation, which present this and future generations with difficult issues of sustainability. I feel it is important for all of us to learn to see critically and to ask the sort of questions through our work that uncover new ideas and an urgency to pursue them.

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  • Rev. Barbara G. Talcott

    Mr. and Mrs. Mark Barlow Jr. Chair
    An endowed chair in honor of the former Head of School and his wife

    As a second-career teacher, I am immensely grateful for the courage, determination and patience--on the part of both others and myself--that allowed me to pursue this call to teaching at mid-life. It is just that kind of courage, determination and patience that I try to offer to my students and also develop in them. A great deal of flexibility and adaptability is demanded in any life, but I suspect that even more will be demanded in the lives of the students of this generation, as the world becomes dramatically more interconnected and interdependent. It is an exciting world we live in but also a volatile one, with rapid cycles of change that will ripple through my students' lives no matter what career and personal responsibilities they assume in the future. Skill at cross-cultural understanding, including cross-religious understanding, will be critical as they navigate this shrinking world. It is a privilege to help prepare St. Markers for the world that awaits them.

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  • Richard J. Umiker

    Recipient of the A. Watson Armour III Mathematics Chair
    Established by Mr. and Mrs. A. Watson Armour III

    Mathematics is a wonderful playground of patterns and puzzles, where new language is created and extended to serve in communication of logical reasoning. It is appealing and accessible at an elementary level and yet holds extraordinary complexity within its simplicity. Mathematics provides me opportunities to observe and guide young minds as they engage in exploration and discovery within a world of appealing internal consistency. While at St. Mark’s, I participate as broadly as I can as a teacher and athlete, in my faith, and as a learner. I appreciate mathematics as my primary tool for sharpening my own mind and for teaching my students how to think.

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  • Kenneth D. Wells III

    Recipient of the Richard A. Rader Chair
    Presented in honor of former faculty member Dick Rader
    Established by alumni/ae and friends

    I have always been keen on camping, hiking, and the outdoors, and these interests influence my perception of reality as “my big world.” Physics endeavors to understand an even bigger world in a particularly insightful way, and environmental sciences illuminate mankind’s role in altering or preserving that world. It is crucial for students to know how to understand and use science beyond the walls of their classroom, so I believe the best science education brings students from a theoretical understanding to a hands-on interaction that shows them they can make a tangible difference in their “big world.” Students may learn about energy and electric current in the classroom and lab, but when they use it to power the St. Mark’s solar-electric truck in competition, they see the complex interactions of the “big world” in action.

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  • Lee Prudden Wells

    Recipient of the Founder’s Chair
    Presented in honor of the founder of St. Mark’s School, Joseph Burnett
    Established by Mrs. Joseph Burnett

    What began as an act of rebellion has blossomed into a love affair with German. My parents wanted me to learn French, so I chose German. Outstanding teachers and professors and wonderful opportunities to study and work in Germany convinced me that German would play a larger role in my life. Enduring ties to host families and friends in Germany have deepened my appreciation of the language, the culture, the people, and the history of the German-speaking world. Hearing students communicate with one another, hearing of their adventures in a German-speaking country, and watching them come to appreciate the language fuel my continuing passion for German.

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