On Friday evening, September 13, the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) will honor St. Mark's Director of Admission Anne Behnke with its prestigious Everett E. Gourley Award.
The EMA is a national organization whose mission is to provide leadership and service in meeting the admission assessment and enrollment needs of independent schools, their students, and their families. It supports its members by offering the resources and tools that help enrollment leaders and schools thrive.
The Gourley Award, named for former Director of Admission and Assistant Headmaster of the Asheville School, Everett Gourley, is given each year to the educator whose interest in students and concern for colleagues is an inspiration to those who serve in admission.
Ms. Behnke is in her 16th year with St. Mark's and has worked in independent school admissions and enrollment since 1991. She is in her 10th year as an EMA Admission Training Institute faculty member and serves as an Admission Leadership Council mentor. She is also the coach of St. Mark's girls' varsity tennis team. Ms. Behnke is also a a past recipient of the Hilton Award, given by the Western Boarding Schools Association for her dedication and leadership in that organization.
She was nominated by several current and former colleagues, including St. Mark's Admissions Coordinator Laurie Kalapinski, who sang her praises. "Anne would be the optimal person to win this award. Based on the description, she embodies all of it. She is a true and tenured professional, well known in the admission world. She is both passionate and compassionate at what she does both for applicant and applicant families as well as all of our current families. She also goes totally beyond her job description as an admission director. She is very involved in the lives of our students. Anyone who knows Anne knows she is funny, kind, and very good at what she does."
The award will be presented at the EMA's annual conference in Washington, D.C.
"I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the Gourley Award than Anne Behnke," commented Head of School John Warren '74. "She is an extraordinary exemplar and communicator of the values of our School. Anne is amazingly kind and caring, making prospective parents immediately believe that St. Mark's will be, similarly, kind and caring."
"As a seasoned admission professional," Mr. Warren also observed, Anne helps admission officers both at St. Mark's and around the country grow, conveying infectious enthusiasm about the importance of the work they are doing, and about their abilities to serve their school in important ways."