The mission of St. Mark’s Episcopal School – “to provide an education of academic excellence within an Episcopal ethos which includes spiritual development, ethnic and cultural diversity, service to community, and respect for self and others” – is lived out every day in every classroom and activity.
Those words find expression in the four pillars of the school: academic excellence, arts, athletics and spirituality. The goal has been – and continues to be – to turn out well-rounded children who can make good choices, who feel confident and independent, and who possess a high level of spirituality.
That vision is put into action by highly qualified teachers at modern education facilities with high-tech resources and realized in the high number of students who are accepted at top universities, contribute to their communities, and live fulfilled lives.
The idea of an educational outreach of the Episcopal Church of St. Mark the Evangelist was born in 1954 in the heart of the Rector, Douglas Styles, who later served as the first Head of School. By 1959, St. Mark’s Episcopal School was established and classes began with a preschool. Enrollment soon grew to 127 students in grades nursery through third. Today, nearly 400 students attend St. Mark’s in classes ranging from prekindergarten through eighth.
The initial school building project began in 1961, culminating with the completion of the Cub Campus in 1980. During the mid-1980s, classes were increased to two sections per grade level. The church rectory was acquired and redesigned for use as a preschool building.
Portable classrooms accommodated additional classes intermittently until 1994 when a bequest from the Stone family to the Church provided the necessary funds to purchase what had been a former nursing home from a federal agency. The nursing home was renovated and dedicated in 1995 to house middle school classes, a dining facility, library, offices and auditorium.
Since then, the upper and lower-school campuses have thrived and expanded. In 2003, a gymnasium-multipurpose building was constructed; it includes a stage for school productions, a music-band classroom and practice rooms, three meeting rooms, and a chapel area.
Technology has moved to the front of the classroom as the school embraces a 21st Century approach to learning. Computers and technical learning are integrated into all classes and curricula. Software programs support lesson development and student learning. Online research training and projects teach students skills vital to their education and careers.
Through a combination of established educational values and progressive learning styles, St. Mark’s students enjoy success in high school and at universities:
- The 2010 class is attending 32 different colleges, many of them among the top 50 universities in the country.
- That class includes 3 National Merit Finalist and 2 Commended students.
- The 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian at Cardinal Gibbons High School were from the 2010 class.
The school strives to improve with each year, producing students who enjoy academic success balanced with the individual and spiritual growth that have been an integral part of the school’s principles and history.