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.
Service at St. Mark's
St. Mark’s provides students with a wide range of service opportunities, both locally and globally, to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Current community service programs include a variety of local tutoring and mentoring opportunities, service work during St. Mark’s Saturdays and Lion Term, and the St. Mark’s Global Citizenship Program that includes volunteer opportunities at Brantwood Camp and partnership with Dominican Republic elementary schools through Outreach 360. Through this service, students build intercultural knowledge and competence, gain an appreciation of personal and cultural differences, and develop leadership skills through collaboration and teamwork.
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.
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.
While remaining at home like so many others during these challenging weeks, some members of the St. Mark's community are using their time to help make a difference. Two from St. Mark's—a student and a staff member—are among those making face masks to help address the shortage of those essential items, supporting the needs of health care workers and medical facilities.
On Wednesday, February 12, Douglas Sutherland, the new executive director of Brantwood Camp, visited St. Mark's. He addressed the St. Mark's community at the all-school meeting that morning, and he made himself available for questions and conversation at lunch.
Wednesday, February 4, was Play for Haiti Day at St. Mark's. It was a day to raise funds to benefit St. Mark's longtime partner school: Ste. Marguerite's in Haiti, under the auspices of the Haiti Partnership Committee at St. Mark's.