St. Mark's has a long tradition of ice hockey success, with 29 league titles and eight New England championships over 120 years of the sport at the School. There have been many St. Mark's skaters, young men and women, who have gone on to play at colleges and universities. A few have seen action on junior, national, Olympic, and professional teams, and a trio of Lions went on to NHL careers. Now two more St. Mark's hockey veterans will have that chance.
Around the Quad
2020-2021 marks the beginning of St. Mark's third year working in partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness (CCCSEW), as part of the School's commitment to Global Citizenship and the well-being of its Asian international students.
Anika Sukthankar, a IV Form day student from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was the recipient of a "Community Hero Award" from Reliant Medical Group this past August.
To facilitate the reopening of its campus and its ongoing curricular and extracurricular programs, St. Mark's has hired a group of qualified people to serve as Leaders for Educational and Operational Support (LEOS).
On Friday morning, October 2, the regular St. Mark's chapel service featured a much-loved annual tradition: the Blessing of the Animals. This year, of course, the service had to be virtual, so instead of pets lining up and being led down the aisle of Belmont Chapel, students, faculty, and staff sent in photos of their beloved pets.
Over the past several months, St. Markers around the country, current students and alumni of all ages have been responding to current events: speaking out and standing up to make a difference in these challenging times. Their voices are varied but their messages uniformly powerful. And St. Mark's has heard their voices and is responding.
This week, St, Mark's is welcoming back boarders and day students who wish to return to campus, while other students will still be taking classes remotely. In a recent letter to the St. Mark's community, Head of School John C. Warren '74 spelled out the preparations undertaken and the changes made in order to prioritize the safety and health of everyone involved:
On Tuesday, September 22, St. Mark's held its traditional installation of new faculty with a virtual chapel service. Twelve new teachers were recognized, and the Rev. Barbara Talcott, the School's head chaplain, delivered a sermon entitled "On Dignity."
On Friday evening, September 11, St. Mark's officially opened the 2020-2021 academic year with the traditional Convocation ceremony, this year shared virtually via Zoom.
This fall, veteran art teacher Barbara Putnam—entering her 42nd year on the St. Mark's faculty—assumes the mantle of Senior Teacher. This is an historic transition for the School, as Ms. Putnam will be the first woman to hold that title in the 150-plus-year history of St. Mark's.
1920 was a watershed year for St. Mark's School in many ways. For the first time, a process for financial aid support was introduced: meager perhaps by today's standards, but clearly a step in the right direction. That year also saw a significant renovation of Belmont Chapel, expanding it to accommodate increased enrollment and dedicating it as a memorial to those St. Markers who had served in the Great War. Another memorial to the fallen would have an even more substantial impact on the School and its philosophy. Today, St. Mark's proudly asserts in its mission statement that it "educates young people for lives of leadership and service." It was in 1920 that St. Mark's introduced its very first formal program of community service and outside leadership opportunity, when it began a collaborative relationship with Brantwood Camp in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
It has been a virtual summer, but that hasn't stopped St. Mark's alumnus Junseok Jason Hwang '19 from singing. Below is a link to his virtual prize recital after he earned second place in the International Korea-China vocal competition.
Special Olympics Massachusetts announced this month that St. Mark's has earned National Banner recognition for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. St. Mark's has been active in facilitating and hosting Special Olympics events on campus for the better part of two decades, and is currently recognized as a Special Olympics Unified Champion School. St. Mark's is receiving this National Banner honor as a result of meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect. An award presentation will take place at a later date, to be determined.
The summer of 2020 has been anything but ordinary, but at St. Mark's the faculty remain committed to professional development during their time away from the classroom. Throughout July, St. Mark's faculty members were deeply immersed in a special course entitled "Designing & Building for Student-Centered Hybrid Learning at St. Mark's." The faculty is now well-prepared to present the curriculum in both a fully-remote format and, when practical and safe, a hybrid model for 2020-2021.
John Mauro, who worked as a member of the St. Mark's staff for a record 58 years, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his family. He was 88.
Despite the loss of this year's varsity sports season, Sophie Student '20 was recently named a Senior High School Lacrosse All-American for 2020.
St. Mark's alumnus Allan Maca '83 is hosting a new National Geographic television series, Ancient China from Above, which makes its U.S. debut on Tuesday, August 11, at 10:00 p.m. EDT, 7:00 p.m. PDT.
On Saturday, July 18, the fourth annual Do Do's Garden Callender Avenue Mini Faux Folk Festival (DDGCAmFFF) was held. Over four-plus hours via Zoom, some 22 acts (28 individual artists) shared 46 songs. A number of the performers had St. Mark's connections.
In October of 2011, the St. Mark's Board of Trustees presented a Strategic Plan for the future. It focused on three major goals—increasing STEM opportunities, advancing global education, and creating a Center for innovation in teaching and learning—resolving to achieve these goals within a decade. The plan was called St. Mark's 2020.
When its 156th academic year gets underway this autumn, St. Mark's will welcome 11 new faculty members to the school community. Five will be teaching STEM subjects, four will be joining the Modern Languages Department, one will become part of the admission team, while another will be assuming the administrative responsibilities of directing the School's Community and Equity program.
The challenges of the virtual era have not impacted the production or the quality of student publications at St. Mark's. Earlier this month, the final editions of the Vindex, the St. Marker, and LEO appeared.
Former faculty member Mervyn Stewart Menzies Weedon, known as "Rob" to everyone, died peacefully at his home in Cary, North Carolina, on May 31, 2020. He was 95. Mr. Weedon taught English at St. Mark's for 32 years (1961-1993).
St. Mark's School's 155th Prize Day graduation ceremony took place on the morning of Saturday, June 6, via an online platform. Eighty-three VI Formers officially graduated from the School. An in-person ceremony will take place on campus next June.
On the morning of Friday, June 6, the traditional St. Mark's Baccalaureate Service was delivered non-traditionally to the St. Mark's community. Loris Adams, outgoing director of Community & Equity Affairs at the School delivered the Baccalaureate address.
On Thursday evening, June 4, the first part of the traditional St. Mark's Prize Day celebration—the presentation of individual prizes—took place via Zoom.
On the morning of Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the St. Mark's chapter of the Cum Laude Society held a virtual induction ceremony. Fifteen VI Formers were installed as St. Mark's newest Cum Laude honorees.
At the Prize Day ceremonies later this week, eight St. Markers will receive the first-ever Global Diplomas awarded by the School.
On Monday morning, June 1, 2020, the St. Mark's community celebrated the academic achievements of its students and bid farewell to departing faculty and staff.
St. Mark's History and Social Sciences Department Chair Adam Jewell has announced that Catie Summers '21 is the winner of the annual Shen Public Speaking Competition, held on Wednesday, May 27.
The first St. Mark's graduation ceremony, really a formal Baccalaureate service in Southborough's St. Mark's Episcopal Church where seven young men received diplomas (and none of them would go on to college), was held on Saturday, June 9, 1866. One month before, more than 300 miles to the west and north, in the small town of Waterloo, New York, a community-wide event took place, with businesses closing and the residents decorating the graves of their Civil War dead with flowers and flags. It was the first celebration of what would come to be called Memorial Day.
Head of School John C. Warren '74 has announced the schedule for Prize Day Week 2020. A series of traditional end-of-year events will be held remotely, from June 1 through June 6.
Alexandria "Ally" Bauer, a VI Form boarder from Natick, Mass., placed second at the 2020 Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair, held virtually this year.
It has been a very different experience for most of the 70-plus St. Markers playing intercollegiate sports this year. Not only were spring seasons abbreviated or cancelled outright, but many winter campaigns were cut short in the midst of tournaments or championship runs.
This spring, St. Mark's has kept its community vibrant and engaged in all areas of school life by staying connected through virtual platforms.
The St. Mark's Admission Office reports great success as it looks ahead to the 2020-2021 academic year. This coming fall, St. Mark's will welcome 105 new students, and 24 states and 15 countries will be represented in next year's student body.
Throughout the week of April 20, St. Mark's students, alumni, faculty, and staff participated in Poetry Week, creating, presenting, and sharing poems with the School community.
Engaging in hands-on work remotely creates obstacles for science students, but one creative band of St. Mark's engineers is taking a proactive approach to their subject, using the video game Minecraft.
Next year, 20 members of the St. Mark's Class of 2020 will be committed to participating in college and university athletic programs. Five will be in Division I, one will be playing Division II, and 14 will be suiting up for Division III programs. This week, these talented St. Mark's athletes are being recognized by the School.
During this time of remote learning, the visual arts remain an integral part of the St. Mark's curriculum. Veteran art teachers Barbara Putnam and Aggie Belt have been assigning art projects to their students and have been receiving the results of St. Markers' creative and resourceful efforts.
Theater arts has been part of the St. Mark's academic curriculum for 46 years now, and recent events have not stopped its momentum, but rather simply refocused its direction somewhat.
You might think that, given the limits of technology, group music classes, like team athletics, would be suffering the most during these demanding times. Yet James Wallace, director of music and art department head at St. Mark's, has kept the School's music program going by looking ahead.
Spring sports cancelled. No Groton games. No more in-person spring classes. No VI Form Dance. No Prize Day on campus.
Well, that was St. Mark's some 84 years ago, in the spring of 1936. You see, we've been here before.
At a creative remote all-school meeting hosted by the current Monitors, the new Monitors for 2020-2021 were announced.
For two weeks now, St. Mark's has been meeting the challenges of COVID-19 with a full schedule of remote classes, taught by St. Mark's faculty and attended by St. Mark's students, all online. Academically, the spring term has been fully underway. While sports, concerts, dances, and other traditional on-campus activities have not been taking place, regular Chapel services and all-school meetings are happening remotely, and they have included music, readings, and presentations from both students and adults.
Head of School John C. Warren '74 has announced that John Daves will join St. Mark's on July 1, 2020, as director of community and equity affairs. Dr. Daves is currently upper school principal at Carolina Day School in Asheville, North Carolina, and has previously served as dean of faculty at the Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey; director of diversity and inclusion and English teacher at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Indiana; and English teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy, Montgomery Blair High School, and Friends Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, April 7, St. Mark's hosted its first-ever virtual Revisit Day for prospective students and their families.
On Wednesday, April 1, at the first-ever remote all-school meeting, Dean of Students David Vachris announced Team Phoenix as the winner of the 2020 Quad Games. This year's Quad Games took place in early March, during the week before spring break. This is Phoenix's third Quad Games championship in the seven-year history of the annual intramural competition.
St. Mark's alumnus Sean Bellefeuille '15 is a talented entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of M3Dimensions, an innovative 3D-modeling company supporting veterinary surgeons. But the current concerns of these challenging times inspired a shift. Bellefeuille and M3Dimensions will now be creating lightweight, protective face shields for health care workers.
After an extended spring break, St. Mark's is back, albeit from a distance. Beginning today, classes resume through remote learning. The re-opening of learning at St. Mark's was launched by a morning chapel service on the Zoom platform, attended remotely by more than 250 members of the St. Mark's community.
Jack Griffin, a VI Former from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, has been selected as a delegate to the Society for Science and the Public's 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for his project on polymer science.