St. Mark's School of Texas

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St. Mark's School of Texas
StMarksTexas.jpg
Courage and Honor
Address
10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas, 75230
United States
Coordinates 32°53′25″N 96°48′03″W / 32.890363°N 96.800762°W / 32.890363; -96.800762
Information
Type Private, Day, College-prep
Religious affiliation(s) Non-sectarian
Episcopal (historically)
Established 1906
Sister school The Hockaday School
Headmaster David W. Dini
Faculty 125
Grades 112
Gender Boys
Number of students 845
Campus 40 acres (160,000 m2)
Athletics conference SPC
Sports 17 sports teams
Mascot Lion
Nickname Lions
Tuition $22,627 - $28,149
Website

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.

History[edit]

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] The lower school has its own library, while the main library--named after Ida and Cecil H. Green--is heavily computerized but also features 56,000 volumes. [4]

Spearheaded by a $10 million donation from the family of Harlan Crow,[5] the Centennial Project raised over $110 million when it ended in June 2013. The Project led to 11 endowed teaching chairs as well two new state-of-the-art academic buildings. Centennial Hall houses the Math, English, History, and Administrative Departments, while the Robert K. Hoffman '65 Center--funded largely by Kenneth A. Hersh '81--houses the Language, Debate, Journalism, and College Counseling programs, in addition to the Student Store and Senior Lounge.[6]

As of 2014, the school's overall endowment was over $100 million [7]

Academics[edit]

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 seventeen endowed chairs for teaching and administration (e.g., for the headmaster).[8]

Over half the class of 2015 was recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, with 29 boys named as Semi-finalists and 19 boys being named commended scholars.[9] 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.[10] The median SAT for seniors in 2013 was 2170 on a 2400-point scale. Seven St. Marks seniors have been named Presidential Scholars by the Presidential Scholars Program since 2003.[11] In 2013, a student also won the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award, one of 18 winners from around the country.[12]

While many graduates stay in Texas, many also matriculate around the country. The Wall Street Journal ranked American high schools based on their sending graduates to 8 selective universities (primarily on the east coast); St. Mark's was the highest ranked Texas school in that imperfect assessment [13][14] Multiple other surveys also rank St. Mark's as the top private school in the state and among the best in the country.[15][16][16] While presumably pleased by these rankings, St. Mark's administrators have repeatedly argued that no single ranking can capture a school's excellence or its fit with any particular student.

Athletics[edit]

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

As of 2014, the swim team had won 18 conference titles in 20 years, track and field had won 9 titles in 11 years, and wrestling had won 15 titles in 17 years; when the former wrestling coach retired in 2012, he had directed the team to 17 team state championships and 67 individual state championships. [18] Three other St. Mark's teams have had particular success competing against both private and large public schools. For example, water polo has won five state championships, including titles in 2014 and 2015.[19] Lacrosse and crew have also won state championships since 2010. [20][21][22][23]

Fifteen alumni have gone on to play college lacrosse since 2001. Twenty three other alumni have run college track or cross-country since 1989, while a total of eighty-one St. Mark's graduates have gone on to play NCAA football.[24] The football players include Sam Acho '07, Emmanuel Acho '08, and Kalen Thornton '00, all of whom went on to play in the National Football League—the Acho brothers are currently linebackers on different NFL teams.[25] Most recently, Ty Montgomery '11 was selected in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers after an All-American career at Stanford.[26][26] Over the past several years, about 10% of St. Mark's graduates signed to play intercollegiate sports in college.[27][28]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

St. Mark's offers 42 Upper School clubs and academic teams for the 80 to 90 boys per graduating class.[13] This extracurricular activity has led to significant external recognition.[29]

The school newspaper and literary magazine won 2015 Gold Crowns, the highest award given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.[30][31][32] In that year, only 11 newspapers, 13 yearbooks, and 16 magazines won Gold Crowns from around the country. This was the 12th straight Gold Crown for the newspaper, and third straight for the magazine.The yearbook won a Silver Crown after having won 6 straight Gold Crowns until this year.[33][34][35] A St. Mark's senior was named journalist of the year in the state of Texas in 2013, 2014, and 2015 by the National Scholastic Press Association. Both the 2013 and 2014 winners also placed among the top three high school journalists in the country.[36]

The debate team has won three national titles.[37] A three-man team from St. Mark's also won a debate "world championship" in May 2015 at the International Public Policy Forum.[38][39][40] The school itself annually hosts one of the most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the country, The Heart of Texas Invitational.

The school's photography program has been named best in state by the Association of Texas Photography Instructors for eight consecutive years (2007–2014).[41]

Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs are probably the most famous alumni musicians; while in high school, they created a band called The Marksmen. The founder of Texas Monthly and a co-founder of the National Lampoon both attended St. Mark's. Prominent alumni actors include Tommy Lee Jones and Luke Wilson, both of whom were better known as athletes than actors when in school. For example, Jones went on to start for Harvard's football team, while Wilson was part of a 1989 St. Mark's quartet that still holds the fastest 4x400 relay time in SPC conference history.[42] [43][44]

The avidity with which students pursue extracurricular activities is mocked in the film Rushmore, which was co-written by Owen Wilson, who himself was asked to leave the school prior to graduation. Rushmore was set at a fictional cross between St. Mark's and Houston's St. John's School, the alma mater of the other cowriter and director, Wes Anderson. The film features a protagonist who participates in dozens of clubs and activities.[45]

The local press has long written about ways in which St. Mark's blends in and differs from the rest of Dallas.[46][47]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eugene McDermott biography[dead link], Missouri Southern State University
  2. ^ "- Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas ~ Roosevelt Gift to Fund New Pipe Organ". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ St. Mark's planned development
  7. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "National Merit Semi-Finalists: 2008-2012 Cumulative Totals - plus 2013 NMSFs (Dallas: catholic schools, universities) - Texas (TX) - City-Data Forum". city-data.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas ~ Prestigious Recognition for Senior". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Ellen Gamerman (1 December 2007). "How to Get Into Harvard". WSJ. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
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  15. ^ "Best Private High Schools in Texas". K-12 School Rankings and Reviews at Niche.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "The 50 Best Private Day Schools in the United States". The Best Schools. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
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  22. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  24. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Taylor Jenkins is currently an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks in the National Basketball Association]]. "Ty Montgomery - GoStanford.com - Stanford University". gostanford.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
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  29. ^ "Team:SMTexas/team". igem.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "St. Mark's School of Texas". smtexas.org. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
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  33. ^ NSPA - Contest Winners
  34. ^ "Home - Columbia Scholastic Press Association". columbia.edu. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
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  45. ^ "Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson". Texas Monthly. 1 February 1996. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  46. ^ "The St. Mark’s Mystique". dmagazine.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  47. ^ "CAN ST. MARK’S STAY ON TOP?". dmagazine.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  48. ^ Princetoniana Committee Oral History Project, "Interview of Henry Martin, p. 4-5 (pdf).
  49. ^ 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.
  50. ^ Lieber, Dave (C'79). "Don't Mess with Texas Monthly." University of Pennsylvania Gazette. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  51. ^ Kennedy, Randy. Obituary of Robert Hoffman, The New York Times, 22 August 2006.
  52. ^ Biography page for Tommy Lee Jones at the Internet Movie Database
  53. ^ "Young Pianist to Present Recital at SMU Wednesday." The Dallas Morning News, 15 May 1966. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  54. ^ "NASA - Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate
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  55. ^ "Another Time, Another Ross Perot", Business Week, 18 February 2002.
  56. ^ "Randall Zisk". IMDb. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  57. ^ "Welcome to the Official Web Site of Pianist and Composer, Michael Weiss". michaelweiss.info. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  58. ^ "Reporter Biography: Kurt Eichenwald". The New York Times. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  59. ^ "Clark Hunt, Chairman of the Board, Kansas City Chiefs"[dead link]. Kansas City Chiefs website. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  60. ^ {http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0957197/}
  61. ^ "Dallas Solo's Practice Helps Him Perfect His Music Label." Texas Lawyer. October 20, 2005.
  62. ^ "Men". AskMen. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  63. ^ "Men". AskMen. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  64. ^ Luke Wilson biography[dead link] at his official website
  65. ^ "Rays: The Rays' hottest prospect? Silverman". sptimes.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  66. ^ "Eagles Acquire LB Acho From Browns". philadelphiaeagles.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 

External links[edit]