St. Mark's School of Texas

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St. Mark's School of Texas
Courage and Honor
Dallas, Texas, United States
Coordinates 32°53′25″N 96°48′03″W / 32.890363°N 96.800762°W / 32.890363; -96.800762
Type Private, Non-sectarian
Established 1906
Headmaster Arnold E. Holtberg
Faculty 125
Number of students 845
Campus 40 acres (160,000 m2)
Mascot Lions
Athletics 17 sports

The St. Mark's School of Texas is a nonsectarian preparatory day school for boys located in Dallas, Texas, USA. The School offers grades 1–12.


St. Mark's developed from three preceding private schools: Terrill School (1906–1944), Texas Country Day School (1933–1950), and The Cathedral School (1944–1950). The school traces its earliest history to Mr. Terrill's school, which is considered the city's first effort to create a private school that could rival its East Coast counterparts. The Terrill School served as a base for the foundation of the Episcopal-associated Cathedral School, which then merged with the nonsectarian Texas Country Day.

The St. Mark's founders decided to make the school nonsectarian, with nondenominational Chapel services led by an ordained Episcopalian Chaplain. The school officially opened as St. Mark's School of Texas in 1953. The Hockaday School for Girls, founded in 1913, became the sister school to St. Mark's.

The school today[edit]

On its 40 acre-campus is an array of buildings, most of which are named after well-known Dallas families. Texas Instruments' co-founders Cecil H. Green and Eugene McDermott donated a math and science quadrangle, the main library, the greenhouse, the planetarium and the observatory.[1] Shortly after those buildings' completion in the 1960s, Time magazine called St. Mark's the "best-equipped day school in the country."[volume & issue needed]

In more recent years, the natatorium was named in honor of Ralph Rogers;[2] the Lamar Hunt family donated a football stadium, and Tom Hicks funded a new gymnasium. The Roosevelt family contributed a carillon in 2005 and a pipe organ in 2013.[3] Spearheaded by a $10 million donation from the family of Harlan Crow,[4] the Centennial Project had raised over $100 million as of May 2013. The Project has already led to two new state-of-the-art academic buildings: Centennial Hall, housing the Math, English, History, and Administrative Departments; and the Robert K. Hoffman '65 Center, housing the Language, Debate, Journalism, and College Counseling programs, in addition to the Student Store and Senior Lounge.[5]


Its 849 students are spread across first through twelfth grade, and the overall student/faculty ratio is 8:1. Of more than 120 faculty and administrative members, 92 have advanced degrees, including nine with doctorates. More than 30 faculty members have been at the School 20 years or more. There are twelve endowed teaching positions, including nine endowed chairs.[6]

Among the 82 graduates in 2011, 22 were National Merit Semi-Finalists, and 35 others were Commended Students. Over the past 5 years, St. Mark's has had a higher percentage of seniors being named Semi-Finalists (28.4%) than any other school in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region.[7] The median SAT for seniors in 2011 was 2130 on a 2400 point scale.

St. Marks seniors have been regularly recognized by the Presidential Scholars Program. St. Marks has had had seven winners since 2003.[8] In 2013, a student also won the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award, one of 18 winners from around the country.[9]


St. Mark's organizes 17 varsity sports teams that compete against similarly-sized private schools in the Southwest Preparatory Conference.[10]

Several of these teams have enjoyed significant success within the 18-team SPC and in broader competitions. Lacrosse won the state championship in 2013 after having reached the state final four six of the prior seven years. Swimming, led by coach Mihai Oprea, won its 17th conference title in 18 years in 2013.[11] Wrestling finished third at the 2013 SPC tournament after having won 14 consecutive conference titles. Until his retirement in 2012 after 30 years at the school, Rick Ortega led 13 St. Marks wrestling teams to state championships (for both public and private schools) and coached 67 individual state champions and 62 prep All-Americans.[12] Track and Field, coached by John Turek, finished third in SPC in 2013 after having won nine consecutive SPC championships through 2012, and Cross Country won its first state championship since 2007 in 2013.[11] Crew won state championships in 2011, a second in 2012, and a state championship in the full-weight double in 2013. Water polo finished among the top 4 in the state for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. After not winning a conference title in 27 years, soccer won SPC in both 2012 and 2013.

Overall, through the 2010-11 school year, St. Mark's has won 10 consecutive SPC Director's Cups.

See also

Extracurricular activities[edit]

All three school publications won 2013 Gold Crowns, the highest award given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.[13] The yearbook, the Marksmen, won its fifth straight Columbia Gold Crown, and sixth in eight years. Also in 2013, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) named the yearbook one of seven national winners of its Pacemaker Award (for yearbooks over 337 pages).[14] The school literary magazine, The Marque, also won a Gold Crown in 2013[15] after last winning a Gold Crown in 2007.[16] In 2013, the NSPA also named the magazine one of a dozen finalists for the national Pacemaker Award.[17]

The school's photography program has been named best in state by the Association of Texas Photography Instructors for seven consecutive years (2007–2013).[18]

The local press has noted ways in which St. Mark's blends in and differs from the rest of Dallas.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Eugene McDermott biography[dead link], Missouri Southern State University
  2. ^ Rogers donation article
  3. ^ St. Mark's School of Texas ~ Roosevelt Gift to Fund New Pipe Organ
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ St. Mark's planned development
  6. ^ St. Mark's School of Texas ~ Tenure & Makeup
  7. ^ National Merit Semi-Finalists: 2008-2012 Cumulative Totals - plus 2013 NMSFs (Dallas: catholic schools, universities) - City-Data Forum
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ St. Mark's School of Texas ~ Prestigious Recognition for Senior
  10. ^ SPC Sports
  11. ^ a b Spcsports.Org
  12. ^ February 2012
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  14. ^ NSPA - Contest Winners
  15. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Columbia Scholastic Press Association : 2012 Scholastic Crowns
  17. ^ NSPA - Contest Winners
  18. ^ [4][dead link]
  19. ^ D Magazine : The St. Mark’s Mystique
  20. ^ a b Steve Miller did not actually graduate from St. Marks' the school gave him an honorary diploma./story?oid=oid%3A107855 "Texas Top 40", Austin Chronicle, 8 November 2002.
  21. ^ Lieber, Dave (C'79). "Don't Mess with Texas Monthly." University of Pennsylvania Gazette. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  22. ^ Kennedy, Randy. Obituary of Robert Hoffman, The New York Times, 22 August 2006.
  23. ^ Biography page for Tommy Lee Jones at the Internet Movie Database
  24. ^ "Young Pianist to Present Recital at SMU Wednesday." The Dallas Morning News, 15 May 1966. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  25. ^ NASA - Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate
    S. Alan Stern
  26. ^ "Another Time, Another Ross Perot", Business Week, 18 February 2002.
  27. ^ Randall Zisk - IMDb
  28. ^ Michael Weiss's website
  29. ^ "Reporter Biography: Kurt Eichenwald". The New York Times. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  30. ^ "Clark Hunt, Chairman of the Board, Kansas City Chiefs"[dead link]. Kansas City Chiefs website. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  31. ^ {}
  32. ^ "Dallas Solo's Practice Helps Him Perfect His Music Label." Texas Lawyer. October 20, 2005.
  33. ^ - Charles Olivier
  34. ^ - Owen Wilson
  35. ^ Luke Wilson biography[dead link] at his official website
  36. ^ Rays: The Rays' hottest prospect? Silverman
  37. ^ Eagles Acquire LB Acho From Browns

External links[edit]