I imagine everyone here tonight has decorated a space—a bedroom, a dorm room, an office—so that it reflects you. Those of you boarders moving into rooms in your houses here are going through that exercise now. Those of us who have offices and classrooms here at School go through that exercise often annually, continuing to add or subtract to what we and others will see. The choices we make about what to display are highly personal, and if the space we are decorating is frequently visited—like an office or a dorm room—the choices we make are often also influenced by messages we want to send to others about what is important to us—the parts of our identity, our passions, and our loves that we want others to see.
Our 2011 Strategic Plan, St. Mark's School: 2020, envisioned a Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning that would bring ever greater intellectual vibrancy to our School by inspiring professional growth in our faculty and by engaging St. Mark's in the broader educational dialogue about teaching and learning. I am pleased to report that Center Director Colleen Worrell, currently completing her third year in the role, has undertaken a number of initiatives to make that vision a reality.
John C. Warren, '74
Laura P. Appell-Warren
His Majesty King Sobhuza II (1967)
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
The safety of our students is my most important priority; nothing matters more to me. I am keenly aware of the trust parents place in the School to provide an environment that is safe, supportive and respectful. As consumers of media, we are all aware of boundary crossings in the workplace and of predatory behavior toward students at schools and colleges. Not surprisingly, I am frequently asked how we atSt. Mark's protect our students from abusive and unsafe situations. I am pleased to be able to answer these questions by describing an extensive and sophisticated array of policies and practices. At the same time, I know that we cannot be complacent about the topic, so we are constantly on the lookout for ways we can make our approach even better.
We have all seen the portrait of our School's founder, Joseph Burnett, on the far wall of the Dining Room, and I trust you have also noticed the relief sculpture on the wall just outside the entrance to Belmont Chapel. As with so much that becomes familiar, we can pass by these objects without giving them much thought. I hope that by telling you a bit about Joseph Burnett today you will develop the same respect and admiration I have gained for him. As I will explain, Joseph Burnett subscribed to certain admirable values that are familiar to all of us as St. Markers. Most importantly, though, he walked the talk: he acted in accordance with these values, leading a life of consequence and leaving a positive legacy that continues today.