Offices & Resources

Head's Reflections

Doc Avis & Miss Pliscz: Inspiration for Generations of St. Markers
When I first arrived at St. Marks I was graciously welcomed into the Science Department by Doc Avis. I found him to be always supportive and encouraging and a good listener. Early on, in my first year, I asked if we could purchase an analog computer kit for the AP Physics students to put together, he approved it and took interest in what the device could do. Later on, the school installed our DEC digital computer, Doc Avis agreed it would be only available for student use, with an open door policy. He also agreed to modify the III Form Science course (required of all) replacing the physics trimester with computer science. This had many future ramifications, as students were able to study what the machine could do, the results of this policy you can find in the ranks of our alums.
Read more about Doc Avis & Miss Pliscz: Inspiration for Generations of St. Markers
Resilience and Adaptability: Our Daily Challenge
"Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good."
― Elizabeth Edwards

"Adaptability is the simple secret of survival."
―Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn

I have spent a lot of time this academic year repeating the mantra resilience and adaptability, two characteristics I value highly. Resilience, as commonly defined, is the capacity to keep going in the face of difficulty, and adaptability is the ability to adjust to new circumstances. I am proud of the way everyone in our entire School community―students, faculty, and staff―has displayed resilience and adaptability in the face of a multitude of challenges.
Read more about Resilience and Adaptability: Our Daily Challenge
2020 Convocation Talk: Becoming a Truly Antiracist School

Welcome to the 2020-21 academic year. Convocation is, typically, a time for us to gather physically as an entire School community and mark the beginning of an academic year. On this occasion, we welcome new members of our community, celebrate faculty milestones, and present student character prizes. A responsibility I treasure on this occasion is to offer some observations to help set the tone for the year.

Read more about 2020 Convocation Talk: Becoming a Truly Antiracist School
St. Mark's Spring 2020: Embracing a Remote Approach to School
When the news of the Novel Coronavirus (later named COVID-19) was first reported late in 2019, its worldwide impact was hard to imagine. Indeed, the impact on school operations was unimaginable to many of us even in early March when the only question we thought we needed to answer was whether the School's Spring Break travel programs—cultural and athletic—could proceed. Shortly thereafter, of course, the educational landscape changed radically. The focus immediately became how to develop an outstanding remote academic program, an outstanding approach to caring for our students, faculty and staff, and an outstanding approach to maintaining routines that would keep our community feeling together even while apart. We immediately recognized that the focus of our planning for the time of physical separation needed to be comprehensive: academic and personal, individual and collective.
Read more about St. Mark's Spring 2020: Embracing a Remote Approach to School
Some Reflections As We Start Remote Learning in the Time of COVID-19

As Margaret Wheatley once observed,
"It is possible to prepare for the future without knowing what it will be.
The primary way to prepare for the unknowable is to attend to the quality of our relationships, to how well we know and trust one another."
Here, blessedly, is where Episcopal schools are at their best—in knowing and trusting one another, in adhering to a clear purpose, our very reason for being.

-Dan Heischman, Director of the National Association of Episcopal School

Read more about Some Reflections As We Start Remote Learning in the Time of COVID-19
Prior to 2017-18
Head of School

508.786.6104
email

[Full Profile]

John Warren '74