Offices & Resources

Deans' Weekly Newsletter

The Deans' Weekly is a weekly newsletter filled with news and information on the campus happenings for the week as well as upcoming events. The newsletter is distributed to parents and guardians of our students. Content for the newsletter comes from the Deans of St. Mark's and is compiled by the Dean of Students for distribution.

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St. Mark's is Gearing up for the Groton Winter Games this Weekend

Groton Winter Games Schedule
Saturday, February 23

Basketball - JV Boys vs. Groton (Away) - 1:45 P.M.

Basketball - Varsity Girls vs. Groton (Away) - 1:45 P.M.

Ice Hockey - JV Girls vs. Groton (Away) - 1:45 P.M.

Ice Hockey - Varsity Boys vs. Groton (Away) - 2:00 P.M.

Basketball - JV Girls vs. Groton (Away) - 3:15 P.M.

Basketball - Varsity Boys vs. Groton (Away) - 3:15 PM

Ice Hockey - JV Boys vs. Groton (Away) - 3:45 P.M.
*Note time change

Ice Hockey - Varsity Girls vs. Groton (Away) - 4:00 P.M.

[read more] about 2.22.19

Gray Colloquium to Host Former EPA Administrator

This week we are excited to feature our Gray Colloquium Coordinator, Ms. Sarah McCann. Sarah shares that Dr. Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on campus this Thursday, February 21, to speak to the School as a part of the Gray Colloquium program. This year's theme is "creating change."

[read more] about 2.15.19

Students Prepare for Opera Trip on Monday, February 11

Our special guest this week is VI Former Kennedy Petties. Kennedy has been hard at work organizing the Opera Trip on Monday, February 11. Learn more about this unique opportunity and special schedule details for early next week.
[read more] about 2.8.19

Be a Mentor on Career Day!

We are in need of job shadow volunteers for Career Day on Wednesday, March 6. Would you please consider participating or referring a fellow parent, friend, or colleague who would be a great mentor to our students?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be able to participate. To sign up, simply fill out this form.
[read more] about 2.1.19

Celebrating our Alumni Leaders

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The St. Mark's community is proud to recognize and celebrate seven St. Markers at the Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony on Friday, January 25.

St. Mark's Distinguished Alumni Award celebrates the achievements and contributions to society that have been made by many of our graduates. We look to these alumni as inspiration for future St. Markers to continue the tradition of living lives of consequence that began while they were students.

2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees:
Mason Hammond '21 (posthumously), George Putnam '45, The Hon. C. Boyden Gray '60, Edward A. Taft '69, William B. Ewald III '72, Michael B. Moore '80, Chrysanthe L. Gussis '87

To learn more about the honorees, select this link.
[read more] about 1.25.19

Is Your Student Ready for the New Semester?

Winter Weather Update:

Please be aware that Southborough is under a winter storm watch this weekend. Any updates regarding schedule changes will be communicated via the website and RAVE messaging system.

Any weekend activity cancelations will be communicated to students via an all-school email.
[read more] about 1.18.19

Dear St. Mark's Community,

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a great 2019. Prize Day will be here before we know it!

Tomorrow kicks off our first Saturday classes of the winter term and a lucky and fun Saturday night here at St. Mark's at our annual Casino Night. Please note that Casino Night is TOMORROW, Saturday January 5, from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m. Each year, a highlight for our students is the presence of parents at Casino Night. It's not too late to get involved.

We are still in need of donations of prizes for the event. Ideal prizes include gift cards as well as snack baskets. Donations can be delivered to the School c/o Caitlin Kosow ( Thanks for your support on a Community Weekend!

Age Quod Agis,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students
[read more] about 1.4.19

Dear St. Mark's Community,

All of us in the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Communications and Marketing (Dave, Mallory, Caleb, Sue, Sandra, Nick, Stacey, Sarah, Leah, and Caitlin) want to wish you all the best to you and your families during this holiday season!

It has been a couple of crazy weeks in December, culminating with Assessment Week. Thankfully we are finishing 2018 in strong fashion and look forward to the continued communal support throughout 2019. In particular, thank you for the Exam Bake (one student mentioned that Exam Bake was one of her favorite events at SM!) with the array of very popular food ... cookies, cupcakes, drinks, fruit, and so much more. The students were very appreciative to everyone who organized and supplied all of the treats. Look forward to Casino Night in January as well as many other community-building events!

Age Quod Agis,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students

[read more] about 12.14.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

I am constantly reminded how talented our students are. Thursday night's Service of Lessons and Carols was the latest of these reminders--a festive holiday occasion with beautiful singing and music. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Mr. James Wallace, his crew, the Religion Department, and the Choir for their work in putting this service together at a very busy time of year. If you are close to campus this weekend, we invite you to the community service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 9, at 4:00 p.m.

In addition, the very popular Exam Bake--held each year during Assessment Week--will take place on Tuesday, December 11, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. This event is made possible thanks to the outstanding work of the Parents Association. The second exam block will take place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and students will have an opportunity to grab a well-deserved treat after their afternoon exam.

Finally, the Wellness Department will be sponsoring the highly anticipated Puppy Pet on Wednesday, December 12, at 3:30 p.m. on the Athletic Quad.

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students

[read more] about 12.7.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

I hope that everyone had some time with family and friends during last week's Thanksgiving break. We have much to be thankful for and we appreciate your continued support of the work we all do here together at St. Mark's. A lot is happening on campus as we are moving into December and the end of the calendar year.

Exam Bake is coming! The Exam Bake will be held this year on Tuesday, December 11, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Hinkle Room. The students love the opportunity to take a break from tests and studying to enjoy a spread of goodies including sweets and healthy snacks, too! You (the parents) make it happen--thank you! If you are able to help the Parents' Association in any of the following ways, please sign up via the SignUpGenuis page. More information can be found in the Parents Association News section.

For those planning ahead, Lessons and Carols for the St. Mark's community will take place on Thursday, December 6. This is a Chapel Dress event. Lessons and Carols will follow Evening Meal and we will have dessert, including the VI Form-Faculty Dessert, after Chapel.

All are cordially invited to St. Mark's Service of Lessons and Carols, on Sunday, December 9, at 4:00 p.m. in Belmont Chapel. This is a high point of our Chapel year, and we hope that you can experience this SM tradition.

On a different note: To help ensure the safety of our community and prepare ourselves best we can for potential emergencies, we will be performing an emergency lockdown drill on Tuesday. Students were made aware of this in School Meeting on Wednesday, and a reminder email with the basic process steps will be sent out Monday morning. We will use our RAVE notification system to initiate the drill and to then gather everyone together.

Age Quod Agis,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students

[read more] about 11.30.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

Thanksgiving break is here, and we are all very thankful! We are also thankful for field hockey and girls' varsity soccer qualifying for the playoffs and for the awesome and popular production of the Fall play, "She Kills Monsters." It's been a busy week with a Gray Colloquium speaker (Go Outreach360!) on Monday, Evening Chapel on Tuesday and the Fall Athletic Awards on Thursday. Unfortunately the Race of Champions on Saturday has been canceled! (Sorry Grant, Hans, and Natalie!). Please check the SM website for more information about these events and more on campus!

Our next Parent Speaker Series meeting of the year will be held this Saturday, November 17, in the Hinkle Room. The gathering starts at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and connecting, followed by the program at 10:00 a.m. November's topic is "Educating the Whole Child: Developing Good Habits and Instincts Outside the Classroom." After a welcome from Head of School John Warren, you will hear from Dean of Students David Vachris and Head Chaplain and Religion Department Chair Barbara Talcott. If you are unable to join us on campus, please save this link to watch the meeting via livestream.

For Thanksgiving, students may depart after SM Saturdays on November 17, and our houses close at 5:00 p.m. Boarding students return in time for evening study on Monday, November 26, and school resumes for all on Tuesday, November 27. The Houses are closed on Sunday, November 25.

At this time, I am reminded how much I have to be thankful for as a member of the St. Mark's community. While our collective lives here on campus can seem to be a little hectic at times and world events outside of Southborough continue to be concerning, I continue to appreciate the support from parents, faculty/staff, and students and the many positive things that continue to happen here on a daily basis. I hope that your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving and a restful break. We all have much to be thankful for!

Age Quod Agis & Happy Thanksgiving,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students

[read more] about 11.16.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

Groton Day is almost here! The Monitors and additional members of the campus community are busily preparing for the pep rally and the bonfire tonight in celebration of our rival competitions. Tonight's bonfire will be a rainy and wet experience, which is appropriate for the type of fall we have had in New England. Keep your fingers crossed that will be able to proceed as planned.

On Saturday, the Groton Games will be held at Groton and at Progin Park (please see updated schedule below) and our cross country teams are off to Avon Old Farms and Governor's Academy for the Cross Country New England Championships.

Groton Day Schedule:
  • 7:30-9:00 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 8:45-11:15 a.m. - SM Saturdays
    *Please note the earlier start time for SM Saturday Programming
  • 11:15 a.m. - School Meeting followed by the traditional Snake Dance
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Lunch
The following games are on as scheduled with time changes for field hockey:
  • 1:30 p.m. - Football @ Groton
  • 1:30 p.m. - Varsity Field Hockey @ Groton
  • 3:00 p.m. - JV Field Hockey @ Groton
The following games will be played at Progin Park in Lancaster. Games will be played on fields #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • 2:30 p.m. - Varsity Boys' Soccer vs. Groton @ Progin Park
  • 2:30 p.m. - JV Boys' Soccer vs. Groton @ Progin Park
  • 2:30 p.m. - Varsity Girls' Soccer vs. Groton @ Progin Park
  • 2:30 p.m. - JV Girls' Soccer vs. Groton @ Progin Park
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3rds Boys' Soccer vs. Groton @ Progin Park

Go St. Marks! Beat Groton!

Age Quod Agis,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students
[read more] about 11.9.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

With the close of Window One, the first major college application deadline, and Halloween behind us, we hope that all will be able to catch their breath (albeit short) over the course of this Open Weekend.

The Admission Office had a great event this week with Explore St. Mark's Day. More than 60 families came to campus for this open house and heard from faculty, students, current parents, and coaches, and had the opportunity to learn more about core curriculum, signature programs, community life, academic programs, the arts, and athletics. Thank you to all of our amazing parent volunteers who helped out with the day!

[read more] about 11.2.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

Family Weekend was a successful community event. Thank you to everyone who took the time to be with us here in Southborough either physically or in spirit. On the playing fields, the Lions were victorious in many of their contests and the long weekend provided a much-needed respite as we get ready for the end of the academic Window, Trustee Weekend, and the early college application deadlines.

This evening, we held the dedication of the T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. '50 Athletic Performance and Wellness Center. Next week, students and faculty will show off their appropriate costumes for Halloween on Wednesday and many others will continue to root for the Red Sox in the World Series!

Lastly, in an effort to continually improve the School's programs, we welcome your feedback on this past weekend's activities. Whether you attended or not, please take a moment to complete this survey.

On behalf of the faculty and staff, thank you for the apples! What a great fall treat!

Age Quod Agis,
David R. Vachris
Dean of Students
[read more] about 10.26.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

It's Family Weekend! Lots going on tonight and tomorrow, so please make sure you register in the Hinkle Room upon your arrival to campus.

Family Weekend Highlights:

  • Teacher Conferences
  • Family Gatherings
  • V Form College Weekend
  • Family Weekend Concert - Watch the concert via livestream here.
  • All-Parent Meeting
  • JV Boys Cross Country Team Milestone - This Saturday, our runners will be vying for the program's 50th straight win. An amazing record -- Go Lions!

I'm looking forward to seeing many of you on campus – particularly at the visual and performing arts events Friday in the PFAC! Please select this link for the full weekend schedule.

Age Quod Agis,

David Vachris,
Dean of Students
[read more] about 10.18.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

It's mid-October and after a run of rainy and damp days, we are looking forward to some sunnier weather in New England, with Family Weekend coming up next weekend, followed by Trustee Weekend.

As we get closer to Family Weekend, please encourage your child to take care of her/himself by getting rest, eating properly, and self-advocating when necessary.

October is a a very full month and we are looking forward to seeing many of you next week!

Age Quod Agis,
David R. Vachris
Dean of Students
[read more] about 10.12.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

On campus, days have been very busy as we head toward our much anticipated Family Weekend in two weeks. During the beginning of the week, the community took part in an annual St. Mark's tradition, the "Blessing of the Animals," at our morning Chapel service on Tuesday. Later in the week on Thursday, the first Gray Colloquium speaker, Dr. Shivani Bhalla, shared her message on the importance of lion conservation. After an exciting week, many students are looking forward to tomorrow's "sleep-in" Saturday (except, perhaps, those taking the SATs).

Age Quod Agis,

Dave R. Vachris,
Dean of Students

[read more] about 10.5.18
Dear St. Mark's Community,

Happy end of September! We are in full swing with classes, sports, activities, conversations, meetings and meals. Many are tired (both students and faculty) and some have picked up an unpleasant "start of school" cold. In some ways the newness of the year has worn off a bit and the weather has not cooperated (then again, this is New England). Nevertheless, for the most part we are into our school routine, staying the the stretch zone, and doing well.

Please note that we are deliberate in producing this newsletter as the Deans'Weekly (notice the apostrophe), not just the Dean's. As with many other projects in our community, we have many people contributing to making this communication a reality. That said, I continue to be energized about the vibrancy with which this community operates, and I hope that this newsletter is helpful in keeping you abreast of the many happenings on campus!
[read more] about 9.28.18

Dear St. Mark's Community,

Over the past few weeks, Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, and the gas leaks of the Merrimack Valley have affected our St. Mark's families across New England, the nation, and the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you recover, rebuild, and move forward.

Here on campus, I'm proud to report a continuous flow of positive energy and excitement. The week began with the new faculty installation at Monday's evening Chapel. Mr. Warren, Rev. Talcott, and the Monitors welcomed and installed our newest faculty members. To learn more about these wonderful individuals, select this link.

This afternoon, the School hosted its annual Club Fair where students are able to create, sponsor, and participate in a variety of activities and organizations. If you are interested in viewing footage from the fair, please follow us on Instagram or check out our photo galleries on Smugmug.

All the best,

David R. Vachris
Dean of Students

[read more] about 9.21.18