The annual celebration of community and equity at St. Mark's highlighted diversity and identity in the School community.
Around the Quad
On Sunday evening, January 6, the St. Mark's student One Love Club hosted a One Love Escalation Workshop in the Center Presentation Room on campus.
On Thursday, January 3, nationally recognized equity and inclusion practitioner John Gentile visited St. Mark's. His visit was sponsored by the School's Community and Equity program.
Traditionally, the holiday break has been a busy and exciting time for St. Mark's teams. This December, two SM varsity squads—boys' varsity hockey and girls' varsity basketball—came away with championship titles in holiday tournament action.
Two St. Mark's faculty members—Dr. Laura Appell-Warren and Ms. Loris Adams—have recently taken on important leadership roles in national educational organizations, continuing their commitment to global and diversity education respectively.
This past week, St. Mark's held its annual Service of Lessons and Carols on Thursday evening, December 6, and again on Sunday afternoon, December 9. The service is considered a traditional Christmas event at many (if not all) Episcopal boarding schools, as well as numerous colleges and churches around the world.
On Friday evening, December 7, the SMLeads program welcomed Andrew Onimus from "Minding Your Mind" as a guest speaker.
Celebrations of the holiday season continue at St. Mark's.
Six students and three faculty members from St. Mark's attended the 2018 People of Color Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from November 28 to December 1, participating in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) there.
On Friday, November 30, St. Mark's kicked off its celebration of the holiday season with the annual "Deck the Halls" House Cup Songfest followed by the tree lighting on the VI Form Quad.
On Thursday evening, November 29, the award-winning documentary Science Fair was presented in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall. St. Mark's was selected by National Geographic Films to host this exclusive screening as part of a nationwide tour.
Six St. Markers have been accepted into the Central District Music Festival by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Ryder Henry '20, Grace Li '21, Waverly Shi '21, and Julian Yang '20 (all pictured here), along with Sophia Liu '18 and Richard Zhang '22 are the SM honorees.
In many ways it is the longest season, stretching as it does over five months, from late November through early March, but the winter sports season at St. Mark's can also be very exciting. Hopes are high for 2018-2019.
The very first St. Mark's School Thanksgiving was celebrated in Southborough, hosted by the School's Founder, Joseph Burnett, as two of the earliest students were his sons and it was not possible for their schoolmates to travel home and return during the brief time allotted to the holiday. So a Thanksgiving spread was served for all at the Burnett manse on Main Street: one school family, together giving thanks.
Powerful showings from the boys' cross country program and playoff-bounds seasons by both varsity field hockey and girls' varsity soccer provided drama and excitement for this past fall's sports season at St. Mark's, and all were highlighted at the recent Fall Athletic Awards ceremony.
In January, seven St. Markers will be inducted into the School's Cloister of Distinguished Alumni/ae. Mason Hammond '21, George Putnam '45, the Hon. C. Boyden Gray '60, Edward A. Taft '69, William B. Ewald III '72, Michael Boulware Moore '80, and Chrysanthe L. Gussis '87 will be honored. The induction ceremony will take place on Friday, January 25, at 6 PM in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall, following a reception and chapel service.
On Tuesday evening, November 13, St. Mark's celebrated 40 years of coeducation with a service in Belmont Chapel. The featured speaker was Alys Reynders Scott '85, the first woman to serve as president of the St. Mark's board of trustees.
On Wednesday, November 14, the St. Mark's varsity field hockey team defeated Williston-Northampton 3-2 in the quarterfinal round of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference Class B championship tournament.
On Monday evening, November 12, four local veterans visited St. Mark's for a Veterans Day presentation in Taft Hall.
This year's Fall Play at St. Mark's is "She Kills Monsters," a self-proclaimed "dramatic comedy" written by Vietnamese-American playwright and martial arts director Qui Nguyen. Performances will take place on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings—November 14-16—in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Black Box Theater.
With her dramatic overtime goal against Groton this past Saturday, Faith Jennings '19 sent St. Mark's varsity field hockey into the New England Prep School Athletic Conference playoffs. And with a 4-2 win against Groton, SM girls' varsity soccer is also headed to the NEPSAC postseason mix.
On Monday, November 12, the second presentation of this year's Gray Colloquium series—"Creating Change"— featured Bryan Linck Vice President of Outreach360 (formerly Orphanage Outreach).
This Saturday, November 10, St. Mark's teams will square off against opponents from Groton, continuing a rivalry that goes back 132 years. The two schools are once again vying for the coveted raccoon coat, while kicking off the year-long competition for the Burnett-Peabody Bowl. In 1886, the game was simply for bragging rights between the only two Episcopal boarding schools in Massachusetts.
The St. Mark's community is saddened to learn that longtime St. Mark's faculty spouse and former SM staffer Sylvia Wiedergott passed away on Thursday, November 1. She was 84.
St. Mark's Trustee Weekend this fall featured a number of important events. In addition to regular Board meetings, on Friday, October 26, the trustees gathered to celebrate faculty and staff at a special luncheon in Taft Hall, attended a service in Belmont Chapel, participated in the dedication of the new T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. '50 Athletic Performance and Wellness Center, and enjoyed the annual Founder's Associates dinner on the quad.
Just over two weeks remain until Groton Day and the dramatic close of another fall athletic season for St. Mark's. Two varsity teams—Boys' cross country and girls' varsity soccer—are leading the way for the Lions this fall, along with outstanding performances from several non-varsity teams, including a record-extending performance by boys' JV cross country.
The Class of 1945 Hall in St. Mark's Putnam Family Arts Center is one of the most acoustically perfect halls in the entire Boston area. In 2018-19 it will be new home of the Symphony Pro Musica, with four concerts by them this season, one including the New World Chorale, part of the new SOUTHBOROUGH SOUNDS concert series at St. Mark's.
In early October, St. Marker Connor Browder, a current VI Former from Greenwich, Conn., visited the Christa McCauliffe Charter School in Framingham to initiate a program to help with STEM education, particularly in the field of computer coding and engineering. Browder is taking the lead as part of St. Mark's SMCODE club, utilizing a Class of 1968 Fellowship Grant.
St. Mark's recently established a $100,000 Green Revolving Fund (GRF) designated for energy efficiency and sustainability projects with an attractive return on investment (ROI). The savings accrued from carefully selected projects are then returned to the GRF and used to fund future projects. The establishment of the GRF is a testament to St. Mark's vision and commitment to environmental and social sustainability, reflected in the School's Sustainability Strategic Plan.
On Monday, October 8, the diverse music ensemble LADAMA came to the St. Mark's campus. They gave a concert at lunch and then led a workshop during the co-curricular block in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Black Box Theater.
In an annual tradition at St. Mark's, on Tuesday, October 2, student and faculty pets were welcomed at the morning Chapel service for the "Blessing of the Animals."
From October 24 through 28, St. Mark's is taking part in Ally Week, hosted by the School's Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA). The GSA is one of the student-directed Pathways affinity groups at St. Mark's, part of the SM Community and Equity program.
On Friday afternoon, September 21, the annual St. Mark's Club Fair was held at the Putnam Family Arts Center, in both the Class of 1951 Lobby and Taft Hall. Representatives of a wide range of student activities staffed tables and were available to answer questions about their respective programs and to sign up potential participants.
On Monday evening, September 17, St. Mark's held its annual "Celebration of Education and Service of Installation" in Belmont Chapel, at the conclusion of seated dinner in the School's dining hall. Ten new faculty were welcomed, the 2018-19 St. Mark's choir made its debut, and the Rev. Barbara Talcott delivered a sermon entitled "Wisdom, Compassion, and Humility."
On Friday evening, September 7, the 2018-2019 school year at St. Mark's was officially opened by the traditional Convocation ceremony in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall.
After 40 years on the St. Mark's staff, William A. Wiedergott III retired. On Thursday, September 6, Custodial Services manager John Tedeschi and members of the School's custodial crew traveled to the Wiedergott house in Northborough to present their longtime colleague with an official St. Mark's chair to honor his retirement.
A week filled with returning student leaders, pre-season practices, registration, and orientation saw the 2018-19 academic year get underway.
The Rev. Barbara Talcott, Head Chaplain at St. Mark's since 2009, recently published an essay as a blog post for the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) website. Entitled "Explaining Episcopal Identity," it emphasizes three valued areas as exemplifying St. Mark's as an Episcopal School.
The proposed International African-American Museum (IAAM), planned for Charleston, SC, and led by CEO Michael Boulware Moore, SM Class of 1980, just this month celebrated a significant milestone. It surpassed its goal of raising $75 million to start construction.
For 98 summers, students from St. Mark's School have gone up to Brantwood Camp in Peterborough, NH, as volunteers working primarily with low-income youth. This year was no different. In addition to students volunteering their time, St. Mark's alumni and faculty are continually involved with the Camp in a variety of ways: as camp staff, trustees, supporters, and advocates to the greater community.
This summer, SM alumnus Greg Brown '86 was named an assistant coach for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League.
This spring, Paige LaMalva '20, a rising V Former from Southborough, was recipient of a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), sponsored by the Southborough Rotary Club. With this award, LaMalva was able to participate in a three-day leadership retreat at Fitchburg State University in June, along with as many as 200 other young people from across the region.
Over the past several years, Dean of Students David Vachris has hosted a series of "15-Minute Lectures" on campus. Each of these is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, alumni, or outside speakers to share their knowledge of and insights into a particular topic—sometimes trivial, sometimes momentous, and always interesting.
With the construction of the new T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. Athletic Performance and Wellness Center underway this summer, thoughts turn to the history of athletic facilities at St. Mark's and their evolution over a century -and -a -half.
The St. Mark's campus is busy this summer with new construction projects at various stages of completion. Highlighting the efforts to date is the work being done to create the T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. '50 Athletic Performance and Wellness Center. The Coolidge Center, scheduled to open in time for the 2018-19 school year, is designed to support academic success through fitness and conditioning.
"You think all this is important, but all that really matters is loving people and being kind" - Caitlin O'Hara, SM 2001 (pictured here)
Two SM alumnae—Jessica Danforth '02 and Alyssa Viano Baker '01—have begun "The Leo Project," an effort to provide supportive services, creative outlets, and opportunities not traditionally available to vulnerable youth in Nanyuki, Kenya. The Leo Project is a memorial tribute to the late Caitlin O'Hara '01, who passed away in December 2016 after a long battle with cystic fibrosis.
At St. Mark's, 2017-18 was among the most successful years overall athletically in the history of the School. All SM teams—varsity, JV, and 3rds—amassed a record total of 357 victories for an overall winning percentage of .600. To accomplish this, 28 out of the 47 St. Mark's teams (60 percent) posted records of .500 or better. Varsity teams won 59 percent of their scheduled games, for a total of 207 victories.