Ralph Doering is incredibly involved in the St. Mark’s community. Currently the President of the Board of Trustees, Ralph is dedicated to helping the school grow and provide the best educational environment for students and families. We asked him about his long-term commitment to our school.
Q: Why did you choose St. Mark’s for your family?
The primary reason that my wife, Pat, and I chose St. Mark’s for our son Henry was the education. We wanted a school that would provide our son with a best-in-class education with an engaging and rigorous curriculum that would prepare him for high school and beyond. Just as important as education in our decision was that we wanted a school that had a strong, supportive, and cohesive community that maintains high standards for character and values. The St. Mark’s community is known for being welcoming, friendly, and close-knit. Ultimately, our family believed that St. Mark’s combination of strong education and strong community made it a perfect fit for our son and for our family.
Q: What is your favorite thing about St. Mark’s?
The people. St. Mark’s exceeded our expectations in terms of both the education and the community. Through St. Mark’s our family has made a large number of friends that have not only made our family’s experience at St. Mark’s wonderful, but it has enhanced our overall experience living in Fort Lauderdale.
Q: What type of impact has the school had on your son?
Henry has thrived at St. Mark’s. He has done well academically and athletically and has served the community by serving on Student Council. He has represented the school in different community outreach programs, such as “Rockin’ Readin’ Buddies” at the Oakland Park Public Library through St. Mark’s. These successes are just the kind of successes that give young people the character and confidence to continue to prosper academically, personally and professionally. If we were to ask Henry what impact St. Mark’s has had on him he would tell you about how much he loves his friends. Henry is lucky to have a large number of friends and that is a testament to the quality of the students and families in our St. Mark’s Community.
Q: Why do you donate to (and actively lead) the Annual Fund?
Both my wife and I attended independent schools. We understand that at independent schools, the tuition revenues do not fund and cannot fund all of the programs the school wants to provide and that we as parents would like to see the school provide. It is the Annual Fund donations that ultimately fund a lot of the educational enhancements that St. Mark’s provides in terms of enrichment, science, arts and sports. These items are precisely the things that public schools have cut back on, or cut out altogether due to budgetary constraints because they are outside of what is considered core academics. Pat and I believe that it’s important for the kids at St. Mark’s have more access to enrichment programs like science, arts and sports. When we donate money to the St. Mark’s Annual Fund, we know that we are supporting programs that will benefit our son and all of the other children at St. Mark’s. We are making an investment in the students. That is why we donate to The St. Mark’s Annual Fund.
Q: What would you want prospective families to know about the school?
St. Mark’s will provide your children with a first-rate grade school education that will serve as their foundation for high school, college, graduate school and their future careers. Your children and your family will be part of a community that enjoys a tremendous amount of camaraderie that will enrich your lives. Other schools in our area may offer similar benefits, but I believe that St. Mark’s does it better. If you choose to send your children to St. Mark’s you will be making an investment in your children’s future.