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The current generation’s trend toward leaving faith behind is present here at 10600. The ReMarker explores the importance of God to Marksmen in Addendum, pgs. 1B-4B

St. mark's school of texas DALLAS, TEXAS 75230 Wednesday, DEC. 18, 2013 Volume 60, issue 3

a p p o i n t m e n t

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Senior Bradley Mankoff on religion

“In past generations, there’s been a stigma against [atheism]. You were not just wrong, but bad. Now... we can say ‘I don’t believe in God’ in a conversation with an older person and have that conversation continue. And when you talk about something openly, that opens the door to believe it.” Addendum

t e x a s

‘Our best days are ahead of us’

Newly-named Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini

When Assistant Headmaster David Dini was told over dinner Oct. 29 that he was to be the school’s next Eugene McDermott Headmaster, everything changed. The rest of the night was surreal. He immediately called his wife. He hugged his children. He celebrated with his friends. It had just become his calling to lead this community at 10600 Preston Road into the next era. And he was excited. Learn more about the new headmaster — the moment, the man, the mission — in Centerspread, pages 12-13.



“I think you have to

“We started off, and

define success one

it was coming. But eventually they asked me if I would like to become the next Eugene McDermott Headmaster. And within half a second, I said yes. It was surreal.”

photo courtesy david dini

I couldn’t really tell

student at a time, making sure every boy at St. Mark’s is

FAMILY MAN On vacation with his family, Dini (far left) had a chance to escape from the rigors of the school year. His family, from left, consists of Dini, his daughter Megan, daughter Claudia, daughter Caroline, wife Nancy and son Thomas.


“I love being with kids every day, I love being with faculty. It’s constantly challenging because you’re dealing with human potential. You’re dealing with young people’s lives.”

known and given the opportunity to be successful and to grow into a character driven young man.”

THE NEXT ERA story by Aidan Dewar, managing editor, and Sam Khoshbin, creative director | photos by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer



The school’s Investment Club excites and teaches about the market p. 3


Japanese instructor Donna Mullett also works at a karate dojo p. 11


The staff’s reaction to the naming of the next Headmaster p. 16

Exchange program established with Beijing school Foreign students to arrive Jan. 19

By Will Clark staff writer tudents from the Beijing High School Number Four (BHSP) in China will be coming to campus Jan. 19 as part of the school’s new Chinese exchange program. BHSP is one of the top schools in China and more than 20 percent of their students attend college in the United States. Chinese instructor Dr. Lei Zhang has been working closely with the school in order to make this project a reality. “This school in China is in the very top tier,” Zhang said. “It’s the best one in China. The president [of China] actually came from that school.” Foreign Language Department Chair Nancy Marmion has also been developing the program, which stemmed from a similar arrangement at Ursuline. “It was an opportunity that came to us through a teacher that we know at Ursuline,” Marmion said. “This particular exchange sort of fell into our laps. And it works with our calendar.” Six boys in seventh and eighth grade will be staying with host families for two weeks and will attend classes and experience other aspects of American culture with their host brothers. “The whole community is going to learn a little more about China from those kids,” Marmion said. In summer 2014, Marksmen involved in the Chinese program will travel to China for a comparable visit. “There’s a lot of schools that have tried these short-term exchanges and I think for some kids they work really well,” Marmion said. “To me, a short-term exchange is sort of just putting your toe in the water a little bit and just GOING GLOBAL For the seeing first time, the school will be if this is implementing an exchange program with a Chinese somehigh school. thing you might enjoy.” This project hopes to open new doors for the school and expand its global outreach. “[The Chinese] want to be globalized,” Zhang said. “I want our students to know in the future that that’s the people, politically, economically, that you’re going to handle. The more you know the more you can understand each other.”



Two out of three fall sports teams take home SPC championships p. 21




of the four knights, junior Wesley Cha, dances at one of the many morning events at McDonald’s Week. p. 5





After the Break

>The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra’s (GDYO) Holiday Concert will perform at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. The concert will showcase more than 200 young musicians. Tickets are available at www.gdyo. org.

> All alumni are invited to join the basketball team for the annual Alumni vs. Varsity Game at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 4 in Hicks Gym. Alumni, family and friends are invited to enjoy refreshments at the north end of Hunt Stadium.

> School dismisses at noon this Friday immediately following the Christmas Party


• The Free the Children club raised $850 in its first bake sale. The pie sale,

which is the club’s most popular, will be held the week before the Winter Break. Its revenue accounts for nearly half of the club’s total revenue per year. After six years of sales, the Free the Children club has raised money for communities in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ghana, building three schools in the process. The latest school was built in the community of Nyameyiekrom in Ghana according to sponsor Paula Cham. • The planetarium has added more than 20 new programs with subjects including an American history feature about how authorities found Abraham Lincoln’s killer using the phases of the moon, other planets’ orbits and other astronomy based programs. The systems now have live weather data including recent earthquake statistics. “There is one program that zooms out extremely far so as to see the scale of the universe. That one was a big hit at open house,” Cecil H. and Ida Green Master Teacher Dr. Stephen Balog, who also directs the planetarium and observatory, said. • The library instituted Overdrive, the new virtual library that gives access to hundreds of books through any electronic device, this school year. Librarian Cinda Thoma says that it is extremely easy to access the Overdrive program. “To access [Overdrive], you just have to download the app, enter your library barcode number, and then select a book to read,” Thoma said. According to Thoma, the library has been receiving requests from faculty, students and parents to add an e-book section to the library over the past years, and they have decided to do this through Overdrive. Currently, there are 248 books on the Overdrive service, but Thoma says that the library is adding books upon request. “If anyone would like a specific e-book or audiobook, all they have to do is talk to [Director of Libraries and Information Services Tinsley Silcox], and we will get the book on [Overdrive].”


From there, they fled. First, on a series of trains from Budapest to Iraq and later on a tiny British ship that sailed through mined waters so dangerous all of the lightbulbs on the ship were painted dark blue to avoid radar detection. After a months-long passage on several ships, the family arrived at Ellis Island with only a six-month visitor’s visa. She wasn’t visiting and the immigration officials knew that. After spending a night on Ellis Island, a hearing was held and her family was allowed to enter the country for the duration of their visa. They never left. efore she came across the ocean, my grandmother lived a privileged life. She spent her first few years in a large apartment in the heart of Bucharest, Romania. The apartment was complete with a staff of household servants who brought dinner when my great-grandmother rang a bell with her foot. I’ve wanted to tell this story for years, but have never found the words to put it all together. My grandmother’s story could never compare to those of the many who perished in the flames of the Holocaust — her family members. My relatives. But her story is also my story. Because if a few things went differently, there wouldn’t even be a me to share the story. What if a Nazi officer came knocking at my grandmother’s door before she could escape? What if the British ship hit a mine in the dangerous waters around Iraq? What if she was rejected at Ellis Island? Many immigrants to the United States today are also fleeing unspeakable horrors whether it be poverty in Latin America, instability in Europe or anarchy in Somalia. Our nation was founded by people seeking better lives — people who came as immigrants to a new world. But some in this country have decided that the American immigrant ethic is no longer valuable. That immigrants are no longer the cornerstone of our national identity. That those coming across the border to seek a better life aim to destroy the livelihoods of those already here. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, my grandmother came to the United States as an illegal immigrant. But, she remains a living testament to a part of our country’s identity that cannot be forgotten. Those stories — my grandmother’s story — must to be told.


This Week

> Alumni who have graduated from 2010 or after are invited to the College-Age Alumni Holiday Lunch Thursday at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will be followed by a discussion about about diversity.

PLANETARIUM Cecil H. and Ida Green Master Teacher in physics Dr. Steven Balog utilizes the upgraded planetarium’s new capacities to wow audiences across all ages.



HOLIDAY CONCERT The Myerson Symphony Center is one of the higlights of the Dallas arts district.


BOOK SALE The Lower School book sale raised a total of over $12,000, much of which went to the Lower School Visiting Authors Program and the Lower School library itself. INSPIRATION Vice President of Development at 7-Eleven Sean Duffy spoke at a Leadership and Ethics Council in the Nearburg Flex Gallery where he emphasized honesty and ethics in the business world.

• The Lower School book sale, which included grades one through five, started Nov. 21–22. The parents were allowed to shop all of the 21st before the grandparents on the 21st. In addition to selling books, the sale, which started at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m., wrapped gifts in advance for students who requested what they wanted on a wish list provided by the librarian. The sale sold over $12,000 worth of books this year. The Lower School Library, which receives 25 percent of the profits, obtained just over $2,800. The money will go towards the Lower School Visiting Author Program. • The Telos Society, Leadership and Ethics Council and the Student Alumni Association hosted Vice President of Development at 7-Eleven Sean Duffy Nov. 7 in the Nearburg Flex Gallery. Duffy, father of current 7th grader Cole Duffy, talked about the importance of an ethical culture in the workplace and explained how to cultivate such an environment. Duffy has been in many positions in where he has been forced to make decisions, but he always tries to remain ethical. — Newsfeed stories reported by Matthew Placide, Philip Smart, PJ Voorheis, Zachary Naidu and Bradford Beck




dolf Hitler wanted to kill my grandmother. Her Jewish family had a specific place on Hitler’s black list. Nana’s father, Eugen Kovacs, was a correspondent for the New York Times in the Balkan Mountains just before World War II. He had published a lengthy report about Nazi restrictions against Jews and as a result, he was seen as an enemy to the Nazi regime. Rather than face imminent abduction and execution at the hands of the Nazis, my grandmother fled to the United States with her family. The New York Times attempted to help them flee Romania, but ultimately, the efforts to obtain a visa to go to the United States failed. Nana and her family snuck out of their apartment in the middle of the night and went to say goodbye to her grandparents. She knew it would be the last time she saw them.


An immigrant family’s lesson from the past


“Everybody is involved in the economy in some way. It pervades everything we do, and I think it’s one of the most crucial things anybody can learn about.” Page 3


“All my hard work has paid off.” — Senior Carson Pate on reaching the world number one ranking in the Harry Potter category on the iPhone trivia app QuizUp.

‘You parked in my parking spot! You better watch your tires when you leave the parking lot today.’ — Suzanne and Patrick McGee Family Master Teaching Chair in Mathematics J.T. Sutcliffe

‘I survived this week.’ — History instructor Johnny Hunter to his eighth period sophomore class about his narrow fantasy football playoff victory.

‘We should do a comic about frying turkeys and the turkey catches on fire and explodes and then the house burns down.’ — Junior Carrington Kyle

‘It feels like a bunch of Oompa Loompas are inside punching my head.’ — Senior John Webb on his massive headache.

‘I’m not used to spotting someone who is benching more than 90 pounds!’ — Sophomore Ammar Plumber on why he is an ineffective spotter.


4 Patents

5 Kobi Naseck

6 Literary Festival

7 McDonald’s Week



arket asters With increasing interest in the AP economics class and a revamping of the Investment Club, the market is becoming more open, and more important, to students at 10600 Preston Road.


unior Matt Woodberry’s month-long climb toward $5,000 began on a whim. While browsing, a popular investment information site, over the summer, a banner announcing the JP Morgan Make-a-Million challenge piqued the stock aficionado’s interest. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, he chose to compete. Despite abandoning the contest over the summer, with less than a month remaining at the start of the academic year, Woodberry re-entered and soared above the competition. When it was over, he had turned his virtual $500,000 into more than ten million virtual dollars and $5,000 in prize money from JP Morgan. And Woodberry is not alone in his passion for stocks. With the growing popularity of the Investment Club’s MarketWatch game alongside the offered AP economics course, studying the market is becoming increasingly accessible for Marksmen, a phenomenon welcomed by AP economics teacher Bill Marmion. “Everybody is involved in the economy in some way,” Marmion said. “Most of us have multiple roles – we’re producers, we’re consumers, we’re investors, we’re workers. It pervades everything we do and I think it’s one of the most crucial things anybody can learn about.” Investment Club co-president Riley Graham agrees, adding that with the rise in sources of information like the internet, investors can always keep in touch with the market. “The good thing about where we are, as far as technology these days, is that we can find any definition or material online,” he said. “So even if we don’t know what something is, we can find out really quickly.” And because of this greater access, Graham and fellow club president Max Wolens have set high standards for the Investment Club this year. By emphasizing the value of bringing experienced speakers to campus and fostering a sense of competition in club members, the seniors not only to increase interest in investing but also to teach the

critical thinking skills necessary to make informed decisions. Among their new initiatives is the MarketWatch game, an online stock market simulator in which students can assemble portfolios, make trades and compete against each other for the top ranking. “There are definitely flaws in the game that maybe wouldn’t have been reflected by [the old game] Marketocracy, but overall, Marketocracy was a much harder system to use since it wasn’t well maintained,” Graham said. “The switch has gone well and it’s definitely brought more interest to the club.” However, some of the game’s flaws, especially with regard to accurately depicting market trends, worry Woodberry, who believes it may not the best tool for the club’s novice investors. “It might have been better for them to come up with their own system because the MarketWatch one is really only good if you want to make your own game or join one that’s being heavily moderated,” Woodberry said. “For something like what they want, it’s definitely not the best.”


nlike Woodberry, Marmion views the challenge as a step in the right direction — a way to foster interest in economic principles which he feels are an integral part of everyday life. “Nowadays, it’s perfectly normal for not only the parents, but the children, too, to learn about the stock market and to be involved in it,” Marmion said. “In the ’50s or ’60s, that wouldn’t really be possible. It’s another sign of the direction in which we’re heading, and I think that’s definitely a good thing.” After arriving at 10600 Preston Road in 1986, the history teacher became interested in offering an economics course, having

taught the subject previously in Baltimore. His fascination with the many facets of economics, including money and banking, a popular subject among his AP students, convinced the administration to offer the first economics course in the school’s history the following year. “I realized when I arrived here that, like most private schools, teachers could propose courses at St. Mark’s,” Marmion said. “And when I saw that we didn’t have an economics class, I felt that it was something we should definitely introduce.” The senior-heavy course, which Marmion hopes to continue teaching despite his official retirement at the end of this academic year, remains the only financebased class taught here, a fact Graham hopes to change. “I’ve talked with [Math Department Chair] Joe Milliet a bit about the possibility of having a class solely on personal finance, which is obviously not just limited to the stock market,” Graham said. “It would be an interesting idea to bring to the board, but I don’t know how open they would be to it, and it’s definitely not going to happen anytime soon if it even happens. It would definitely be a great addition to the curriculum though, and I’m sure a lot of parents would love it since it’s so relevant.” In the meantime, Graham, whose interest in finance started in his sophomore year, plans to introduce a more class-like approach to Investment Club meetings to bring more discussion and learning to the club’s traditional format. “Our idea at the beginning of the year was to have one meeting to prep for the speaker we have coming, at the next meeting, listen to the speaker, and after that, have a discussion so that everyone understands everything that he was saying and then prepare for the next speaker,” Graham said. With a host of new speakers, including possibly former Board of Trustees President Ross Perot Jr., Graham is optimistic for the club’s second trimester. And as the study of economics

MARKET MASTERS story by Vikram Pattabi, news editor | illustration by Purujit Chatterjee, staff artist

AP Economics Curriculum Microeconomics and macroeconomics Grades 11 & 12 | Full Year This advanced level course features an in-depth examination of both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and their applications. Emphasis is placed on price theory, the firm, different market structures, income and employment determination, money and banking, and international trade and finance. The course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement examinations in microeconomics and macroeconomics. The text is Economics Today. Limitations: Department chair approval, completion of precalculus and completion of or concurrent enrollment in U.S. history. -2013-2014 Course Catalog becomes increasingly open to students here, Woodberry recognizes that succeeding at playing the intricate games of the market is just the same as succeeding at anything else – it takes practice. “I’ve tried a lot of things and spent a lot of hours reading books and blogs and the news,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time on this. Too much, maybe. But it is something extremely valuable for everyone to learn and it’s easier than ever to do.”

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Patented ingenuity A group of middle schoolers have successfully acheived what many only dream of—being awarded a United States patent omething was seriously wrong and they only had 30 minutes left to fix it. Scared was an understatement for what seventh graders Kyle Smith, Ruoming Fan, Sahit Dendekuri and Kamal Mamdani felt that morning at Hockaday for the 2013 First Lego League (FLL) regional competition. They had designed their robot, which was supposed to travel across a board and retrieve a ball on the other end, based on an incorrectly built practice board. Just three centimeters can make all the difference to its performance, and even making that range was optimistic. But that’s just one of their problems. Perhaps because of low battery, the program was glitching, and several parts had fallen off without enough spares to replace them. At first, the four grew frustrated. Tempers flared. With the weight of hundreds of eyes from the audience and time running out, the pressure was nearly overwhelming. But somehow, with a stroke of teamwork and resourcefulness, the Zen Robotics team recalibrated the machine, broke off chunks of their practice board to use as parts and redid the program with hardly a minute to spare. “If something goes wrong, the stress is insane,” Dendekuri said, “so we had to cool down a little bit and get it together and perform the task at hand.” Not only did the robot perform well, they also won the Inspire Trophy, given to the team displaying remarkable synergy and ingenuity. Ingenuity. Few can claim to have it. But even fewer deserve to more than the small group of middle school Marksmen who not only formed their own robotics team outside of school, but also earned a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Awarded Oct. 15, the patent was granted for a device­made entirely by the then fourth

ZEN ROBOTICS Wearing their team shirt, seventh graders Harrison Lee, Kyle Smith, Kamal Mamdani, Jack Katz and Sahit Dendekuri (from left to right) have competed together in numerous competitions since the team’s founding several years ago.

grade students, current eighth grader Dalton Glenn (no longer a member) and Joseph Vetoretti ’19—that works against ulcer sores by prolonged application of weight on one part of the body. Resembling a cushion, it targets the elderly, the paralyzed and the obese, who generally spend hours sitting in one position, which can clog blood circulation and lead to serious complications. The device, which currently has no official name, consists of multiple sensors inside a pillow-like case. When a user rests on the device - sits on it, for example - it times how long he or she has been in that same position. If the pressure remains for a certain time, the device alerts the user by emitting a sound, vibrating for the blind or flashing a light for the deaf. It then times how long the pressure is relieved in order to make sure the user has had the proper amount of time to get circulation flowing properly again. “We interviewed a lot of the elders in our community and saw a need for this because a lot of them were having trouble because if they sit too long, they’re going to get sores in their legs in the bottom half of their bodies,” Dendekuri said. “We figured ways to signal to them that they need to get up and start moving around.” But initially, the invention, which was originally made for the FLL Body Forward challenge, was denied patentship for being too broad and being similar to an already patented device. Undaunted, the team tweaked the device and their application for a second attempt and was successful. The now patented apparatus will not go into production in the foreseeable future but did provide the young inventors a valuable learning experience in applying for patents. “It kind of makes us feel like all our work paid off because we would work 18 hours a week, literally, on this project, and the fact that it was finally approved by the

U.S. Patent Office is pretty special, especially after failing once,” Dendekuri said. And the team will soon be putting that know-how to good use in the coming weeks when they apply their latest project, a heat sensor to identify forest fires. If things go as planned, the device can detect and accurately locate extreme heat at a 25 mile radius. Possibly placed in a tree, it would send signals to a computer, which firefighters could use to more efficiently respond. ike their cushion device, the forest fire detector was inspired by an FLL challenge, as were other devices the team made such as a tube dispenser (for the elderly with frail hands) and an ultraviolet disinfector “microwave,” which the team presented to a group from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). “They (IEEE) thought that we were adults when we told them what we were doing because before we presented it to them, we told them what we have,” Mamdani said. And it won’t be the first time they would hear that. Unlike IEEE, who rewarded the group with funds and Chick-fil-A coupons, others outright denied meeting with them for being too young. According to Dendekuri, it almost seems like many adults underestimate kids’ creativity. “We were invited to this thing in Austin, and they thought we were adults too,” Fan said, “and when they found out we were just 12-13-year-olds, they were kind of just like, ‘er, no you can’t come.’” The kind of effort the team has put in their projects, however, shows an almost precocious dedication, spending several hours almost every weekend to meet and even more before deadlines. But with each year, the workload only grows and freetime shrinks, especially when the transition to Upper School comes around. “It’s hard to find time,” Dendekuri said.







NAMELESS The officially patented device, its sketch shown above, informs sedentary people when they have applied pressure on one area of their body for too long, helping to prevent potentially dangerous circulation problems.

“We have no time during the week, weekends are the time we have, and we spend all our free time on robotics, so I don’t know if we’ll continue [the team] but we’ll try.” Though Zen Robotics may disappear in two years and no more patent applications will be sent when its members become freshman, they all want to join the Upper School Robotics Team and fulfill their passion through it. Until then, with the addition of new members seventh graders Jack Katz and Harrison Lee, the team has grown and will continue to strive for excellence. “I think we all learned better critical thinking skills and working together,” Mamdani said. “There is a lot of teamwork involved with this. If we were all working alone, we wouldn’t get anything done; we’d be all against each other since we’re all pretty competitive. It’s a good thing we’ve been working together for a while. And if we all go to Upper School Robotics, it might be a little different because there’s a lot of different people there, but we’ll adapt.”

PATENTED INGENUITY story by Alex Kim, news editor

By Akshay Malhotra staff writer Senior Martin Tirmenstein was named a finalist for the QuestBridge Scholarship Oct. 22. Tracing its beginnings to 1987, the Quest Scholars Program grants full, four-year scholarships at one of its 35 partner colleges to the winners. The mission statement of the scholarship is “to create a singular place where exceptionally talented low-income students can navigate educational and life opportunities.” The applicants represent a variety of racial, cultural, geographic, social, economic and historical backgrounds. The organization takes academic achievement, financial need and personal circumstances into consideration. Tirmenstein saw the opportunity in the program and applied in September. “I just saw the immense potential in it and I knew their mission definitely described who I was,” Tirmenstein said. “I have overcome a lot of different difficulties but have been able to thrive through them. I’ve done really well despite my challenges.” In 2012, fewer than half of more than 9,500 applicants were named finalists. Almost 400 students were named winners. In 2011, the percentages of finalists from applicants and winners from finalists were even lower. Students apply to different universities with the Common Application and rank their order of prefer-


Senior named finalist for highly competitive scholarship

ence in the scholarship application. If named finalists, they are required to submit supplements to the colleges to which they have applied. “It was a lot of work and tough to get done, but I was able to manage it,” Tirmenstein said. Tirmenstein has applied to Rice University, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University. The finalists were notified if they were winners Dec. 2. Tirmenstein did not win, but the opportunity presented by the scholarship program and the experience of begin a finalist were still enjoyable for him. “It’s pretty exciting being a finalist and knowing that I had a pretty decent chance,” Tirmenstein said. “It’s a really big honor. I believe I did the best I possibly could.”

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Page 5



All part of the act

Senior Kobi Naseck and junior Kyle Weinstein spend several hours each week educating other teens on social boundaries. They act in skits to reveal the consequences of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.


e’ll slap a girl on stage and then she’ll look the other way in tears — he’s a physically abusive boyfriend. Then he’s a responsible boyfriend, willing to talk about sex. Then he’s a teenage alcoholic. The scenes keep changing, but it’s all part of the act. He’ll then hit the repeat button and do it again next Saturday, and the next. And the next. All year long. As a volunteer for Planned Parenthood, and organization in support of a comprehensive sex education, senior Kobi Naseck is a member of a group teenagers — TeenAge Communication Theater (TACT) — that performs skits to other teens on important social and educational issues. Having been a part of the pro-

Two Marksmen spend as many as 8 hours a week helping Planned Parenthood achieve its mission.

gram for nearly a year and a half, Naseck is now a project assistant, making him he master of ceremonies throughout the performance. More importantly, he has learned the importance of sticking to the facts, allowing him to reach out to and help hundreds, if not thousands of teens. “It’s important to not call something out unless you know the truth behind it,” he said. “TACT is also a way for the community to figure out what Planned Parenthood does and why Planned Parenthood is needed.” Texas has one of the highest rates of repeat teen pregnancy in the country — one of the many statistics Planned Parenthood has been on a mission to solve. But for Naseck, volunteering with Planned Parenthood has more value than other community service opportunities. “When most people do community service, it often involves driving to south Dallas or working

on a Habitat for Humanity house or going somewhere else,” he said. “But a lot of the stuff that I learn at Planned Parenthood are things that I can just say in conversation that are relevant when I hear ridiculous things that classmates are saying.” Naseck also enjoys the gratification that comes when he finds an audience member that can relate to a skit that he performs in. “One time we went to a performance and a girl in the audience was getting very emotional — she had identified very strongly with the performance,” Naseck said. “That was very sad to see, but it was also nice to know that we were presenting the information in the right way that was genuine.” To make sure the information presented is genuine, members of TACT go through a comprehensive sex education program, learning everything from anatomy to the symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. But the potential awkwardness

certainly doesn’t factor into the experience because for junior Kyle Weinstein who also volunteers with the program, it’s mostly the serious experiences that matter. “One time, I was doing one of the most serious skits that we do called dating violence where I stage slap a girl,” he said. “And when I slapped her, the whole audience was quiet. It was a surreal moment in which I realized the power that these skits have over people and that they actually work.” he skits themselves are very interactive but are also open-ended. Naseck, Weinstein and other actors assume various characters, present a social issue and then ask how the audience would respond to the situation. “Most of our things are at churches or temples,” Naseck said. “They are very upbeat audiences and they’re excited about it.” However, Naseck feels Planned Parenthood is often misunderstood in its mission. Each time the


performers visit the center at the intersection of Greenville and Walnut Hill, a small group of protesters is always there to greet them. “I’ve never seen anyone under 50,” he said. “And they always have signs — both English and Spanish — and there’s just like three or four of them. They’re very nice and they’re there more Saturdays than we are, no matter the weather.” Naseck says many people don’t understand what Planned Parenthood actually advocates and does for communities. In addition to providing sex education, a few of the other services the program provides include family counseling, divorce counseling and access to health care for women. “If you don’t agree with something,” Naseck said, “make sure you know exactly what it is that you don’t agree with. In other words, before you form an opinion about a person, an organization, or an issue, make sure you know the facts behind it.”

ALL PART OF THE ACT story by Shourya Kumar, deputy opinion editor | photos by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer

By Will Clark staff writer ork has already begun on the school’s new Létourneau organ that will replace the current digital organ in chapel services by December 2014. Choirmaster Tinsley Silcox, along with a large committee, has explored many different instruments and organ makers to find the right one for the school. “Within the Dallas Metroplex there are only a few organs in churches and in other schools that are of the caliber of the instrument we’re going to have here,” Silcox said. “This is built by one of the finest organ builders in the world.” The maker, Orgues Létourneau Limitée, is a Canadian organ company that has instruments all over the world, including the Untied States, England


and Australia. “We will probably have a whole year of dedicatory recitals where different people will come in to play the new organ, to showcase it for the whole community,” Silcox said. The new instrument will be much larger than the old organ and will feature many more pipes, should last almost a century and will be designed specifically for the chapel. It will also be made in the English style due to the choir’s emphasis on Anglican choral music. “The organ that we had was built for the old chapel,” Silcox said. “It worked just fine for years but it was never designed for that space. It was starting to get into some disrepair.” Although the old organ worked in the chapel for many years, the school has been considering a new organ for decades.

“Early on we knew that the organ wasn’t right for the space,” Silcox said. “[Former Choirmaster James Livengood] is the one who started making noises about we need a new organ and we need an organ built for the space.” In order to make the organ sound the best, it is being built completely from scratch and will even be assembled in the chapel itself next summer. “The first use of the instrument, we’re hoping, will be lessons and carols one year from now,” Silcox said. “Hopefully December of 2014 will be the first time the community gets to hear the instrument.” The organ will put the school at the forefront of the organ community of Dallas. “People will be drawn to our campus to hear it, to hear choral programs, to hear organ recitals; it will be put to a lot of use,” Silcox said.


New custom-fit organ to offer better sound


Létourneau craftsmen have been construcing the new organ for months. Choirmaster Tinsley Silcox has overseen the project, and hopes the instrument will be completed by December 2014.

Page 6



F E S T I V A L COMING TOGETHER Students and faculty gather in the Green Library to discuss the writing life and learn the writing contest winners with visiting authors during last year’s Literary Festival.

World of words


A WORLD OF WORDS story by Noah Koecher, staff writer | photo by Andrew Gatherer, Head Photographer

Parent helping to improve schools speaks at Senior Leadership Dinner By Philip Mongomery staff writer Todd Williams, a man on a mission to improve North Texas schools, talked to seniors at the annual Senior Leadership Dinner Nov. 18 in the Great Hall about his pursuit of his passion of education. Williams, who has two sons — third grader Lucas and first grader Noah, enrolled at the school — has pioneered North Texas public education, helping to improve the quality of schools in the area. “Typically, we’ve tried to have a younger alums come and speak to the guys about leadership in his current profession and the values and culture he’s tried to establish in his workplace,” Assistant Head of Upper School Dr. John Perryman said. “This year we did something a little different and had Todd Williams come out. Mr. Williams is a fascinating and impressive guy who had a very successful career with Goldman Sachs. About seven or eight years ago, he walked away from it and started poured all his time and energy into helping north Texas public education.” This is the sixth straight year the dinner has been held, and the fifth time Perryman has hosted the event. “The first year doing it, they went to a Mavericks game,” Perryman said. “The next year is when I came over and made it more of a formal dinner and Gus Lee was the speaker. Then the year after that, I moved it to our campus, so for four years its been in its present form.”

As part of McDonald’s week, Cantina Laredo catered the dinner, and ten percent of the proceeds went to Austin Street Shelter. The dinner began with an introduction by Eugene McDermott Headmaster Arnie Holtberg, followed by Williams’ speech. “He shared his personal life story,” Perryman said. “He helped us understand that North Texas is in this together, and we all benefit if we improve the quality of education. It’s something he feels is a calling and it’s something we’re obligated to act upon and be aware of. He did a really good job presenting a powerful story about how we need to have this on our agenda.” Perryman believes the dinner is very beneficial because the seniors can hear an experienced speaker. “I think sometimes we overlook the importance a powerful speaker can have on a young life that’s at an age where they’re exploring different pursuits and vocations,” Perryman said. “I think it helps to hear what an interesting, dynamic person is doing in his field, how they’re innovating in their field. All the speakers we’ve had have had fascinating stories to tell and have focused on how they’re serving their communities and not how they’re pursuing exclusively material gain.” Perryman hopes the dinner inspired the seniors at to pursue a career in education and service. “I think it went well,” Perryman said. “He painted a compelling picture about why we need young bright energetic dedicated folks in education and I think that appealed to a lot of the guys.”


Philosopher and author Jim Holt • Philosopher, au thor and essayist • Has contibuted to publications such as The New York Times and The American Scholar

Singer and songwriter Jill Sobule

• Has been in the songwriting business long enough to author and perform five albums • Has travelled Ameri- ca on a variety of tours and missions


A quick look at the Literary Festival’s lineup of visiting authors

Poet and novelist Ron Koertge • Poet and young adult novelist • Reccommended by former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins • Has written 18 novels for teens and 16 poetry books


“When students are forced to read dozens of books over the course of a school year,” Daugherty said, “and then quizzed, tested and graded on their interpretation of the text, I think there’s a danger that young people can come to view reading as a chore. It shouldn’t be.” Koertge, a visiting poet and friend of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, one of last years’ guests, also thinks students often over-read literature, and should focus more on the enjoyment of works. “Oh, I probably wish kids didn’t think poetry was so mysterious and recondite,” Koertge said. “I hate the ‘What does this poem mean?’ question. My poems mean what they say and are mostly entertaining. I’ve probably never had a deep thought in my life.” But despite the atmosphere of work that can detract from the reading experience, Daugherty feels the school set him up well for a career in creative writing. “St. Mark’s certainly played a big part in getting me where I am today,” he said. “I cultivated a love for writing and films throughout my twelve years there. And it was in high school that I made the decision to pursue a career in the entertainment industry by applying to film school.” Brown is happy with the festival’s impact, but believes greater funding could push the Literary Festival to new heights of impact and growth in the coming years. “I hope that there is someone out there,” Brown said, “who wants to see this event perpetuated — sustained well into the future — and is willing, perhaps lending his or her name in honor of someone, to endow the Literary Festival with a generous gift that would allow us to draw even more expensive writers.” But for Sydney, as big and renowned as the Literary Festival grows, its mission will remain simple and direct. “At the end of the day,” he said, “I think the best possible outcome is that people will read the books written by the visiting authors and just start reading more and more.”


treat.” During the reception, refreshments are offered to students coming to visit with the authors, and the winners of the writing contest are announced after entries are judged by the visiting writers themselves. The entire reception is planned and funded by the Green Library, whose staff Brown feels completes the Literary Festival with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. “The library has contributed beautifully to this event every year,” Brown said. “It takes a lot of work to accomplish what they do. And the elegant silver and the string quartet provide just the right setting for readings from students’ work and the announcement of the contest winners. I’m grateful for their willingness to make the festival such a success.” Junior William Sydney, student chair of the event, agrees with Brown’s emphasis on the reception and stresses the importance of Marksmen utilizing the time to speak with visiting authors. “I think it’s really important, because the Literary Festival is only one day,” Sydney said, “that faculty and students are ready to take advantage of these visiting writers. I think that if you approach them and have some sort of familiarity with what they have done, then you can really have some great, meaningful conversations with them.” The festival officially ends when the reception comes to a close at roughly 4 p.m. ”I think the main thing is to stop people thinking literature is homework, because something about annotating and making underlines and making papers on books kind of drains the life away from them,” Sydney said. “Even though it’s a really important part of education and all that, I just think some of the voluntary nature of reading has lost its touch with students here.” augherty, a St. Mark’s alumnus and screenwriter of Snow White and the Huntsman, wholeheartedly agrees with the loss of interest in books through school reading.



hen the day comes, faculty will find strangers in their classrooms, teaching lectures to their students while they themselves listen in. Marksmen will prepare questions on notecards or by memory, looking forward to the reception at end of the day. Contest applicants will talk quietly, apprehensively, as they stand in the library, waiting for the results. And the entire Upper School will flow into their seats to hear what five renowned writers have to say. That day is Jan. 10 — the start of the seventh annual Literary Festival — when visiting authors, screenwriters and songwriters will lead workshops in English classrooms, visit with students in the halls and take the stage of Decherd Auditorium to leave the upper school with a understanding of the writing life. Screenwriter Evan Daugherty ‘00, poet Ron Koertge, songwriter Jill Sobule, philosopher Jim Holt and novelist Lev Grossman will come from across the country to share their works and insights with students on a day that Literary Festival sponsor David Brown feels will give both students and authors a fascinating look at the creative world of the written word. “I think usually — and it probably will be again this year — it is the panel discussion where the writers can sort of relax and let their hair down a bit,” Brown said. “They are not the classroom with the spotlight on them where they have to prepare something. They can just be themselves. It’s both enlightening and entertaining — that’s usually a highlight.” While he believes the panel discussion will be a key part of the festival, Brown feels meeting and speaking with the visiting writers during the after-school reception in the library is the perfect way to end the festival. “These guests are celebrities in a way,” Brown said, “writers that I and others have read but maybe never met, and getting to interact face-to-face and ask them direct questions about writing as a craft is a real


As the seventh annual Literary Festival approaches, those in charge look forward to a year of fresh variation in selection of authors, who are just as excited for Jan. 10.

Novelist Lev Grossman • A novelist of works such as bestsellers The Magicians and The Magician King

Screenwriter Evan Daugherty ‘00 • Hollywood screen writer of movies such as Snow White and the Huntsman


M C D O N A L D ’ S


Page 7


Knights of the golden arches After months of preparation, the Junior Class raised more than $15,000 during McDonald’s Week from Nov. 18-22.


very November, hundreds of students, faculty and parents line up four days in a row to buy breakfast at McDonald’s. Shivering in the cold and reveling in the festivities, a third grader drops a quarter in the donation bucket. He knows that the money goes to help Austin Street Center. But how exactly does it get there? Not many students know that McDonald’s actually uses the money raised by the Junior Class during McDonald’s Week to buy hamburgers and other menu items at a low cost straight from the source. Then a group of juniors brings 500 McDonald’s meals to the homeless at Austin Street four times during the year. “Instead of giving us some percentage of the proceeds in cash, McDonald’s donates 2,000 meals to Austin Street Shelter,” Junior Class Sponsor Amy Pool said. “This allows McDonald’s donations to have a greater impact because they can provide us food at a substantial discount, whereas if they gave us cash and we had to go out and buy food we actually wouldn’t be able to get as much food per dollar.” Roland Parrish, owner of the PrestonRoyal McDonald’s, recently offered to help the current Junior Class with next year’s Senior Auction, a first for the McDonald’s franchise. By coordinating events and increasing the percentages of sales that are donated, Parrish has been integral to the increasing involvement of the restaurant in making the week a success. “McDonald’s used to do the portion thing and give a certain percentage of the

sales, but that would only turn out to be enough to buy around 500 meals,” McDonald’s Week Cochair Mason Smith said. “Now we can just give that money to Austin Street instead of using it to buy the meals.” New Austin Street Executive Director Jon Edmonds came to the McDonald’s Nov. 18 during the opening day of the “McIeval Times” events. He spoke about the importance of the events to his organization, and expressed MORNING MADNESS Juniors Travis Nadalini and Walter Johnson face off in a mock swordfight on the first day of his appreciation for the work that McDonald’s Week. Events like this attracted students to McDonald’s as early as 7:15 every morning of the week. goes into helping the homeless mistic for the amount of money we’re going and he emphasizes the human value of helpand needy of Dallas. to raise.” ing feed residents of the shelter. “I got a greater understanding of everyTwo new sponsors, Chili’s and Sno“Unfortunately, the need grows,” thing they’re doing,” Edmonds said, “from Dawgs’ Hawaiian Shaved Ice, joined as spon- Edmonds said. “We’re turning away more escorting the little kids to school to planning sors of the events and held events at their people every night. But while the need is the events to getting the sponsorship from locations to raise money for Austin Street. greater, people like you are meeting that surrounding merchants. There are just a lot Both establishments allocated a percentage need and actually doing beyond what even of activities that have to be pulled together; of their profits during a particular day to we can do.” the organization is impressive. I think it go to the McDonald’s Week fund. Student Next to the long, red dragon painted on speaks to St. Mark’s and Hockaday’s comattendance during the car wash and dinner the window of the McDonald’s, a large sign mitment, and I think what the Junior Class nights was high. reading “Austin Street Center” greeted drivhas done is phenomenal.” “Both of those places reached out to us,” ers at the Preston Royal Shopping Center With swordfights, dance battles and a Smith said. “They contacted either a parent this year. Edmonds hopes that the publicity four-pronged battle between “knights” to or Joe [Milliet] to get involved, which says will aid Austin Street in their mission of sell the most wristbands, this year’s mea lot about how much popularity McDonserving Dallas’ homeless. dieval-themed week had no shortage of ald’s Week is gaining, and a lot about the “Not only are you contributing efactivities for attendees. community.” fort, but you’re also spreading the word,” “I think the theme turned out really Although he is new to Austin Street Edmonds said. “You guys are really proselywell, the energy was high and the video was Center, Edmonds is quickly building a tizing for us. You’re out there talking about a great way to kick it off,” Smith said. “We relationship with the school. He plays a large the mission and the need and our path. And had as good a turnout as ever at the events part in organizing the meals at the shelter, that goes a long way.” and All-day Day, so it’s looking really opti-

KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN ARCHES story by Jacob Chernick, staff writer, additional reporting by Abhi Thummala, staff writer | photo by Alden James, staff photographer



Randy Zisk ‘77 and Craig Zisk ‘83 (pictured left) discuss their careers and their combined forty years in the business. p. 10



What’s the story behind the nickname “Spud”? There’s a famous basketball player who’s really short and really good named Spud Webb and that’s who I mostly portray when I play basketball. He was like 4-foot-10 as a grown man and he was very tiny.

Who are your role models in basketball? Chris Paul because he’s one of the best guards in the NBA. Kyrie Irving because he’s an up and coming star. I definitely take some of their styles of dribbling and playing but I like to add my own spinoff. I like to lead, but I’m more of a do-my-own-thing guy. My dad calls me the Crowd Pleaser. I don’t really like to show off, just show what I got in a flaunting manner. People think ‘Oh wow, I wish he was taller, then he’d probably dunk on me, too.’


How do you spend your free time? I definitely like to relax playing video games or on the court. I’m a Call of Duty fan, and Battlefield. I wish I had GTA. I like R&B and rap. I like Drake, he’s good. Eminem’s great. Chris Brown’s good too. They’re inspiring artists and they have their own spin-off in their songs.

How does it feel to get so much attention? It’s easier to meet people. I see girls from Hockaday that are like ‘Hey Andrew. How you doing?’ It’s really cool not knowing people that know you. I think it’s probably because I’m the person you’d least expect to be in high school because I’m so small.

What are your biggest fears? I’m definitely pretty scared of anything below the knee. My motto for animals is ‘above the knee, let it be.’ I definitely will not mess around with anything that crawls, like cats.


If you could spend a day at school without going to class, what would you do? I’d probably spend it in the weight room or the gym. Maybe Coach Friesen’s office because he has an Xbox. And he’s pretty cool. So is Mr. Adame. I can tell Coach Friesen is really passionate about sports he coaches.


Freshman Andrew Whigham is known throughout the Upper School for his small stature and basketball skills. After only three months on campus, he can easily be considered a campus icon. Staff writer Davis Marsh sat down with “Spud” to discuss the man behind the basketball reference.

Winter Break

> Jay-Z will perform at the American Airlines Center this Saturday at 8 p.m. as a part of his “Magna Carta World Tour.”

> Christmas at the Anatole will be held daily until Jan. 4. Admission costs $9 for adults and $7 for under 17.

> The Dallas Arboretum celebrates its Holiday in the Arboretum in the DeGoyler Mansion at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday with hot tea, live reindeer, and 400 angel decorations.

OPENED The Macy’s Grand Christmas Tree in the ice rink at Galleria Dallas will be officially lit tomorrow.



> Exclusively for the holiday season, Klyde Warren Park has opened a synthetic outdoor ice skating rink, which will be open daily throughout the break with free > Next Monday at 8 p.m. the Winspear Opera House admission and $5-10 rental will host saxophonist Kenny fees for skates. The hours are 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday G for his Holiday Show. If - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. you’re a lonely saxophone on Friday and Saturday and fan, don’t fret. Chances noon - 6 p.m. on Sundays. are there are still plenty of tickets to be had.


• Free the Children club raised $850 in its first bake sale. The pie sale, which is the club’s most popular, is also the week before Christmas break. Its revenue accounts for nearly half of the total revenue per year. After six years of sales, the Free the Children club has raised money for communities in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ghana, building three schools in the process, the latest in the community of Nyameyiekrom in Ghana according to sponsor Paula Cham. • Juniors Miguel Plascencia, Zuyva Sevilla and Purujit Chatterjee have created the @sm__art Instagram account to share new student paintings, drawings and sculptures. “We were talking about a way to let people see what we do in the art room since no one really gets to see it,” Plascencia said. “So we came up with the idea of making an Instagram account to showcase our art.” Beginning in October, the account has added three to four new creations a week, which have ranged from a pencil and pen sketch to a McDonald’s Week mural. “It’s operated mainly by Zuyva and me, but anyone can post if they want to,” Plascencia said. “They just have to ask us and we’ll post it.” • The industrial arts program is building pinhole cameras for a collaborative project with the photography students this spring. This is the first time two different arts have teamed up for a project that they plan to take to ISAS in April. “We’re hoping to have a knockout show,” industrial arts instructor John Frost said. “Everybody else has photography and then they have the 3-D stuff, but we would have a really nice, tight collaboration between the two groups.” One of the biggest problems to solve is how to make the cameras work and be visually engaging. “I want the students to make interesting objects. Kind of sculptural cameras,” Frost said. “There’s the functionality of the camera and then how well it works as an object of art.” • The band hosted its annual holiday concert Dec. 6, which featured performances by both the Upper School and the Middle School. The Upper School Concert Band’s performance mainly consisted of holiday pieces, whereas the Studio Band presented its own jazz tunes. Band Director Tim Hicks also led the Middle School in performance, including the Middle School Band – consisting of seventh graders and eighth graders, the Intermediate Band – composed of seventh graders and sixth graders and the Beginning Band – predominantly featuring fifth graders. The Middle School bands presented holiday pieces during their recitals.



Andrew Whigham

The statement I want to make is ‘I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.’” Page 14

INSTAGRAM Junior Purujit Chatterjee is pictured in a photo from the @sm_art instagram page.


Hangin’ out with


DIWALI CHAPEL Rather than tell the same story about the history of Diwali, senior Vishal Gokaini opted to have freshmen Chirag Gokani and Whit Payne, as well as juniors Nick Buckenham and Umer Nadir treat the audience to George Harrison’s India-inspired “Marwa Blues.”




SAX MAN Junior Chris Carter rehearses for the band holiday concert, playing his tenor saxophone.

Sketchbook stories by Matthew Placide, Avery Powell, Will Clark and Cyrus Ganji

artist IN action


WHAT Clay pots. Left pot was created with a metallic glaze that turned bronze in reduction. Right pot was created with two underglazes and blue and white chip-slip.

HIS WORDS “I like both pots a lot, but I particularly like the blue-andwhite one. To me the contrast in this piece adds to its beauty more than any other element. The anchor of the crawl texture on the neck adds some intensity too.”


10 Zisk brothers

11 Donna Mullett A N D R E W

14 Youngblood/Bruno

15 Reviews



words of wisdom

Ever since leaving the school and returning during the 2011-2012 school year, junior Andrew McClain can say he’s the only member of the student body to be a new kid twice. MAKING IT PERSONAL Junior Andrew McClain, who left the school - and returned - during his freshman year, uses his unique experience as a helping tool: he talks and empathizes with students in similar positions to what he was in. So far, McClain’s help has led six students to the conclusion that they would be better off remaining at St. Mark’s.


hey came to him, one by one. Their problems differed – some were struggling academically, some faced social difficulties and some just didn’t find life at 10600 Preston Road worth it. But one person was always ready to talk, to listen, to empathize. Junior Andrew McClain was there. There to give his insight – an insight he gained when he left St. Mark’s going into his freshman year.

“I came to St. Mark’s in fifth grade, ” McClain said. “I know that everyone, at one point, realizes that not being here [at St. Mark’s] would make life a lot easier. Whether it’s on purpose or not on purpose, I felt as if the kids at St. Mark’s – including myself – put a lot of pressure on everyone. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I wanted any of that pressure.” Entering the 2011-2012 school year, McClain made a decision he’d been pondering deeply, a decision that would ultimately dictate the next four years of his life. He decided to change schools, enrolling in Highland Park High School. “Going into ninth grade, I left for Highland Park,” McClain said. “But, I ended up staying there for about two to three weeks. I didn’t realize all that I had left behind until I had actually left it behind.” Part of what McClain missed at his old school was the frequent face-to-face interaction he’d experienced with students and teachers alike. “After going to Highland Park, he began to value more the relationships he had with his teachers here – specifically the

closeness in the classroom and the brand of education,” Cindy McClain, Andrew’s mother, said. “So, he found out that maybe he was putting the pressure on himself, but if he were happy and accepted how he was doing for who he is, he could learn a lot while moving forward. After all, there will always be someone who has more of something or is better at something, no matter who you are.” Upon returning to the school early September of the school year, McClain immersed himself within daily affairs. But things had changed; his newfound insight, coupled with alleviating himself of the pressure, carried him into his first weeks of high school. “I feel as if there was a big transition from Middle School to Upper School,” McClain said. “First of all, you mature as a person during the transition into Upper School, and a lot of the people around you mature as well.” But, McClain’s newfound happiness at school doesn’t signal the end of his story. As the only member of the student body to leave the school and return, he

openly shares his story with other students — students in situations very comparable to his own — in the hopes of providing them with a better perspective and showing them why he decided to come back to the school. “I’ve talked to about six kids, just sharing my personal experience in order to give them a better perspective of what they have here — or what they’re considering to leave,” McClain said. “I sought to do this, on a personal level. I usually talk whichever kid through my specific experience and see how he responds. I really try not to sway anyone either way, because it is ultimately his decision — it’s not my place to pick or choose.” The problems McClain and other students faced are, however, more complex than just “pressure.” The combination of

academic, athletic and social rigors are the main driving forces behind their troubles. “I used to feel as if the kids at school – including myself – put a lot of pressure on everyone,” McClain said. “But then, there’s also pressure from teachers to make A’s, pressure on the athletic field – you feel as if what you’re doing isn’t good enough because you see others around you doing it better. I feel as if a lot of the kids I talked to were feeling the same thing that I felt.” cClain knows that a lot of the pressure he felt in Middle School was self-inflicted. Yet he can’t deny that the community, at large, further contributed to the tension, the tension that has causes students to come see him. “Some guys have left because they felt as though they work extremely hard day-to-day and do not receive the success they deserve,” McClain said. “It’s a universal problem, and it’s kind of self-driven, but it’s also community-driven. A big concern I get is, ‘I don’t think I’m doing well enough compared to everyone



I’ve talked to about six kids, just sharing my personal experience in order to give them a better persepctive of what they have here — or what they’re considering to leave.

WORDS OF WISDOM story by Cyrus Ganji, life editor | photo by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer

else,’ which is an issue at this school.” Despite the rigorous challenges and lessons that are offered at 10600 Preston Road, McClain has found that most students refrain from admitting their difficulties. The fact that he does, however, allows him to relate. “It’s hard, when everything around you is so critical, to go up to someone and say that you would like to leave the school,” McClain said. “A large part of that is because you don’t want to be seen as inferior in any way, and that desire lasts. Obviously, students can talk to administrators for help and advice, but I feel as if students would talk to me because of my lot as a student that’s been in their shoes. A student that can more readily empathize.”

Staying at school Reasons for returning to 10600 Preston Road Junior Andrew McClain

“Especially coming into high school, I feel as if St. Mark’s is centered around a community that cares a lot about its students.”

Mother Cindy McClain

“I think he [Andrew] had looked and had found people that had been at St. Mark’s and graduated. He was able to see those people, see their values and how much they had learned.”

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dds are, if you’ve seen it, they’ve producing at the time, it was the same thing. up called Brooklyn Bridge… And he said, been on it. Between them, the It was a huge relief for me to have Randy ‘If we get picked up for a second season, I’ll two have directed a combined 33 there and to know the show was in good give you an episode.’ Fortunately, we did get different episodes for 14 different hands.” picked up for a second season and that was shows on nine different networks. Family has been a cornerstone in the the first thing I ever directed.” And that’s just in 2013 alone. Zisks’ success. And even when the brothers Flash-forward 20 more years from his Randy Zisk ’77 and Craig Zisk ’83 have were still at St. Mark’s, the groundwork for first episode of Brooklyn Bridge in 1993, and been directing, producing and writing teletheir careers was being laid on their sumCraig Zisk is now enjoying great success vision since the early nineties and, even with a combined forty years of experience between them, the brothers’ careers are as strong and prolific as ever. Randy Zisk, one of the Emmy-nominated producers for USA’s Monk, has spent the last year freelance-directing episodes of some of the biggest shows on TV, most recently ABC’s breakout drama Scandal and one of CBS’s most consistently successful detective dramedies, The Mentalist. Craig Zisk, who spent much of the first half of 2013 directing for NBC’s Parks and Recreation, has recently settled into a new executive producing job on Fox’s highest-rated new sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The two men have each built their careers on their own, independent merits. But, as both Zisks are quick to point out, the benefits to having a brother in the business are ON THE AIRWAVES Randy Zisk ‘77 (pictured left on the set of Dallas) and Craig Zisk ‘83 (pictured right on the endless. set of Nurse Jackie) have been working in television for the past twenty years. Today, Randy Zisk is directing every“It’s great having a younger thing from Scandal to The Blacklist, while Craig Zisk produces the Golden Gobe-nominated Brooklyn Nine-Nine. brother here,” Randy Zisk, said, “It’s been good for me to just have someone to bounce ideas and career decisions off mer family vacations, where they met their on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. “I’ve been chasing of, and I think for him as well.” lifelong mentor by a sheer twist of fate. Brooklyn shows I guess,” he said with a The two have worked together many “Craig and I both had the same mentor,” laugh, “I know quite a bit about Brooklyn times, oftentimes directing for each other’s the older Zisk recalled, “this amazing writer, now.” shows. The younger Zisk points to brotherly producer and human being, Gary Goldberg, Nine-Nine, which stars SNL alumn Andy trust as a helpful element when working who created Family Ties and co-created Spin Samberg as a cut-up cop, was recently picked together. City. I met him because my family used to up for an entire season and given the coveted “It’s really nice to have someone you can spend the summers in Malibu, and he happost-Superbowl timeslot, not to mention trust,” Craig Zisk said, “A lot of what we do pened to be our neighbor.” nominated for two Golden Globe Awards when we’re producing a particular show is “He was a huge influence on both of us,” just last week. Zisk has served as executive overseeing the director. But one of the things the younger Zisk continued, “When I was at producer for the entire season so far and I really appreciated when I directed Monk USC, I actually went to work on Family Ties has directed two aired episodes with plenty for Randy was his trust in me to not be over as a production assistant, so that was one more on the way. He points to not only the creativity of showrunners Mike Schur and my shoulder the whole time… And I think, of my first jobs, and then once I graduated when he came to direct Weeds, which I was and started producing, he had a show picked Dan Goor, with whom Zisk worked with on

Parks and Recreation, but to the strength of the cast as contributing to the success of the show and providing such a great working experience. “They’re very eager, they want to please. They really are willing to try anything, and Andy’s a great leader among that group,” Zisk said, “It’s just a fun set to be on. It’s a real joy, and that’s not always the case.” Craig Zisk states that a fondness for working with great casts is something he and his older brother have in common. “We both really like to work with actors,” he said. Luckily, Randy Zisk got to spend most of the 00’s working with one of the most lauded comedic actors on television. Tony Shalhoub, who executive produced the show along with the elder Zisk, won three Emmys for his title role on Monk, the job that Zisk still claims to be the highlight of his career. “Monk was one of those things where everything just aligned. The four executive producers, we would finish each other’s sentences,” Zisk said, “We got a number of Emmy nominations, I was even nominated for directing… It was just a formula that truly worked.” For the Zisks, their hard work and notoriety have afforded them the opportunity to pursue almost any project that piques their interest. For the younger Zisk, that means the chance to get back into film. “I’m hoping to direct another movie in the very near future,” Craig Zisk said, “which would pull me away from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I’m happy where I am right now, and I’m also happy to be looking for other projects.” Randy Zisk, on the other hand, is continuing his freelance TV direction, with an upcoming episode of The Blacklist the next thing on his slate. Although, there is one more intriguing opportunity to bring the family together again. “I’m trying to sell a show right now, and clearly, if I do, Craig will be part of it,” Randy Zisk said. “After all, we usually find a way to end up back together.”

BROADCAST BROTHERS story by Cole Gerthoffer, life editor | photos used with permission of Randy Zisk and Craig Zisk | graphic by Zuyva Sevilla, graphics director

Juniors make a difference at Feast of Sharing, serving over 12,000 Thanksgiving meals to needy


jobs they did because some boys found something they wanted to do the whole time,” Milliet said. “Then there were some boys who wanted to try all of the jobs. Some of our guys also would bring trays of food or drinks, and when that person was done eating, they would take away their trash and clean the tables. That was an important job so more families could come in and enjoy the meal.” Along with the Thanksgiving meal, the families could also enjoy live music. The event also had an activities section for kids, which included a bounce house and face painting. Because of the juniors’ hard work and the positive reactions the volunteers received from the families, the event was considered a success. “I certainly think it was successful because we helped so many people,” said Community Service Board member Forest Cummings-Taylor. “We were probably serving 10,000 people.” According to Cummings-Taylor, the juniors’ hard work and interest were key to

the success of the event. “They were really into it,” Cummings-Taylor said. “When St. Mark’s kids dedicate their time and interest into a certain endeavor, especially into community service, they are generally into it. They were generally excited and got really into it.” Cummings-Taylor also said the event was not only helpful to the needy people, but also to the juniors themselves. “Junior year is a time when we can define ourselves academically and in terms of extracurricular activities, and a strong way that we do that is through community service,” he said. “This event allowed us to really put ourselves out there and define ourselves as individuals.” According to Milliet, the juniors’ performance and attitude at the event showed that they had defined themselves as hard working service leaders. “I saw that they saw they

understood concept of service in its purest form,” Milliet said. “They had nothing but an evening of hard work. They got on the bus after a long day of school, stood and worked for five hours, served food, cleaned up trash, regulated little kids, yet all they could talk about as we left was about how cool the project was. To me that shows that they understand the concept of a servant leader and that makes me proud.”


By Anvit Reddy staff writer ore than 50 juniors participated in the Feast of Sharing, a Thanksgiving celebration, Oct. 14. The event took place at the Centennial Building at Fair Park in Dallas. The juniors helped serve more than 10,000 homeless and needy people in the Dallas community. They served more than 12,000 plates of food consisting of a traditional thanksgiving meal, provided by Central Market. “Feast of Sharing is a holiday meal provided to needy adults, children and families benefited by Central Market,” said Junior Class co-sponsor Joe Milliet. “They provided all the food and all the preparation, but they needed hundreds of volunteers to serve the food, bus the tables, monitor the kids’ section and run a handout section of books and medical supplies. Our students did any of the tasks that needed to be done.” With so many things to be done, the juniors were kept extremely busy for the five-hour event. “It was an interesting mix of types of


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karate queen For the last 27 years, Japanese instructor Donna Mullett has been practicing and teaching the intricacies and skills required to master karate. HI-YA Japanese instructor Donna Mullett practices her weaponry skills with another instructor at the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas, where she has been an instructor since 1991.


“The first degree black belt, the first one that I got, was in Japan and it took three years [to earn],” Mullett said. JAPANESE TEACHER DONNA MULLETT

I was teaching English everyday so I needed an activity that I could get away from my job and be immersed in Japanese culture, but I also wanted excercise. I thought that while in Japan I should pick something traditional. Once Mullett moved back to the United States, she joined a new dojo, which is a training center for martial arts. “I totally loved karate in Japan, and I couldn’t really practice the same style that I had practiced in Japan because it isn’t popular in America,” Mullett said. “So I knew I was going to have to start over in another style, and I wanted to stay in a Japanese style, and I was lucky that when I moved to Dallas there was a school that had a Japanese style.” When Mullett joined the Okinawan Karate Club in 1991, she wore a white belt.

1. Holiday in the Park

Throughout the break, Six Flags Over Texas will be transformed into its annual winter wonderland, which includes winter shows, seasonal snacks, different rides and festive decorations. This is for a family or group of friends of any age who are looking to load up on holiday treats after enjoying some of the park’s winter-themed rides. The Holiday in the Park special will be open for families every day of the holiday break excluding Dec. 24 and 25. Tickets for general admission are priced at $64.99. USED WITH PERMISSION CBSLOCAL.COM

This holiday break, take a look at some of the fun you, your friends and family can have around town.

By Cameron Clark staff writer


In Okinawan karate, weapons are like their own martial art. “Some of the patterns and forms you have to memorize are different,” Mullett said. “When I was in Japan, I never got to use weapons, but Okinawan karate uses weapons because that is just how it developed. They weren’t allowed to have weapons, so they took things around them and used them to train.” Although Mullett is an instructor, she is always learning new things every time she trains. The instructors all volunteer and help support the school just as much as the students. “The teachers volunteer, but it’s not free to join [for students],” Mullett said. “Actually, all the instructors pay dues just like the students to support our school. That’s how we can afford this place.” Mullett, along with the dojo, stresses the importance of knowing the material. “When our kids get a black belt, it’s not just because they showed up every day for class,” Mullett said. “They really know the material. I think that’s one of the reasons that makes our school different.”

KARATE QUEEN story by Bradford Beck, staff writer | photo by Tim O’Meara, staff photographer

the high

holiday activities

“I wore a white belt when I joined this school because it’s the etiquette that shows your humility and that you’re a new student in their school and your respect for the new school,” Mullett said. “Then, it took four years to get to second degree black belt.” The belt system used in modern karate schools is used to symbolize how much practice one has put into karate. “Basically, the belt was used just to hold your uniform up and overtime if you trained a long time, the white became darker to sort of symbolize that, modern schools adopted using different colors,” Mullett said. “So, since we’re a traditional Japanese school, we use a pattern of colors that is popular in Japan. We use white, yellow, green, brown and black.” o earn a new belt, a student must pass a testing exercise. “I am in charge of testing, so I look at all the students, and they have to know a certain amount of material to change their belt from white to yellow or yellow to green or green to brown or brown to black,” Mullett said. “So, testing is how well they know the material and in some cases how long they have been training for.”

WINTER WONDERLAND Throughout Christmas break, Six Flags will be decorated with festive lights.

2. Christmas at the Bush Center

Open from the start of the break until Jan. 5, Christmas at the George W. Bush Presidential Center will offer lights and decorations, performances from local choral groups, merchandise at the Museum Store and seasonal menu items. A special exhibit of the 2001 White House holiday celebration will be displayed as well, including 18 scale models of the homes of previous American presidents, so if you’re looking for a taste of American history, spend an evening at the Bush Center. Other activities include readings for children, candlelight tours and a holiday video in Freedom Hall, the center’s architectural centerpiece.

3. Lights in Highland Park

If you’re bored and looking for some free but very cool entertainment, take a drive down the neighborhoods of Highland Park and check out the lights hung everywhere. With different sights to see, including nativity sets, creative light designs and huge trees, just taking a drive through the lights of Highland Park can make for a great holiday evening. A huge nativity set can be found at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Beverly Drive, while some incredible lights can be found on the streets around Goar Park, which is located in University Park.

4. Carriage service in Highland Park

If you are looking for somewhere to take a date, the Highland Park carriage service is a good opportunity to ride around the town for an hour while sipping hot chocolate and listening to holiday music. Rides must be scheduled 24 hours in advance and will last an hour, with 15-minute breaks in between each ride. The carriage stand is located at 4539 Travis St. in Highland Park.

5. Jingle Bell Run



ight now only one thing matters. Her next move. Japanese instructor Donna Mullett must put all her effort into each strike. She has forgotten everything else, all she can think about is her next punch, kick or block. All her stress from the rest of the day has vanished, and she is in the zone. Mullett must be in the zone in order to show her students the right technique. Before 27 years of karate, Mullett was in a situation similar to that of her students. “I didn’t know anything about karate as a child,” Mullett said. “I picked karate without having any clue that I would love it as much as I love it.” Mullett began karate in 1986 in Japan because she wanted to exercise but also wanted to experience Japanese culture. “I was teaching English everyday so I needed an activity that I could get away from my job and be immersed in Japanese culture, but I also wanted exercise,” Mullett said. “I thought while I was in Japan I should pick something that was traditional.” Mullett fell in love with karate and quickly moved up in skill level.

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT During the break,

If you’re looking to get Highland Park will be filled with bright lights. some exercise, go run at the Jingle Bell Run at the Hilton Anatole Dec. 23. A great way to get some exercise, have some food and listen to music, the run will benefit the Trinity Stand Trail and the Mavericks Foundation. There will be a one-mile fun run at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 5k at 7 p.m. with a party at the finish line.



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n 19 years here, D av id Dini has helped to lead

the construction of five new buildings, t r i p l e d t h e s c h o o l ’s endow ment to $120 million and doubled the endow ment for faculty suppor t. He h a s r e p r e s e n t e d t h e school on numerous trips across the countr y to prov ide connections and links w i t h i n S t . M a r k’s , a n d h e’s h e l p e d t o m a k e t h e s c h o o l ’s a l u m n i involvement among the most par ticipator y of all independent s c h o o l s i n t h e c o u n t r y. But with all his time c o m m i t m e n t s h e’s given on behalf of the school, Dini always regretted not being able to spend as much time with the people who make all his work wor th it: the boys.

MOVING DAY With his appointment as the school’s 18th headmaster, David Dini’s office will be moving from Nearburg Hall, where he directed the school’s advancement efforts, to the headmaster’s suite in Centennial Hall.

Now he ha s that chance.


‘It was an out of body experience.’


o an outsider, it looked like a casual dinner Oct. 29 at Dallas Country Club among three friends. And it was. But two of the men were there to tell the third man something that he never dreamed would happen: that he, David Dini, was the choice of the search committee and Board of Trustees to become the 18th Eugene McDermott Headmaster of St. Mark’s School of Texas. “I was at dinner with Ken Hersh ’81, who co-headed the search committee, and Randall Fojtasek, who is president of the board,” Dini said. “I figured that there would be some sort of announcement, but I didn’t know, and I couldn’t really tell it was coming. But eventually they asked me if I would like to become the next Eugene McDermott Headmaster.” It took Dini half a second to respond.


‘It’s not that he knows development, he knows education.’


hen a search consultant in 1993 contacted David Dini — then in a similar position at a school in Denver — offering him a position as director of External Affairs at a boys school in Dallas, he didn’t know what to do. He was happy at Graland Country Day School and didn’t feel it was the right time to make a career change. But then he visited St. Mark’s. “I came down here months later. He [Mr. Holtberg] was in his first year,” Dini said. “He called on boys by their first names. He was already really connected. He had already made an impression by that point. He offered me the job, I accepted.” When hired as director of External Affairs, Dini was vested with creating a comprehensive advancement program. His responsibilities here have always required a diverse set of skills and talents, and over the years he has served the school as a chief fundraiser, tireless promoter and a key alumni contact. Every step of the way, his influence grew — and his partnership with the headmaster grew deeper over the years. “If you find something you love to do, you never have to work a day in your life,” Dini said. “And that’s what I am lucky enough to have. I love being with kids every day, I love being with faculty. I find it invigorating and challenging and motivating. It’s never ‘Oh, I’ve gotta go to work today.’ It’s constantly challenging because you’re dealing with human potential, you’re dealing with young people’s lives.” Suzanne and Patrick McGee Family Master Teacher J.T. Sutcliffe, a member of the search committee, knows Dini will keep the school moving in the right direction.


‘Because he knows us so well, he has an advantage of having a sense of the place already.’


ini’s responsibilities and immediate goals at 10600 Preston Road have constantly changed with his position. Beginning his career here as director of External Affairs in 1994, he started as a heavily invested member of the community, but his responsibilities always found ways to grow. In 2007 he was appointed as assistant headmaster, and eventually his responsibility ares grew to include development, admission, communications and alumni relations divisions.

THE NEXT ERA story by Aidan Dewar, managing editor and Sam Khosh

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school’s next era “Absolutely,” he said. “It was an out of body experience. It was a surreal evening from then on.” More than 19 years ago, when Dini first accepted the director of External Affairs position, being headmaster was not even on his radar. But after achieving never before heard of results in fundraising, alumni support and newfound donations, Dini became a natural fit for the headmastership. “It wasn’t something that I had ever anticipated or set my sights on,” Dini said. “I didn’t have a planned trajectory or anything. But when I was told I would be the next headmaster, I couldn’t have been more excited.” Although the 14-member search committee conducted a nationwide search over the course of eight months, in the end, members found the answer right in front of them on the second floor of Nearburg Hall. “Our job was to think about the candidate that is in the best interests of the school for today and for the future,” Hersh said. “Given what we heard from the various constituencies, we felt that Dini was the outstanding choice. Dini is very driven by the mission of the school and is a fantastic

leader.” Once the news was given to him, Dini immediately called his wife Nancy, who was overwhelmed with relief from the anxiety and excited for the future. “I will go from four kids to 850 kids,” Nancy Dini said. “So that is a big commitment. I think it will be a lot of fun though. As far as his leadership, my husband likes for you to take responsibility for yourself. He has a way of maneuvering you and building you up so you can take on that responsibility. He wants people to be leaders and wants people to believe in themselves.” Dini knows his success will be defined differently at various points in his tenure, whether it be a year or five years in. But in the end, Dini will define his success one student at a time. “A year into my tenure, I would hope by that point the faculty and staff around the school understand and have a high degree of confidence that I’m well informed about where we are as a school,” Dini said. “It’ll be really fun, really gratifying just to get to do so much more.”

The road to the headmaster’s post • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• Graduated from Strake Jesuit High School in Houston. • Earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SMU. • Started career at John Cooper School in Houston, then went to Graland Country Day School in Denver. • Hired by Headmaster Arnie Holtberg in 1994 to come here and build an advancement team. • Helped raise $170 million in new contributions over 19 years. • Played major role in tripling school’s endowment to $120 million. • Led major building projects, the most recent of which brought Centennial Hall and the Hoffman Academic Center. • Expanded endowed funds for more Master Teaching positions. • Under his leadership, funds for faculty professional development more than doubled.

FAMILY MAN The next headmaster poses for a photo with his family — daughters Claudia, Megan, wife Nancy, daughter Caroline and son Thomas.

“When I think about all he has done around this school, he has done much behind the scenes, I’m sure he has done lots of things we are not even close to being aware of,” Sutcliffe said. “He has convinced me that he loves our school, loves the fellas and he gets to know people.” Arnie Holtberg, who is retiring after 21 years as headmaster in June 2014, is excited for what Dini will be able to accomplish as headmaster. As the person responsible for bringing Dini to 10600 Preston Road, he is confident the search committee made the right choice. “He knows education. It’s not that he knows development, he knows education,” Holtberg said. “Not only is he an expert in alumni and fundraising, but he has an ability to throw himself into every task. He never stops until the job is done well.” Having worked closely with Dini for a vast majority of his tenure as headmaster, Holtberg says Dini has been a key part in the school’s growth and success. “He’s been a wonderful confidant, a great counselor,” Holtberg said. “He has been able to provide me with insight and has differed with me in a way that has helped me to arrive at more intelligent decisions.” While Dini hopes to accomplish many things during his tenure, in the end, he says what’s most important for him is the quality of his character as a leader. “It’s the more personal things that matter to me,” Dini said. “Mr. Holtberg has been a phenomenal leader, and he’s accomplished a lot more things, but it’s the quality of who he is as a man that sticks with me and so many other people.” Dini aspires to be a similar sort of leader. “I would hope people say [about me] he’s somebody who really cares deeply about what we do and is committed to education and the excellence in all that we do,” Dini said.

CONGRATULATIONS Receiving a hug from Assistant Director of Development Jan Forrester, Dini was announced as Headmaster to the faculty in a special meeting in Decherd Hall Nov. 8. Dini will serve as the 18th headmaster in the school’s history after serving as assistant headmaster since 2007.

Dini’s objectives have always shifted to where the school has needed him. The destinations of his travels changed. The faces of the people he saw changed. But one thing has never changed. The new headmaster has had and will always have an unflagging loyalty to the school and its mission. He strives for excellence in all aspects at St. Mark’s. “Most of all, I want to make sure you guys get the best possible experience you can have,” Dini said. Despite all the things that need to be take care of from an administrative standpoint, there is a strong overarching character Dini wants to bring to each student. “I think you have to define success one student at a time, making sure every boy at St. Mark’s is known and given the opportunity to be successful and to grow into a character driven young man,” Dini said. “That’s a charge every day that

we have the responsibility to live up to.” Sutcliffe feels Dini will be able to live up to this responsibility with his unparalleled knowledge of the school’s history, its strengths and where it hopes to improve in the future. “I think because he knows us so well, he has an advantage of having a sense of the place already,” Sutcliffe said. “So he doesn’t have to come in and shake things up to make his statement. I think he will look for places where the community, staff, faculty, students feel things can be improved.” Keeping the school’s mission as a priority, Dini steps into the headmaster position with great optimism. “I wouldn’t be enthusiastic about taking this job if I didn’t believe our best days are ahead of us,” Dini said. “If I thought our best days were in the rear view mirror, well, I just don’t look at it like that. I always think that top priority is to build on success.”

hbin, creative director | photos by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer

Getting to know the next headmaster

In his own words... What would you do on a free day? Probably go for a walk with my wife. Spend time outdoors with my kids, go out to dinner as a family. Rangers or cowboys? Definitely Rangers. Favorite restaurant? Royal China. But we also have a family lunch every Saturday at Gazeebo Burger. When our kids come home from college, that’s the first place we go. Best vacation? Sorrento, Italy. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Favorite artist? Steve Miller. Favorite movie? Raiders of the Lost Ark. Most admired people? Current - John Williams. Historical - Abraham Lincoln. Books on your nightstand? The Things They Carried — on his nightstand. Give and Take, Lone Survivor. Favorite sport to play? Played tennis in high school, and it’s my favorite to play. Best place to relax? Beach. Favorite sport to watch? Baseball or basketball, but probably baseball. Tie or bow tie? Tie. Dream job other than headmaster? A pilot. Favorite quote? “If you find something you love to do you you’ll never work a day in your life.” I say that a lot. Favorite fictional character? I’d probably go back to movies, again that would probably take me back to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, probably “Indiana Jones.” And that’s why I love when Wade Davis comes because he’s like a real life Indiana Jones, don’t you think? Favorite book? I’d say the “Servant Leadership” book certainly means the most to me, but I don’t know if I would say it’s my favorite book to read because a lot of other books I’ve liked more than that. But as far as its importance to me that definitely is significant for me. It’s by a guy named Robert Greenleaf. Favorite genre of music? Probably country. Favorite historical character? Probably Jefferson. How many places have you lived? I was born in Houston. I lived there, I lived in Colorado, and here are the only three places I’ve lived. If you could teach any subject what would it be? Probably English or world history. But I’d say English, definitely. If you could take a class at St. Mark’s, what would it be? It would probably be a foreign language. I mean I took Latin in high school so it would probably be Japanese or Chinese. But English is definitely a passion for me. I love to write and I love to read.

IN E ing i

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LIFE Y O U N G B L 0 O D / B R U N O

From marksmen to musicians

Conner Youngblood ‘08: toured Europe, making full album


onner Youngblood ‘08 had worked six years to get to this point. Six years of practicing, six years of songwriting, six years of performances all led up to this: a tour in Europe. Hopefully the first of many for these talented musicians and Marksmen alumni. Youngblood has just finished a three week tour in the United Kingdom and France, preforming in London, Manchester and Paris among other cities. “The whole trip was based around BBC radio,” Youngblood said. “Huw Stephens [a BBC Radio presenter] asked me to come down and play a show he was sponsoring in London and play a radio set. So, while I was down there I decided to book a whole tour around the BBC trip.” The trip was a huge success, with several sell out shows. However, it wasn’t easy adjusting to the big crowds. “It was the first time I’ve ever been on a tour by myself,” Youngblood said. “I’ve been using bands these last few shows. I had to rearrange my whole setup so it was pretty nerve racking. I remember the first show my legs were actually shaking and by the end it, [I] just got better and better. I loved it. “ In Middle School, Youngblood started off playing the clarinet in the school band, but he quickly branched out to different instruments. “As I got better and better, I realized I was nowhere close to being this good at anything else,” Youngblood said. “It was just the only thing I knew how to do, so I did it.” While here, he began to recognize his

passion for music. “I think the thing that helped the most was playing in coffee houses,” Youngblood said. “That was the first time ever being on stage and getting comfortable showing people what I had written and getting over that fear of performing.” Now back in Nashville, TN, Youngblood stays busy reorganizing his music and preparing to make his first album before this spring. “Right now I’m pretty much focused on recording my album and talking to labels,” Youngblood said. “There’s just the whole dilemma of signing with a label. I’m just focusing on the music, maybe play some summer festivals next year, maybe go on tour.” However, Youngblood is just thankful he has been successful enough in the industry to put food on the table. CONNER YOUNGBLOOD ‘08

As I got better and better, I realized I was nowhere close to being this good at anything else. It was just the only thing I knew how to do. “So far it’s been great,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to be able to survive off only music for a year now since I graduated college without needing a second job. As long as I can keep that up I am 100 percent happy.”

Spencer Bruno ‘12: becoming a star in dub-step world


pencer Bruno ’12 is only a sophomore at Duke. However, he’s not letting that get in the way of his success. Bruno played a show in front of almost 20,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood Nov. 8. Bruno opened for burgeoning star Avicii and three other bands. “My manager called up and said Cazzette [one of the bands scheduled to play] can’t do it anymore. Do you want to fill in for your debut show cause you’ve always been talking about doing a debut show,” Bruno said. “Obviously, I said yes.” This was Bruno’s first show under his new alias, Spencer Brown. “It was a great debut show,” Bruno said. “It’s really exhilarating. It’s crazy because I work on these originals for weeks and weeks. You don’t really show it to anyone so you just go out and play it for the crowd and see a bunch of people going nuts in the crowd. It’s just a great feeling cause I made all of this from scratch.” Unlike Youngblood, who uses acoustic instruments as well as synthetic sounds, Bruno makes all his music synthetically. He processes sound waves with different techniques to create the melodies and uses electronic drum beats to make the beat. Bruno prefers to make his own music instead of using his software to remix the work that others have produced. “It’s making a statement,” he said. “A lot of people can do remixes. It doesn’t take that much skill. I’ve obviously learned a lot since [I started], but it’s much harder to make an original song. It makes a big deal when you

can come out with six or seven solid originals for a debut, which is what the plan is.” Bruno has yet to release his new original songs. He spends anywhere from a day and a half to two months to create a song. “[The inspiration for a song] usually comes to me in the worst of times, which is funny,” Bruno said. “When I have a ton of stuff to study for, and I don’t have time I have crazy stuff running through my head.” Bruno started working with Garage Band, the music-making program, in the sixth grade, creating his own music by freshman year. He credits his alma mater for helping him achieve his goals. “Definitely work ethic is the main thing St. Mark’s taught me,” Bruno said. “Sometimes I’ll send something to my manager, and he’ll just rip it apart. Instead of feeling discouraged, I’ll just keep on working until he likes it.” Bruno created his new alias to separate himself from his less professional high school work and create a new style of music. “The old alias and all the high school dubstep and party music is not really the statement I want to make,” Bruno said. “The statement I want to make is, ‘I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.’” However, Bruno is hopeful his music career will reach new heights after college. “There are much more opportunities coming for spring and summer. It’s my number one priority after I graduate, and I’ll try and push the producing and DJing— hopefully as a successful career.”

MARKSMEN MUSICIANS story by Philip Montgomery, staff writer | photos used with permission of Spencer Bruno and Conner Youngblood

No Shave November raises more than $2,000 for testicular cancer


By Nov. 1, everything was set in motion by a surprise announcement during an assembly, which included a testicular cancer presentation by Dr. Steve Perkins, father of seniors Michael, Sam and Lee ‘12. “This whole process came and went really quickly: we got the proposal approved the Monday before announcing on Friday,” Golden said. “So we didn’t really have any concrete goals in mind − we were just focused on getting the wristbands in and putting together a good assembly.” Wristbands were sold for $10 each and served as a student’s ticket to have a beard for the following two weeks. Some students who chose not to grow facial hair still chose to buy wristbands to support the cause. “We were definitely surprised by the success of campaign,” Golden said. “We raised a little more than $2,000, almost all of which came in the first week of the campaign. That’s 200 students and faculty buying wristbands in one week, which is amazing.”

The best of the beards In honor of No Shave November, some impressive facial hair could be found on campus. Senior Mark Burton (top left), Upper School Head Wortie Ferrell (top right), junior Tommy Gudmundsson (middle left), senior Nikhil Jain (middle right), junior Forest Cummings-Taylor (bottom left), and senior Drew Balog (bottom right) highlight the best.


By Avery Powell Staff Writer he faculty and student body has raised more than $2,000 for male cancer research in the school’s first ever No Shave November campaign by selling wristbands and growing facial hair to promote awareness. “The idea actually originated with [Upper School Head Wortie] Ferrell,” Student Council President Charlie Golden said. “He asked the Student Council to plan the details of making it charitable and to draft a proposal, so [Student Council Vice President] Yima [Asom] and I put something together.” The administration was in full support of the idea, as long as the beard growth was in the name of charity. “I was surprised with how supportive the administration was with the idea,” Golden said. “They were completely on board. It was really great to see how quickly the administration and Student Council could get a major drive together by working in tandem.”


Page 15


Console SHOWDOWN Play Station 4


Xbox One


Battlefield 4


lthough Battlefield 4 feels like one giant Michael Bay movie, there are few video games out there that can bring so much excitement to an already-impressive gaming experience. While the single player story is set in 2020, the multiplayer, the most popular part of the game, is based on battles between Russia, China, and the United States. On the new generation, a match can handle whopping 64 players in single multiplayer match. But there are problems with this game, and they lie in the learning curves for beginning players. It can take a while to catch up to those level 50 snipers trying to take you out from an OUR GRADE offshore aircraft carrier 480 yards away. Yeah, things get that crazy.



While both consoles focus on a sleek and simplistic design, Xbox One’s Kinect enhanced features give the console the edge for user interface.


Hardware The PS4’s higher graphicial capabilities and game design potential set this system up to outlast the Xbox One this console generation.

Game Selection Both consoles came out with a full array of launch titles, but the big multi-platform games make the current selections basically identical.

Price Because of the non-optional Kinect 2.0, the Xbox One’s price comes out to an incredible $500, while the PS4 stays at $400.

This time of year is known for more than just the holidays — yes, ‘tis the video game season. But this time around, not only do we get a new batch of games, but we also get two brand new consoles that promise to revolutionize industry. Take a look at our guide to video games this winter, and spend your time wisely this break.

Assasin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Blackbeard himself would agree that Ubisoft’s newest swashbuckling adventure is boatloads of fun. Set in the bandit-infested Caribbean seas of the 18th century, the story focuses on the life of pirate Edward Kenway and the secret wars of the Assassin Brotherhood. With sharpened controls, cleaner game mechanics and a vast world to explore, the game remains fresh enough for returning fans, although anyone can appreciate rope-swinging onto an enemy frigate or kneeing a naval officer off a boat. OUR GRADE And although the game gets a bit violent at times, lets be fair, those templar baddies totally had it coming. Overall, if anyone is looking for a game to beat over the holidays, this one’s it.


et’s be honest: any reasonable-minded sports fan who’s ever messed around with an Xbox controller can tell you that sports video games have an obvious disadvantage when the time for a franchise to build its newest video game comes around every year. That being said, EA Sports’s promise of a revamped FIFA 14 gave us wannabe soccer players a hope that maybe, just maybe, this year could show improvement in visuals, interface and most importantly, gameplay. Ha, nope. It’s just not worth wasting 60 bucks for just improved headers, advanced team play and sharper grass (I’m serious, that’s one of its “features”). OUR GRADE Better yet, save about 95 percent of that cash and get the iPhone app instead.


Call of Duty: Ghosts Like with a new Harry Potter movie, no matter how good or bad, people tend to pounce on a successful franchise’s latest addition. And whereas J.K. Rowling brought magic to a generation’s childhood, Activision revolutionized first-person shooter gameplay into the interactive and addictive thing it is today. However, Ghosts does very little to revamp its series, offering only new maps, new characters, and new bad guys (this time in South America). The game doesn’t change what has, admittedly, brought in buckets of money each year; OUR GRADE instead, it relies on the success of its franchise, using the same formula that made classics like Modern Warfare or Black Ops. Is that enough to make you buy it? It shouldn’t be, but it will be.


VIDEO GAME REVIEWS by Avery Powell, staff writer and Nabeel Muscatwalla, reviews specialist | photos used with permission Creative Commons

Hot chocoholic


With the holidays right around the corner and cold weather here to stay, here’s look at hot chocolate places around Dallas.



prinkles’s cup of hot chocolate, to be frank, made me feel like I was drinking from a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. As thick as it is overpriced, the drink looked pretty good, but didn’t taste that great, hurling a metaphorical, extra-sweet and syrup-filled javelin at my Christmas joy. It also took them about five minutes for them to serve me while I waited bored and lonely as the people behind me opted out for the store’s more delicious options. We love you Sprinkles, but stick to cupcakes.


Café Brazil


afé Brazil’s famed hot chocolate brings Brazil’s heritage to your average cup of cocoa. Served with whimsically whipped cream and a lightly-drizzled chocolate sauce, the drink’s recipe might as well require a pint of happiness, a dash of Chirstmas miracles and a teaspoon of tears of joy. Doctors have already begun prescribing it as pain medicine.


C+ Paciugo


ou would think a place known almost entirely for its coffee could hold its own with a cup of hot cocoa. Although Starbucks’s chocolate isn’t half bad, after the third sip that left unmixed grains of chocolate powder in my teeth, it became clear that I could’ve just made my own at home using a cup hot water and a packet of Swiss Miss. Still, even though they clearly sacrificed on quality, Starbucks’s ready-made stuff actually didn’t taste too terrible, giving the drink a satisfactory grade at worst.



hings got off to a rough start when the server handed me the drink, I looked inside and saw that the cup of hot chocolate was less than halfway full. Although Paciugo does its best to incorporate gelato deliciousness with creamy, Italian cocoa, what it actually does is spit bitter, flavor-clashing hot chocolate into a cup, charge a ridiculous amount for it and, in the process, ruin every lonely boy’s winter night. You’re better off playing it safe and getting literally anything else Paciugo sells.

HOT CHOCOLATE REVIEWS by Nabeel Muscatwalla, reviews specialist and William Caldwell, staff writer | all photos from public domain, found on Creative Commons



16 David Dini


18 Cartoon

17 Squaring off


THE NEW HEADMASTER As Assistant Headmaster David Dini steps up to fill Headmaster Arnie Holtberg’s shoes, The ReMarker gives ways to keep the school moving forward



The new headmaster.

Dini aims to further ensure that every member of the school community is well versed with the school’s mission statements and value system. We hope he continues to stress the school’s philosophical groundings through his future speeches, letters and other communications with the community.

ast month, Board President Randall Fojtasek ‘81 announced that Assistant Headmaster David Dini will succeed Eugene McDermott Headmaster Arnie Holtberg after Holtberg’s retirement at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The ReMarker looks forward to seeing the school’s mission carried forward by a man who has been an integral part of this community for 19 years. We appreciate the efficiency and careful decision of the Search Committee, made up of members of the Board of Trustees, faculty members, parents and alumni, as it chose the leader who could best move the school forward. We understand, as one member of the search committee put it, that Dini was the “most wonderful of many wonderful options.” We feel it is beneficial that the next headmaster is already a member of the school community. Dini is already vested in the ways of the school and will have a smooth transitional period. We have come up with a list of goals and visions that the school has pursued and will continue to reach for. We believe that this list accounts for the larger tasks that the school community, led by Dini, faces in the future. We look forward to seeing Dini spearhead these endeavors. The student body has become increasingly competitive with top students around the globe in both academics and extracurriculars. As students worldwide become more academically capable, the school’s students have pushed themselves to remain among this group of qualified top students. We hope this trend


tudent athletes often look for free time during their days to get in a little extra work in the weight room. Staying fit, and more importantly, staying strong, is one of things an athlete at the school considers a priority. While we understand that the weight room without coach or adult supervision is a potentially dangerous zone, a few students still wish the weight room could be more accessible. If this is the case, we encourage the student to speak with a coach to express their interest. The department could create

a list of interested students and which periods of the day they would be free to create a consistent opportunity for weight room use under adult supervision. Then, the department could create a rotation for the coaches during the free periods of interested students— allowing Marksmen to exercise whenever they are given the opportunity. We recognize that the department has the safety of the students at their best interests, so we encourage students to make the initiative to show they are interested, ultimately helping Marksmen stay fit.


A call for new weightroom supervision rules

will continue under Dini’s influence, maintaining the school’s reputation and commitment to excellence. We hope the Leadership and Ethics Program, which stimulates leadership development and creates a tighter-knit community by promoting interactions between older and younger students, continues to expand. This year, all interested Upper Schoolers can get involved in the program, previously open to only Telos Leadership Society members, through the Leadership and Ethics Council. We hope every interested Upper Schooler can eventually positively influence younger Marksmen through both informal conversations such as lunchtime discussions or formal presentations such as chapel talks. During Holtberg’s tenure, diversity levels have skyrocketed, with 44 percent of the student body identifying as “students of color.” We encourage the diversity program and its student-led counterpart, the Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization (DADYO), to continue their work in promoting cultural and diversity-related awareness. We hope the school continues to recruit students from a wide range of socio-economic, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. n the November issue of The ReMarker, we published an editorial expressing the need for updated features in the new science facilities, which are still in the planning phases. We hope Dini and the administration continue to push for these updates, which have the potential to make the science facilities some of the best in the country. The special section on reli-


gion in this month’s newspaper addresses the importance of spiritual education in students’ development. We hope the chapel program continues to promote unflagging morality through messages of acceptance, ethics and community. We also encourage more Upper School students to deliver student-led chapel talks in Lower, Middle and even Upper School chapels. ini aims to further ensure that every member of the school community is well versed with the school’s mission statements and value system. We hope he continues to stress the school’s philosophical groundings through his future speeches, letters and other communications with the community. We hope he continues to strengthen the common moral code, laid out in the Honor Principle and Lion Tracks, that all Marksmen share. Some 12-year senior Marksmen remember that the school celebrated Holtberg’s first ten years as headmaster during their first grade year. Since that celebration 12 years ago, the Senior Class has seen Holtberg work magic on campus as he promoted the trends of excellence, fellowship, diversity, spirituality and morality mentioned above. We thank Holtberg for his inspirational work, which has ultimately resulted in students’ physical, intellectual and philosophical developments. We feel these endeavors will lead the school forward in its mission statement and its commitment to excellence. Lastly, we look forward to seeing Dini receive the leadership mantle and continue to serve as a positive influence in the lives of future Marksmen.




Page 17


Running late

LONG STORY SHORT concise opinion



ure, I love the beach as much as anyone else. But I’m here to tell you, Charlie, why you should go to the mountains if you are planning on leaving town this Christmas Break. A few reasons why you should go mountain over beach. 1. ‘tis the ski-son It’s Christmas/Channukkah Break! It’s not a time for sand and sun. It’s time for cold weather, hot chocolate and an overweight man with a weird sense of style who claims to be a saint to break and enter through your chimney and rob you of those cookies and milk you accidentally left out. Try breaking into someone’s house on your beach vacation in Mexico and stealing their milk and cookies — see how that goes. 2. Underwater killing machines Alright, I’m gonna be straight up. I’m deathly afraid of sharks. They’re like fish, but instead of having gills and eating fish food, they have gills and murder you. Mountains have deer, and deer are nice. 3. Saltwater/sand Least but not last, saltwater/sand are the worst. Salt water mauls your eyes, and sand gets all up in your shorts. And when you get thirsty, you can’t drink saltwater. 4. The making and throwing of projectiles It’s frowned upon if you make a sphere out of sand and hurl it at high velocities toward a human. So keep that in mind when you’re in the mood to assault someone on the beach and can’t. I’ll be letting snowballs rain down. Anyway, Godspeed with your vacationing. Have a good vacation and watch out for sharks. In that order.

Aidan Dewar

the good A ROUND OF APPL AUSE for the expeditious work done by the Student Council and the Upper School Administration to organize a charity event in just a few days. Upperclassmen did well with their beards, and the underclassmen helped support by buying wristbands. With over $2000 raised for testicular cancer research, the fundraiser was a big success.


the so-so THE LITTLE BUDDIES program is off to a strong start, but seniors don’t have many organized events to visit with their Lower School buddies. We encourage seniors to visit their young friends more often, either at lunch or at the playground before school begins.


6:04 — Mr. Baker gives the nicest introduction I’ve ever received. 6:05 — I approach the podium. I open with an off the cuff joke about being late. It flops. I start the speech. 6:06: I flip to the second page of five of my speech. It’s out of order. As I continue talking, I realize that all five pages are jumbled. So much for all that time spent on the exact wording—I’m going to have to go off memory/ wing it. The rest of the speech is a blur as I go through the points I’d rehearsed. Once I finish, I walk back to the corner, where my mom was waiting. She breaks the news to me: the speech went really well. Turns out that not having the written copy to rely on made me sound really natural. That, and it’s easy to talk about why you love your school when, as so many of us do, you genuinely love your school. I feel a mix of emotions. I’m surprised it went as well as it did. I represented the school well after being so late. But most of all, I’m relieved. ••• Underclassmen, don’t believe the myth. Senior year is really, really challenging. You’re at the top of the food chain, so you have a lot of responsibility. And in my experience, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, with amplified consequences. Slack a little on studying for a calculus test? There’s no faking your answers. You’ll bomb the test. Forget a small detail at a pep rally? You’ll call audible on the fly, and someone always ends up angry. Even that night, Murphy’s Law appeared to hold true. Forget the President’s in town? Even if you leave early, you’ll still be 20 minutes late when you desperately need to be on time. But finally, the pattern was broken. Shuffle the papers in remarks to the biggest crowd you’ve ever faced? You give the best-delivered speech of your life. After a nice dinner out with my parents that night, I found myself with almost no homework for once. I went to bed early for a change, overwhelmingly grateful I’d caught a break.

the bad THE ONLINE VERSION of the Upper School Bulletin has not been updated in months, still presenting reading seminars and Homecoming as upcoming events. Students and faculty often look here to check the time and location of important events.


f you’ve never walked into a giant room full of people all waiting on you because you’re late, it’s not a good feeling. St. Mark’s Open House confirmed this for me. The first thing on the program that a Great Hall full of parents was given read: 5:45 : Opening Remarks — Student Council President Charlie Golden ’14. As I walked across the room toward the podium at 6:05, feeling 700 slightly disgruntled sets of eyes following me, I briefly reflected on the timeline that had brought me to this point. I had known for weeks that I’d be giving a speech Wednesday, Nov. 6, but when I got home at 3:45 that afternoon, I still hadn’t finalized my remarks. I spent the next half-hour or so toying with the wording of my speech, and after rehearsing it several times, I went upstairs to get dressed. By 5:20, I was pulling out of my driveway. In the mornings, it takes me 15 minutes to get to school, so I figured I’d be fine. But, luckily for me, President Obama was in town giving a speech nearby, and traffic was unbelievably heavy. 5:35 — Still a good ways away from school, I tell myself to stay calm. 5:40 — I email Mr. Baker, letting him know I’d be late. 5:45 — I’m verbally abusing the cars in my vicinity. 5:50 — I respond to one of my friends texts asking me where I was. 5:55 — I’m talking to my dad, explaining to him that I’d be there soon. 6:00 — I pull into school, and can’t find a place to park. I decide to make my own spot and move my car later. 6:02 — I begin the walk to the great hall. I pass about a dozen Lion and Sword Guys at different places along the way. “Mr. Baker was looking for you.” “Thanks, yeah I know.” “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be in the Great Hall?” “Yeah I know. Thanks.” “Hey, everyone’s waiting on you.” “Yeah I’m aware.” “Hey, Mr. Baker was looking for you, like 20 minutes ago.” “So I’ve been told.” 6:03 — I walk into the Great Hall. I see Mr. Holtberg in the corner and approach him, simultaneously apologizing while hearing Mr. Baker saying “he should be here any minute now.” Mr. Holtberg tells me it’s fine and to take a deep breath as we try to signal to Mr. Baker that I’ve arrived.


Editorial Board members Aidan Dewar and Charlie Golden square off on winter destinations.



Snow or sun?



idan, I know you all too well. “On winter break you’re supposed to go to cold places!” you say in a timid, high-pitched voice. “It’s just what you’re supposed to do!” Well, let me ask you a question, young Aidan: if all your friends were jumping off a bridge for winter break, would you do it? I know your capacity for outside thinking, so it surprises me how dead-set you are on going somewhere cold for vacation. I’m going to Cabo this winter break, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s why a sunny winter vacation is better than a cold one. In all your blind following in school, ever heard of a little guy called Isaac Newton? He said that it’s easier to do nothing than to do something. And this applies to putting on clothes. The last thing I want to do after months of working hard is to put the effort into throwing on four layers. I like showing off my beach bod, and, I’ll admit it, I like checking out others. Ever seen a hot girl on the mountain? Exactly. You don’t know. “Whoa, that girl is beautiful! Probably...I mean like under the North Face and the fleece and the goggles, shes probably really pretty!” That thinking is leading you down a slope you don’t want to ski and/or snowboard down. If you like goggle tan lines over beach tan lines, enjoy Aspen. Sure, Cabo might be a little dangerous. Ok it’s really dangerous. I’m pretty scared. But if I go out captured by criminals, smuggled away from family and friends, held for ransom in horrible conditions, at least I’ll be rocking a sweet, sweet bronze.

Charlie Golden

Page 18



A simple lesson from a first grader to a senior



t was the way he said it. It made me do a double take. Looking back into his sparkling six-year-old eyes, I could tell he meant his words fully. My first grade buddy Henry asked what class I had next, and I mentioned that I had a piano lesson and I had been taking piano for ten years. His face lit up, and he responded in his genuine tone. “That’s so cool! Music is definitely a great way to spend your time. I bet you’re so good!” The fact is, I’m not good. I’ve never really devoted enough time to piano to become as good as I could be with the amount of years I’ve played. But he made my day by saying so. I think it says something about our school community that a six-year-old’s compliment surprised me. Sarcasm has become the norm for speech. In fact, I’m willing to bet you read the quotation above in a sarcastic tone.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m as guilty as anyone. It’s easy to get a cheap laugh with a sarcastic remark, and I’ve done it my fair share of times. But it’s gotten to a point where it’s ridiculous. We communicate with sarcasm like it’s normal conversation. “Hey did you get 36 for the first problem on the homework?” “No, yeah, dude, that’s totally the right answer.” “Oh, what’d I mess up?” “I was hoping you’d bump into me and make me drop my notebooks.” “Sorry, didn’t see you there.” “Yeah, you should definitely keep passing the ball out of bounds.” “My bad, it slipped.” Think about it: when’s the last time one of your friends gave you a genuine compliment? If you’re still thinking, I think you get my point. And it’s not that we don’t

respect and admire each other’s strengths enough to be genuine. It’s just an attitude that we’ve created where being genuine is frowned upon. The thought of one of your close friends giving you a compliment might even seem weird or funny. I’ve even heard people try and give a genuine compliment and be misunderstood. “Hey, that jacket is really cool.” “Sweet dude, make fun of me for no reason.” Yeah, it’s in part because we’re a bunch of teenagers. And we’re all boys. But I think it’s especially prevalent in our community. I remember walking to the bus after our basketball game against Plano East. We had lost in overtime, and while walking past a group of their fans. “Hey, great game 33. You played well.” I reflexively assumed I was being made fun of. But I looked up and a guy my age was holding up a genuine high-


Winter Dangerland | Cartoon Zuyva Sevilla Slipped on the ice by Centennial

Hey, what are you guys doing?

five. So maybe our community is worse in this regard than others. Sure it’s not the worst thing in the world. There are much bigger problems in the world then a little bit of sarcasm. But if it really is more common in our community, it’s not something that we want to be known for. There are a lot of great things about the school, and I think one of those is that we are never satisfied. We are always striving to get a little bit better, whether it’s in the classroom, a studio or on a court or field. So we can strive as a community to be a little more genuine. You can make someone’s day or week just by acknowledging them with a heartfelt comment. It’s not complicated, just say what you mean. My first grade buddy affected me with a simple comment and he didn’t even realize it. It was the way he said it.

A peek at Marksmen’s tweets


Drive thru guy: it’ll be $10.56 Me: I’m doing great and you? *awkward staring for two minutes* — Junior Miguel Plascencia


Is it just me or has QuizUp literally become the biggest thing at your school overnight? — Sophomore Drew Taylor


Waiting for the ice to fall off the buil—woah, what happened to you?



They have red velvet pancakes at this place. — Senior Matthew Brown


And suddenly, hundreds of Auburn fans appear — Freshman Case Lowry


It’s a sad, sad day when a man has to eat a pumpkin pie without any milk. —Sophomore Mathew Dominguez

14brownm Yeah, that happened to me earlier, they weren’t joking with that caution tape


Speaking of which, RUN! SAVE YOURSELVES!




editor-in-chief creative director issues editor managing editor senior content editor business manager opinion editor graphics director head photographer special projects editor

Dylan Clark Sam Khoshbin Ryan O’Meara Aidan Dewar Charlie Golden John Caldwell Vishal Gokani Zuyva Sevilla Andrew Gatherer Alexander Munoz

deputy opinion editor Shourya Kumar news editors Alex Kim Vikram Pattabi life editors Cyrus Ganji Cole Gerthoffer sports editors Matthew Conley Teddy Edwards

campus coordinator Ford Robinson reviews specialist Nabeel Muscatwalla copy editor William Sydney staff artists Purujit Chatterjee, Joon Park staff photographers Halbert Bai, Harrison Chen, Arno Goetz, Riley

Graham, Alden James, Graham Kirstein, Cameron Lam, Adam Marchant, Tim O’Meara, Connor Olson, Nico Sanchez, Mason Smith, Corbin Walp staff writers Nick Buckenham, Jacob Chernick, Tabish Dayani, Will Forbes, Richard Jiang, Bradford Beck, William

Caldwell, Cameron Clark, Will Clark, Andrew Hatfield, Kevin He, Noah Koecher, Akshay Malhotra, Davis Marsh, Roby Mize, Philip Montgomery, Zachary Naidu, Matthew Placide, Avery Powell, Anvit Reddy, Philip Smart, Abhi Thummala, P.J. Voorheis staff assistants

Rish Basu, Aiden Blinn, Daniel Cope, John Crawford, Corday Cruz, James Hancock, Easton Honaker, Nolan Jenevein, Shaheer Khan, Case Lowry, Aidan Maurstad, Crawford McCrary, Rohil Rai, Gopal Raman, Ethan Shah. adviser Ray Westbrook

student newspaper of st. mark’s school of texas • dallas, texas 75230 • 214.346.8000 • Coverage. The ReMarker covers

topics, issues, events and opinions of relevance and interest to the St. Mark’s School of Texas community. Letters. Send submissions to the editor at 10600 Preston Road, Dallas, 75230 or via email at remarker@ Letters should be brief and signed, although the writer may request anonymity. Letters may be rejected if libelous or obscene material

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“There’s something about taking young people and putting them in nature with an athletic outlet that forges great bonds that last for a Page 20 lifetime.”

Junior guard Jack Gordon attempts a layup against Trinity Christian Academy. Coach Greg Guiler’s team lost 60-61 at the Nov. 19 home game. p. 22





After Break

>Junior varsity basketball takes on the Australian team Churchie at 6 p.m. in Hicks Gymnasium follwed by the varsity game against Churchie at 7 p.m.

> Varsity wrestling travels to Norman, OK for the Norman Pool Tournament Dec. 21 and lasts throughout the day.

> The varsity swimming team competes against Bishop Lynch and Cistercian Jan. 10 at the Ralph B. Rogers Natatorium with a to be determined starting time.

> The freshman basketball team plays Home School Athletic Association at 6:15 p.m. in Morris G. Spencer Gymnasium.

> The varsity soccer team will rematch Prestonwood Christian Academy at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Lions lost in the previous match up.

> The varsity basketball team travels to the Trinity Valley School Jan. 10 for their first counter game at 7:30 p.m.

• Participating in three events, the crew team took eighth, ninth and 14th place in double scull and 14th place in both quadruple scull and novice quadruple scull in the Pumpkin Head of the Colorado regatta in Austin Oct. 27. In addition to these four boats, senior Winston Brewer raced for his own team, the Dallas Rowing Club, taking first place in lightweight double scull and eighth place in lightweight single scull. The regatta invited both high school and college level teams from Texas and Oklahoma to compete in 77 different races. • Helping lead the football team to the SPC championship game, middle linebacker Mac Labhart was recently mentioned in Dallas Morning News’s “Defensive Players of the Week.” Labhart received honorable mentions on four different occasions, against All Saints, Episcopal High School, ESD and Holland Hall. During the week of Sept. 23, Labhart was mentioned for having 19 tackles in the 58-21 loss against All Saints. Labhart was mentioned Nov. 11, for his 15 tackles during the 55-35 win against EHS. Against Holland Hall, Labhart had one blocked punt and 15 tackles in the 53-7 win against Nov. 18. Lastly, Dec. 2, Labhart received honorable mentions for his 15 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery during the 56-21 win against ESD. • Athletic Director Mark Sullivan and Assistant Athletic Director Josh Friesen helped smooth out preparation for the fall SPC competitions at the annual fall athletic director meeting Nov. 7 at the Oakridge School in Arlington. According to Sullivan, directors from each SPC school were in attendance to talk about the nuts and bolts of the season’s specific contests and made sure that everything would run smoothly. However, Sullivan is waiting for the spring meeting in May in which all of the athletic directors will meet again to address larger issues such as balancing the competition between large and small schools in the conference. “We really save the significant conversation in any ultimate decision making for one meeting that happens after spring SPC,” Sullivan said. “We don’t solve anything in the fall meeting. We just try to raise and increase awareness.” • Middle School fall sports awards were handed out during assembly Oct. 30. Eighth graders Garret Mize and Fausto Reyher were awarded for excellence in eighth grade football. Shazeb Dayani, Blake Rogers, Kyle Smith and Landon Wood were awarded for excellence in seventh grade football. André Arsenault and Matt Powers were awarded for excellence in 8th grade cross country. Mateo Guevara and Seth Weprin were awarded for seventh grade cross country. Kristof Csaky, Matthew Zang, Kevin Feng and Andrew Li were awarded for excellence in PE tennis. Davis Bailey was awarded for excellence in eighth grade volleyball. Parker Davis, James Rogers, Billy Stalder and David Vallejo were awarded for excellence in seventh grade volleyball. Mujin Kwun, Wyatt Northcut, Michael Then and Owen Berger were awarded for excellence in fencing. — Tip off stories reported by Avery Powell, Philip Montgomery, Richard Jiang, and PJ Voorheis




HEAD IN THE GAME Sophomore wingman Alex Sanchez, one of the many underclassmen on the team, helps varsity soccer against Prestonwood Christian Academy. The team lost the Nov. 15 game, only the second match of the season, 0-1.

ON POINT Directing the defense, senior captain and middle line backer Mac Labhart led the team in tackles and helped the Lions reach second in the SPC tournament. The Lions lost 45-59 to Kinkaid in the conference championship at Brewer Stadium Nov. 9.

STREAMLINE Diving in, senior Josh Perkins practices for the 2013-2014 swimming season.


Jacob Wilner

While warming up for the SPC, Wilner suffered a torn rectus femoris that kept him out of the championship football game, and the first weeks of soccer. Wilner played in his first soccer game Dec. 12 and looks to get back to full strength soon.

Winston Brewer

Sidelined with tendonitis, the inflammation of the tendons in his knee, Brewer can only watch his wrestling teammates practice while he works to keep in shape through nonimpact training such as bicycle riding.


Through the last two volleyball seasons, I have kept that hit in the back of my mind. I told myself games and SPC were the only things that really mattered, that it was stupid I almost constantly thought about that perfect hit every time I was on the court. But, as the last games of my senior year came about, I thought about that hit more and more. I thought about what it meant to be a senior on the team, and what Connor, Charlie, Cameron and all the other seniors on the team had meant to me as a sophomore. I tried to be the models that they had been for me. oing into SPC, I tried to calm my teammates, reassuring them and myself that everything would turn out OK. I didn’t want to tell my teammates that I was nervous, that I felt the weight of two years of work on my back and the pressure of defending our championship from last year. I doubted myself and my ability to be the leader my team needed. As SPC began, I started to calm down. Watching my team overcome each challenge reassured my faith in the team and myself. I began to relax, letting my teammates help me carry the burden of expectations. I entered into the championship game trusting every single player on our bench, knowing that all of them could get the job done. I briefly wondered if Connor and the other seniors had had this much trust in me as a sophomore, but I couldn’t think about it for long as I had to focus on the game. The game was tight from the beginning, each team trading points. We had a slight lead with 6 points to go in the first set when it happened. Carson set me a ball. I jumped, soaring above the block. The ball was just a blur to me, I don’t even remember seeing it. I swung my arm, trusting instinct to guide it to where the ball was. I hit it perfectly, straight down. It was one point, but I knew the game was over. I had finally achieved what I never thought possible. Nothing could stop me.





SEASON FOR SPLASHING Slicing through the water during practice, junior Alex Kim prepares for the varsity swimming season.



e soared above the block. The ball must have seemed like a blur flying towards him. He couldn’t have seen the ball as he hit it; your eyes just don’t work that fast. Yet he hit it perfectly, straight down. Connor Anderson turned and yelled to our bench and our fans, who in turn roared back at him. It was just one point, but it turned the tide of the game. That powerful hit also reverberated through me. I had always built up the seniors as near gods in my mind. They were all older, wiser and more mature than I was. Yet there were a few that I put higher than everyone else, seniors that, after being watched, defined what it meant to be a leader at 10600 Preston Road. Ever since Connor hit that ball, I knew what it meant to be a great volleyball player. That single hit became the measuring stick for my next two seasons of volleyball. No matter how many wins, how many hits or how hard I pushed myself, that single smash remained untouchable, a combination of coordination and power that no one, but most importantly I, could never reach.


Learning to become a leader







22 Winter sports

21 Fall SPC

23 Hawks coach

24 Adam Merchant


Leaving a

legacy Dick Bass started his career in the oil industry and left to pursue a dream. He climbed Mt. Everest at age 55, and founded his own ski resort, Snowbird, in 1971. Today, his children and grandchildren plan to continue his legacy.


veryone should like to leave a legacy. bonds that last for a lifetime,” Jim Bass said. And the reason I feel so thankful for mine is that 85 percent of the United States lives in an urbanized As prices began to rise and the trip became too dangerpressure cooker – bumper-to-bumper gridlock, and it’s dehumanizing the way people are living together ous legally, it stopped in 1985. But the Snowbird legacy still today. They’ve got to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. — Dick Bass, (Snowbird Owner and Co-founder) lives on in Dick Bass’ family. His grandson Kevin Bass ’13 Dick Bass has always lived a life of excitement; he has always lived a life on the edge. The man, who has had two sons and two grandsons go to St. Mark’s, never said no. After listening to his brother Harry tell him he couldn’t, and after going into millions of dollars in debt, he founded his own ski resort — Snowbird. Located 25 miles outside the metropolitan area of Salt Lake City, Snowbird is not a well-known resort mecca like Vail or Aspen, but it is known for having the best ski and snow conditions in the world. Nevertheless, creating this renowned resort was never easy. Bass and Snowbird went into more than $80 million in debt. “I still have Snowbird because of my right brain,” Bass said. “The right brain is the creative, conceptual, aesthetic side, but it’s also the spiritual side, and if you’ve got a spiritual side, you’ve got faith.” Because that faith stayed strong, after almost 40 years of negative cash flow, the past five years Snowbird has been making money and cutting its debt. Now, Snowbird has 15 lifts, four lodges, terrain than can rival any other mountain and only $20 million in debt. And today, at 83 years old, he thinks Snowbird is only a quarter done. “And I’m not going to see it finished,” Bass said. “If I can just go ahead, there are some things percolating that just may happen in the next two to three years.” Bass has pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that is slowly shrinking his lungs. And after climbing Mt. Everest and flying more than 50 million miles, he still has countless things on his bucket list. “Jealousy is a monster. I think that jealousy is the worst aspect of human feelings,” Bass said. “I’m inspired by what

other people do instead of being jealous of what they’ve done. If something appeals to me, I do it.” And with this mentality, he became the first man to climb the seven summits, the writer of his own book and the owner of a ski resort. Bass passed on this mentality of determination to two generations of descendants. His youngest son Jim Bass graduated from St. Mark’s in 1977 and started an annual spring break ski trip to Snowbird in 1975 for St. Mark’s and Hockaday students. “In 1975, we came up with the idea of a spring break trip to Snowbird,” Jim Bass ’77 said. “These trips were incredible. We opened the trip up to anyone in the Upper School at Hockaday or St. Mark’s. It was a pretty unique experience in that these kids were getting to know each other for the first time and they were doing a fun sport. It was great way to break the ice that’s hard to break between Hockaday and St. Mark’s students.” Like his father, Jim Bass values the importance of the outdoors. “There’s something about taking young people and putting them in nature with an athletic outlet that forges great KEVIN BASS ’13

To me, Snowbird is a peaceful respite where I can ski with family, appreciate the mountains and honor my grandfather. Dick established the resort to allow people to treasure their bodies, minds and spirits, and every time I visit the resort, I feel myself and the people around me do exactly that.

skis every Christmas and spring break. “Snowbird is not for the fainthearted,” Kevin Bass said. “People who have skied the Bird not only enjoy the alpine environment, but they also love the sport of skiing. Snowbird is a resort I picture myself visiting for the rest of my life, and it inspires me to make an impact on the world.” Another grandson, junior Mason Smith is also an avid skier, and he takes every opportunity he can to hit the slopes. “Snowbird has always been a second home to me. Whenever Christmas or spring break rolls around I know I am going to have the time of my life shredding the slopes,” Smith said. “Not only has Snowbird helped spark my interest in the outdoors and athletics, but my grandfather and the work he put into making Snowbird a reality has inspired me more than anything else.” Although he no longer skis, Dick Bass knows what he has started will be forever great for his family and anyone else who skis Snowbird. Kevin Bass agrees. “I take great pride whenever I mention that my grandfather is Dick Bass,” Kevin Bass said. “His fervent enthusiasm and energy has made him accomplish wonders — including the creation of Snowbird. To me, Snowbird is a peaceful respite where I can ski with family, appreciate the mountains and honor my grandfather. Dick established the resort to allow people to treasure their bodies, minds and spirits, and every time I visit the resort, I feel myself and the people around me do exactly that.” And for his kids, Dick Bass only hopes they will continue the legacy he has created. “Kids today are text messaging, they don’t talk face to face very often,” Dick Bass said. “Skiing is the one sport that you can have a five-year-old and a 75-year-old and everything in between and you’re not limited to a five person team — you can come down that mountain with 20 family members, having a state of togetherness in God’s great outdoors.”

Snowbird through the years

1969 Dick Bass meets Ted Johnson, who he would go on to start Snowbird with.



Dick Bass opens Snowbird with Ted Johnson. Bass had completely left the oil business.

Ted Johnson sells his part of Snowbird to Bass, he now owns all of Snowbird.

1975 Jim Bass ‘77 and St. Mark’s begin a ski trip to Snowbird for Spring Break along with The Hockaday School.

2002 Snowbird joins with Alta to offer a joint lift pass, which would greatly extend the terrain for any skiers.

LEAVING A LEGACY story by Matthew Conley, sports editor | photos used with permission, Dick Bass

2009 Outside names Snowbird and Alta the best ski destination for the 2009 ski season

2011 Snowbird sets a new record for cumulative snowfall of more than 750 inches of snow.


Page 21



A reason to celebrate Going into the fall SPC playoffs, all three fall sports had the opportunity to win a championship, and by the final whistle, two teams were going home with the gold, and one earned silver. ACE Jumping, Junior Tim Simenc serves during the championship.


t the most recent SPC weekend, the Lions took their second SPC volleyball title in a row by beating Kinkaid 3-1. After having yet another undefeated season, they were able to bring home another championship. “We had a really successful season, but we were still able to finish out the season strong by playing well in the championship,” starting varsity player Parker Dixon said. Although the volleyball team will be losing seven seniors, Dixon said that the team will be able to adapt and overcome the lossses. “Our team is going to be really good in the next couple of years,” Dixon said. “Even though some seniors are leaving, we still have a lot of young talent.”

The team has been extremely successful in the past years, but they are not lowering their standards. Varsity player Sam Eichenwald said that a couple of the players are going to continue to play volleyball in the offseason in order to keep playing as well as they have in the past couple of years. “A couple of the guys are going to be playing volleyball over the summer with me,” Eichenwald said. “We are going to be playing together on a team.” Eichenwald said that he thinks next year’s team will be able to bring home a third championship. “I really think that we will be able to win [SPC] next year,” Eichenwald said. “We wouldn’t be satisfied with anything else.”

GOLDEN The “best cross country team since ’07,” according to head coach John Turek, lived up to its reputation by winning the SPC Chamiponship with six all-SPC runners.


ou could see them from the top of the hill. Blue uniforms with the gold SM on the front, clumped together, sunlight shining off their bodies. They were running as they had been from the beginning of the season — as a team. And it was a championship team. The cross country team won its first SPC championship since 2007 by a score of 49-68. Seniors Matthew Brown and Harrison Perkins, junior Nick Buckenham, sophomore J.T. Graass, junior Rishi Kshatriya and freshman Daniel Cope finished in the top 20 rankings earning all-SPC recognition. For Brown it was the best way to end his four-year varsity

career. “It was very satisfying especially because of how hard we have been working these past four years,” Brown said. “It’s always been a letdown to get second, but this year we finally one and it showed that all our hard work has finally paid off.” Although the team had setbacks due to injuries, they kept focused on winning the championship throughout the season. “Like any sport played at the elite level we had injuries and illnesses thought out the season,” head coach John Turek said. “It was never very wide spread but there where time Coach Lee and I would be saying, ‘What else could go wrong today?’ It pauses

you and makes you think, ‘My God, what do we do?’ But you don’t overreact and just go with the flow.” At the end of the day, it was the Lions’ ability to run as a team that earned them the gold. “Unlike the other sports at St. Mark’s, cross country is a very individual sport, but you only win as a team,” Turek said. “To watch those guys coming into [the final stretch] as a group, which is the key to cross country, it was truly a good feeling. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I knew when Harrison had crossed the finish line that we had won the race. The boys had worked so hard, and to see the win is just great satisfaction.”

A REASON TO CELEBRATE story by Teddy Edwards, sports editor, PJ Voorheis, staff writer | photos by Mason Smith, Photographer, and used with premission of Dean Addy


Moving on and moving forward


LASTING LEGACY Looking forward, senior captain John Caldwell runs-out a catch in his last game as Lion. His offensive production and skill will be tough to replace next year.

By Teddy Edwards Sports Editor hey walked back to the locker room, heads down, tears running down the faces of many. All the fans could do was smile, give them a hug or do anything else to try to make them feel better. The varsity football team lost in the SPC championship game, 59-45 against the Kinkaid Falcons Nov. 9. To senior captain and all-SPC linebacker and running back Mac Labhart, it was a tough loss verse a worthy opponent. “It was really exciting to reach the championship, because both my sopho-

more and junior years we were only one game away,” Labhart said. “Its unfortunate that all three times it has been Kinkaid that has knocked us out, but it was really exciting to finally get to play for [the championship]. I thought we were a better team, and there were things we could have done, but they were a very good team and if we were going to lose it was going to be against them.” Despite the tough loss, head coach Bart Epperson still congratulated the team on their achievement. “Coach Epp told us after the game that you know we should be proud of

what we did and getting that far is an accomplishment in and of itself,” Labhart said. The Lions now need to work around losing a strong group of seniors, including nine starters. But as players step up into leadership roles, Labhart wants the team to remember one thing: “Everyone is always going to say ‘you can’t beat someone because they have so many division one recruits, but that’s clearly not the case the vast majority of the time,” Labhart said. “As long as they play as a team, they can beat any team that they face.”


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Page 22



winter storm W I N T E R


For winter sports teams, hopes are high for repeat titles



SWISH Leaping towards the rim, junior Jack Gordon makes a layup in a varsity game against Trinity Christian Academy Nov. 19. The Lions lost by a mere point with a final score of 60-61.

New wrestlers fill gaps from last year By Andrew Hatfield staff writer s Marksmen casually shoot hoops in Hicks Gym, they can admire the banners hanging on the back wall. Eventually, their eyes wander to the wrestling banner and see the success that the wrestling program has experienced over the years. Having already filled one banner, a second one is required. But one year is conspicuously missing from that banner: 2013. Last year, an injury-ridden and understaffed wrestling team placed third, just short of what would have been its ninth straight SPC title.



TAKEDOWN Practicing pins, senior Nick Brodsky and others endure the grueling work of being on the wrestling team and striving for glory.

But varsity coach Justin Turner doesn’t want to worry about last year; he wants to look towards the future. “I’ve quit concerning myself with [the past]” Turner said. “The past is the past and going forward I hope we can make the wrestling program better than it’s ever been.” As with last year, filling all the weight classes this season is proving to be difficult for the program. “Finding enough guys,” will be team’s biggest challenge Turner said. “We have some very good wrestlers, but right now were in a kind of rebuilding mode.”

Despite being undermanned, Turner believes the team can still compete at the highest level. “We don’t have a lot of room for error,” he said. “So it’s all about getting guys to the right weights and getting some other guys that are willing to come in and contribute.” Among those who have stepped up are seniors Will Nelson, Charlie Marshall and Alexander Munoz none of whom have ever wrestled at the varsity level before. “It’s hard, not just physically but mentally and emotionally, to put yourself out on that plane,” Turner said. “I think it takes a really courageous person to do that. I’m proud of them.” The program does have a bright future ahead behind four new freshmen. “The freshmen are doing fantastic,” Turner said. “They were able to go through a year of our system as eighth graders so their learning curve has been a lot higher then even the upperclassmen we had last year in getting used to my style and expectations. I think they are progressing great.” With the team led by senior captains Winston Brewer, Nick Brodsky and Zach Papin, Coach Turner is confident that with hard work the squad can re-take the SPC crown and begin a new era in the wrestling program. “We’re going to do the very best job we can and try to make St. Mark’s proud,” he said. “I felt a lot of pressure myself trying to uphold a bunch of things last year and I think it hurt me as a coach and hurt the program a little bit trying to live up to others’ expectations. As a coach, as an athlete, as a person, you can’t try to be someone else’s voice. You have to move forward and build on what you think is right and move on from there.”

Soccer team looks to three-peat By Matthew Placide staff writer onfidence. Resilience. Determination. Those are the words that come to mind when one thinks of last years’ SPC champions. And coach Cory Martin has a few things in mind to make this upcoming season a success just like last years. “My first goal is for us to qualify for Division I. The next tangible goal is to win an SPC championship,” Martin said. “But the intangible goals are also important. The things that I’m looking from this team to make this [season] successful [are] our leadership base and developing unity and chemistry.” With only senior Jacob Wilner as captain, Martin looks to the four-year varsity veteran for leadership on and off the field. “The veteran that we have to look at [for leadership] is first and foremost our captain, Jacob Wilner,” Martin said. “The next group is the other seniors who are Tony Garcia, John Garnsey, James Diamond and Israel Soto. Those are the guys that have been there and that’s were I’m really looking to lean on them, starting most of all with Jacob.” Wilner also believes that because he was voted captain it is his job to guide this team to another successful season. However, he knows he cannot lead the soccer team alone– he will need help from his fellow seniors. “I would consider myself a leader since I am the team captain, but I still need to prove that I can be a great leader,” Wilner said. “It really means a lot to me that my teammates voted me captain because it shows me that they trust me. But it also shows that they believe I can lead them to a great season and think I will do well in the position, so it is my responsibility to actually prove them right.” Moreover, complacency is an easy snare for Martin’s team, especially for those who



By Phillip Smart staff writer ne perfect game. That’s all it would take for head basketball coach Greg Guiler to call the season a success. And a perfect game is his goal for this year’s team. “I would love for us to play a perfect game,” Guiler said. “Just one perfect game where we make no mental mistakes. I shouldn’t say physical mistakes because you’re going to miss shots. That’s not part of being perfect. But let’s shoot for the stars. One game with no turnovers and no mental errors.” With seven returning seniors, the basketball team has high hopes to improve upon their sixth place finish in last year’s SPC tournament. Junior guard Jack Gordon, who led the team with more than 12 points per game last season, is open to the goal of a perfect game, but he stresses that unity will be the key to reaching that success this year. “We are all going to have to buy in,” Gordon said. “We will have to play off of each other. Having a perfect game doesn’t mean the other team won’t score, but it just means we’re going to do everything we can.” With seven seniors graduating last year, the team will look to new personnel for success. However, Guiler is excited to incorporate new, young players. “The fun part about high school basketball is you get to kind of get to reshape your approach every year based on your personnel,” Guiler said. “You look at some of the young guys coming up, and I think we’ve got some talent in the pipeline. I’m excited about the future. Yeah, we lost seven good kids from last year, but I’m excited.” Gordon aims to help the younger play-

ers, including six sophomores, through his leadership and play. “I think our new sophomores are really going to bring a lot of intensity and competitiveness to practice,” he said. “I’ll have to help get them get accustomed and keep them comfortable. If you’re nervous going into a game you won’t play as well as if you’re comfortable and playing within yourself.” All in all, Guiler wants to see his players accomplish and triumph through perfection, and he says his players share his same goal. “Sometimes, when you aim for perfection, you catch greatness along the way,” Guiler said. “Maybe we will be fortunate to do that and win a championship. These guys have high expectations. We have a smart group of senior leaders, and a good cast of underclassmen. I think it’s a feasible goal to see them play one perfect game.”

ATTACK In a game against Prestonwood Christian Academy, Junior Ben Wilner centers the offense. The soccer team’s hopes are high for another SPC title.

have only been on the soccer team for an SPC championship and have not experienced being on the losing side of a championship. “One thing that helps is that we were not the best team in SPC last year. We were the best team on the day it counted,” Martin said. “Everyone will tell you that the best team in the league by far was Episcopal School of Dallas and we’re the ones sitting with the trophy. That’s because on the day that it mattered, we were on. And we’re going to play some challenging matches in the beginning that I think are going to demonstrate to our boys that we’re right back where we were last year.” For Wilner, the only player to experience an SPC loss, another SPC championship is worth almost anything. “Being able to win SPC the past two years meant the world to me, especially since we could finally win for coach Martin,” Wilner said. “Losing the championship freshman year is definitely my most heartbreaking memory in soccer, and the feeling of winning it was truly amazing.”

Swimmers seek to defend SPC champion run By William Caldwell staff writer fter countless years of calling themselves SPC champions, the Lions varsity swim team remains motivated to win another title. With their season beginning Dec. 5 at the St. Mark’s Invitational, the team knows expectations are high for the year. Senior captain Jack Mallick knows the team must maintain a level head for the year. “We have to make sure we realize that we are not immortal,” Mallick said. “In 2008, the team was great, and a couple of stupid injuries and extra motivated competition took them down. Everyone on this team has to know that their number may be called at any time, and when it’s called, they need to be ready to deliver for us.” Head coach Mihai Oprea also feels that the swimmers know they must work for a championship. “All of the kids that buy into our culture understand that it is not a given,” Oprea said, “and that nothing comes easy, and they still have to do their part. They have to work hard. We have a group of kids who are self-motivated, but also they’re good at motivating each other.” Oprea knows team depth will not be a very big issue this year. “I think I’m fortunate enough to have a pretty good team,” Oprea said. “We have 49 guys. We do have a lot of talented swimmers. I think overall we have a pretty deep team.” Although the team broke many records



Basketball eyes stronger chemistry

TO THE LIMIT Swimming freestyle, senior captain Matt Mahowald swims during practice. The team had a time trials Dec. 3 and hosted a victorious dual meet against Cisticercian Dec. 10

last year, Mallick understands that representing the school is the most important aspect of this year’s team. “This year we probably won’t break as many records as we did last year,” Mallick said, “but that shouldn’t matter as the name of our school is more important than the name of an individual on the record board.” After many years of success, Mallick believes that this year is no different, and he thinks that SPC is well in reach. Moreover, the team thinks that a repeat is possible. “The expectations for this team are so high,” Mallick said. “The captains and coaches all expect every athlete to never have a bad day or make excuses for mistakes made. We all expect commitment and discipline. If we follow our leadership and listen to our great coaches, I have no doubt the year 2014 will go up on our championship banner.”


Page 23

The big leagues Taylor Jenkins ‘03 has traveled around the U.S. coaching basketball to everyone from inner-city kids in Pennsylvania to rising stars in Austin. But now, after coaching small ball for the past nine years, Jenkins has stepped up to the big leagues, assistant coaching an NBA team, the Atlanta Hawks.


he text to Coach Jolly, his basketball coach at St. Mark’s, read: “Coach, sorry I haven’t called, been really busy. I just wanted to text you to say that I’ve accepted a assistant coaching position with the Atlanta Hawks. Thank you so much for all your support and your help in my growth as a basketball mind. You are a big reason why I’ve loved the game from a young age. Can you imagine from Jesuit Ranger basketball camp, to St. Mark’s basketball, to the Spurs, to the Toros and now to the Hawks, what a journey. I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Taylor Jenkins ’03 has made it up to the big leagues with his acceptance of an NBA assistant coaching position with the Atlanta Hawks. A three-year starter on the varsity basketball team during his time here, Taylor had been around the game for as long as



X’S AND O’S Taylor Jenkins ‘03 takes advantage of his internship with the San Antonio Spurs’ D-League team, the Austin Toros.



PROTECT THE BASKET Jenkins coaches the centers and big men, focusing on defense, during a practice with the Austin Toros.

he can remember. “He knew and understood the game at a young age and at a level that most other players didn’t,” Scott Jolly, his varsity coach at the time and now director of Individual Giving, said. “He had all the intangibles: he played hard every single day, he had a great attitude, he was a leader, he encouraged guys to be the best player they could be and he was a coach on the floor even back then.” Jenkins offers a lot of credit to his alma mater for getting him to where he is now. “My years at St. Mark’s and being around the game really got my heart racing and made me want to be around basketball as much as possible. The culture at St. Mark’s carried a long way in my career.” After graduating, he attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. “Ninety-eight percent of the people who get business degrees at Wharton go into Wall Street,” Jenkins said. “I chose coaching.” His first volunteer coaching position was coaching inner-city kids in Philadelphia while attending UPenn. “The most rewarding part was seeing the kids’ faces every day,” Jenkins said. “I got to coach them once a week and had games on Saturday. The memories we had together was probably my highlight of my college career. I stay in contact with those kids, some are off playing college ball now. To be able to create this league was such a special experience to be able to give back.” After coaching inner city children in Philadelphia for three years, Jenkins was offered an internship with the San Antonio Spurs. “My biggest responsibility for them was scouting for the draft,” he said. “I scouted college prospects, international prospects and trade prospects for the Spurs.” At the end of his internship he was offered a coaching job with the Spurs’ D-League team, the Austin Toros. There he spent four years as an assistant coach and was named the head coach his fifth year. The Toros won a D-League championship in the 2011-2012 season. “The most special part for me in the D-League was being around guys who are that close to the NBA, striving to live their dream,” Jenkins said. “Being able to work with those guys day in and day out, trying to help them fulfill their dreams, was incredible, more special than the championship we won. The most special thing for me, though, was seeing guys get to the NBA.” Just like the D-leaguers he was coaching in Austin, Jenkins also got his NBA call up this year. After being notified about Jenkins’ call-up, Jolly felt intense pride for his friend and former player. “I’m really proud of Taylor for what he’s done, and I’m also so happy for him,” Jolly said. “There’s a deep sense of happiness and joy that somebody who I had the chance to work with is now coaching at the NBA level, especially because it’s so rare.” Jolly always saw Jenkins as a coach on the floor, but when he went to UPenn, he thought he’d do something big in the

business world. But when Jenkins accepted the job with the Spurs, Jolly knew he’d be on his way to an incredible coaching career. “Once he got the opportunity,” Jolly said, “I knew he’d have a career in coaching because he has all the qualities you need to be successful as a coach and he’ll work like crazy to be the best coach possible.” Coaching means so much more to Jenkins than just winning basketball games. It’s about the strong relationships he’s able to form day in and day out. “Coaching is special because it gives me the opportunity to teach and develop relationships with such extraordinary men,” Jenkins said. “I love to share knowledge and learn from the players. The emotions that come out of the intense competition makes this atmosphere that allows for so many great feelings and positive emotions. Coaching to me has always been about teaching.” olly recognizes Jenkins’ coaching in his happy, go-getter attitude and his deep instincts. “Taylor has that velvet-covered-brick kind of attitude of a coach, meaning that he’s a people’s person and very easily able to get along with, but he’s also so competitive and works so hard to do what has to be done in order to win,” Jolly said. “Instinct in coaching is really important. You can know all the x’s and o’s you want, but if you can’t be there and have a feel for the game, it’s hard to be successful. It’s a natural, innate quality, and Taylor has always had that.” Jenkins cherishes his ability to coach at such a high level with such incredible, professional athletes. “When you have talented players who care and want to compete,” Jenkins said, “it creates that culture revolved around winning. By no means am I starstruck, but it’s a great experience to work with some of the greatest players in the league.” Jenkins’ call up to the NBA is something he will never


• • • • •

JENKINS’ JOURNEY St. Mark’s Philadelphia San Antonio Austin Atlanta

10 years 3 years 1 year 5 years current

forget for as long as he lives. “When I got the call,” he said, “I wasn’t speechless, I just felt so blessed. I’ve been able to live my dream. I’m so thankful for the Spurs’ taking that chance on me allowing me to get to where I am now. Although he has moved quickly up the coaching ranks so far, Jenkins does not want to rush the next phase of his life. He is happy where he is and excited to continue coaching. “I don’t want to rush where I’m going to be in the next five years. I’m going to take my life one possession at a time, one game at a time, one season at a time and soak it all in. There is nowhere else I’d rather be than coaching basketball.”

THE BIG LEAGUES story by Ford Robinson, campus coordinator | photos used with permisson of and

By Zachary Naidu staff writer It’s all adrenaline at first. He doesn’t feel a thing. Moments later, he passes the 500-meter mark and begins to feel the burn creep into his body. The pain in his tree-trunk-shaped legs ballooning with every passing second, he hits the 1,000 meter mark, takes a hard ten strokes to refocus and bursts into an allout sprint to the finish. Despite the grueling pain, all senior rower Cameron Baxley can think of is, “This is for the national team.” It was a personal record and good enough for second overall out of 25 participants at The Men’s Junior National Sculling Team Selection Camp in Seattle, WA, this past June. Baxley finished the 2 kilometer erg with

an exceptional time of 6:18.2. It is an accomplishment to even be invited to the highly selective rowing camp. “They invite 25 guys, theoretically the 25 best scullers in the nation, up to camp,” Baxley said. “From those 25 guys they select eight guys to go to Worlds [World Championships] and if you are younger than a ’95 birthday you can go to other development teams.” Baxley finished tenth at the three-week camp, barely missing the qualifying cut for the 19U Junior National Team. However, he was just happy to have had the opportunity to attend the camp. “I was really excited, and kind of stunned, honestly,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about the national team until I was invited. Coach Pitts [head crew coach]

said, ‘Hey by the way, this lady from the US National Team says you are invited up to camp, selection camp.’ So from then I did a bunch of research and figured out what exactly it was.” Baxley received the invitation largely because of his second place performance at the Dallas Southwest Ergometer Amateur Tournament (Dallas SWEAT) and the ’13 varsity quad’s stellar record. Fellow senior rower Alex McKenna, says a large part of Baxley’s success can be attributed to his desire to attend the United States Naval Academy. “He knew that rowing could be a golden ticket, among other things, to getting into a college like that,” McKenna said. “So he decided to work his butt off. He would erg a lot during the summers, he borrowed an erg


CREW Baxley’s work ethic in rowing providing college options

WORK ETHIC Always in rhythm, senior Cameron Baxley displays his work ethic during practice.

from our school and used it way more than most people would.” All of those extra hours during the summer have resulted in rowing offers from Princeton University and Navy. The hard work he has put in has taken Baxley far in his rowing career and will continue to do so. “His most admirable trait is his work ethic,” McKenna said. “Because he has an insane amount of it.”


It’s that time of the year again, folks. Snow falls from the skies, dinners roast in their ovens, families gather around the fire and children play on the fields. That’s right, it’s the seventh annual Ice Bowl. We enter a period of joy, celebration and combat as the goliaths of reporting go up head to head, mano a mano, publication versus publication, all to see who gets to hold the coveted Raymond T. Westbrook Cup.


St. Mark’s School of Texas 10600 Preston Road Dallas, Texas, 75230


Who will win ICEBOWL VII? ▶ “I can’t wait to face off with the newspaper chumps. I hear Sperk’s been working on his glutes.” ­— Marksmen yearbook staff Andrew McClain

▶ “Newspaper has both Caldwells.” Drops the mic ­— ReMarker editor-in-chief Dylan Clark ▶ “I took a gander in Charlie’s trunk and found some Muscle Milk. So there’s that.” ­— ReMarker sports editor Matthew Conley ▶ “ReMarker has more gold crowns, more talent and our clumsy yet intrepid leader Dylan Clark.” ­— ReMarker managing editor Aidan Dewar

Seventh Annual Ice Bowl Teams Date Time Site

Nerdpaper vs Jockbook Dec. 20 2 p.m. Norma and Lamar Hunt Stadium



CROSSCOURT Many might not even know of the sport called squash. But for junior Adam Merchant, squash is a fascination that grew from watching his father play, a fascination that has grown to become a passion Merchant has been playing squash since he was 11 years old, but only started playing competitively after starting high school.

Competitive squash players are rated on a point system, ranging from one to six:

1 Beginner 2 3 4 4.3 Merchant 5 College player 6 Professional

He gets five to ten hours of practice a week, when he conditions with and his coach three times a week along with practicing wall work on his own.

“Hitting the ball consistently is the key in squash,” Merchant says. “Sometimes the best practice comes when you are practicing solo.”

Merchants aims to compete in at least one tournament a month, hoping to include four to five national tournaments a year.


Out Line


Serve Line

Tin Service Boxes

The Court

o how does one play squash? After deciding who will serve first, the server stands on his side of the court with at least one foot in his Service Box and hits the ball, aiming above the Serve Line and under the Out Line. A correct serve will bounce off the wall and onto the opponent’s side of the court. The opponent will then rally the ball making sure to hit the wall above the Tin but under the Out Line. The ball may hit the side and back walls without limit but can only bounce on the floor once before a

player has to return hit. After the serve, players may hit the ball from anywhere on the court, but are not allowed to physically block a player and prevent them from hitting. After the first serve, whoever wins the rally gets the next serve. Scoring uses the PARS (point-a-rally scoring) system, where the rally winner gets a point. Matches are generally played to eleven points, with players having to win by at least two points. Competitions are usually played as best out of five matches.

CROSS COURT story by Zuyva Sevilla, graphics director and Philip Smart, staff writer | photos by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer




How important is religion to the Marksman of today How important is religion to the Marksman of today

a remarker special section | dec. 18, 2013

This panel of stained glass is from the St. Mark’s Chapel. Photo by Andrew Gatherer, head photographer.




Godless L

ook around the chapel on any Wednesday morning. Two hundred and seventy-seven white shirts and 86 blue shirts join faculty members and coaches for a mandatory worship service. Most of the boys join in singing the hymns and reciting the prayers. But for some, the hymns are hollow and the prayers are empty wishes. For some, the religious aspects of chapel hold no meaning. Because, according to a recent survey conducted during Upper School chapel, nearly 20 percent of upper schoolers — one out of every five students — do not believe in God. For Chaplain Rev. Michael Dangelo, this statistic represents a challenge. His job is to be available to help all students, not just the 56 percent who identify as Christians. As Dangelo sat on the patio of a Dallas restaurant this summer with a newly-ordained priest, he looked around at all the other people, enjoying each other’s company, soaking in the comfortable weather and good food, appearing not to have a care in the world. This called to mind a conflict for Dangelo — one that called into question the entire purpose of his priestly ministry. Do these people have any need for God? Those young people didn’t seem like they were missing something beyond what they were experiencing in that restaurant. They seemed spiritually satisfied with only their earthly existence, Dangelo thought. “As we’re sort of watching people eat and laugh at this level of material wealth relatively speaking to the rest of the planet, there are no physical needs,” he said. Dangelo had been taught and believed that every human being has a deep existential longing for a higher power. But as he looked at those people, he realized that, more and more, a younger, wealthier society did not feel such a longing for something greater. Dangelo’s realization mirrors a national shift in the way people approach religion — one that also holds true here at 10600 Preston Road. According to a 2013 Salon magazine There is no perarticle, almost one third of people ages fect institution, 18-29 do not affiliate themselves with a and dismissing religious institution, compared with 13 organizations and inpercent in the 1970s. stitutions merely beA recent survey conducted in Upper cause of hypocrisy will School Chapel revealed that more than 22 get you in a cabin in percent of Marksmen identify as atheist or the woods talking to agnostic. yourself and wearing Now, during a time of relative prostinfoil hats.—Chaplain perity in the United States, the youngest Rev. Mike Dangelo generation’s attitude toward religion is changing. Religion is much less important to millennials than it was to their parents. Among upper schoolers, half identify as less religious than their parents. Dangelo grew up two generations removed from the Great Depression. Some days, his grandparents had to go to bed hungry physically, but never hungry spiritually. They had a deep and abiding faith in God that transcended hunger. A faith that God must provide. That God will always provide. But somewhere along the way, the millennial generation began to lose that faith. ••• Junior Burke Garza was raised Catholic and was exposed to religion by attending Sunday school for confirmation and communion.

Garza’s cynicism about religion coincided with a growing doubts in his political beliefs. He branched out both politically and religiously during his freshman year, and as a result, Garza found flaw in the logic of religion. “It [religion] never really stuck with me,” he said. “I couldn’t ever find any proof of it. Whenever I asked certain questions, I couldn’t get a definitive answer. I would ask ‘What does heaven look like?’ in class sometimes and I couldn’t really get a straight answer. It was incredibly ambiguous me and I couldn’t get enough definite proof of it.” Dangelo acknowledges that the church deserves some blame for people like Garza leaving due to the hypocrisy he believes is present in every organization — including the church. “There is no perfect institution,” he said. “And dismissing organizations and institutions merely because of hypocrisy will get you in a cabin in the woods talking to yourself and wearing tinfoil hats. That’s just the case. You’re going to have to engage institutions. The question will be ‘How good and how patient are you going to be with those institutions as you try to pull them back to their ideals and pull yourself back to those ideals in the midst of it?’” Nelson Master Teacher Jon Valasek sees young people pulling away from religion as more of an agebased trend than a monumental shift in the current generation’s attitudes. “I have six children,” he said. “Everybody’s rebellious at times trying to get away from anything religious in high school and college. I don’t think that’s really changed much. I just think we’re more aware of it and it’s been defined better than it has been in the past.” theism and agnosticism have had a growing presence on campus, something senior Bradley Mankoff thinks is a result of a community atmosphere more open to discussion. “I think it’s our conditioning to be okay with a lack of faith in God,” he said. “I think in past generations, there’s been a stigma against that. You were not just wrong but bad. Now, generation after generation, we’ve been conditioned out of that so that we can say ‘I don’t believe in God’ in a conversation with an older person and have that conversation continue. And when you can talk about something openly, that opens the door to believe it.” While Mankoff and Garza take issue with religious aspects, they like certain parts of the spirituality that comes from religion. “I kind of like going to church actually,” Garza said. “We have this really big priest and he has a really soothing voice, so it’s really calm and nice to go there. I like the church music and the organ. It’s really nice to go there because it’s calming and soothing. I just don’t put a lot of value in the whole praying deal. I’ll sing the hymns because they sound nice.” However, to some like senior Cameron Baxley, even this belief is too far. Religion to the very religious is about much more than the calming cultural aspects. Like Baxley, 25 percent of Marksmen pray daily. “ I tend to stay away from the word religion, be-


cause to me the word religion sort of signifies ho tradition and the sort of cultural just go to churc of thing,” Baxley said. “I call it faith. For me, my critical in everything I do. It is me. It is my foun For me, praying is like talking to my dad every d start my prayers with ‘Good Morning, Daddy.’” Senior Matt Mahowald, while open to the d sion of atheism or agnosticism, feels like some in community profess these beliefs because they th it makes them seem more intelligent than religio people. He rejects this sentiment. “I’m an 18 year old person,” he said. “I do n know. I’m not capable of saying that an institutio that’s been in place as long as man’s been civilize stupid and people who believe in it are stupid.” Like Mahowald, Cecil and Ida Green Maste Teacher Dr. Stephen Balog also refutes this claim “To say, ‘I’m too intelligent to believe in Go don’t think that’s the proper response,” Balog sai “I think what you’re really saying is that you’re n comfortable not understanding everything. Scie about trying to understand the world around us a scientist, as you’re trying to understand the un around you, it all comes back to ‘How?’ and ‘Wh Balog has been able to reconcile some scien inaccuracies of his Christian faith while still ma ing a belief in God. “I don’t understand how God works,” Balog “And I can go through the Bible and have my do some part. As I a scientist, at some parts I go, ‘C can’t accept this.’ But it also helps build my faith than tear my faith down.” For sophomore Aidan Maurstad, who ident an atheist, religion and intelligence aren’t necess related. “I really don’t think less or more of a person on their religious views,” he said. “Some of the s people I know are Christians. Just because I pers am an atheist doesn’t mean that I think everyon should be.” ••• Ultimately, for Dangelo, the discussion of fa not about making every fact or idea line up. Rat about maintaining his faith in seeing all the beau the world around him. The chaplain remembers taking his first geo class in college. Coming from a very conservative Evangelic Christian background, he believed in the six-day ation story from the Book of Genesis. But on the first day of class, the professor go and said, “This is a piece of limestone. For all th you out there who believe that Genesis is this tru ry about how this rock came to be, it takes one m years. There’s nothing you can do about it.” That moment was critical for Dangelo’s faith was the first time he tried to reconcile his faith w the principles of science. “For me, science gives me great answers, bu not willing to give up my poetry just yet,” he said find God in science and a sunset. And I accept t that two people can see the same thing and one God and one might not.”

GODLESS story by Ryan O’Meara, issues editor and Charlie Golden, senior content editor | photos by Mason Smith, staff photographer and Adam Merchant, staff photographer

Page 2B,3B


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“They [my parents] are kind of surprised that I’m not religious already, because I’ve had a couple hip surgeries and they were borderline cancer, so they were kind of worried about that and they were shocked that I didn’t have some divine awakening and realize that God had intervened. I really just think I had some really good doctors and that was about it. I don’t think there was any kind of like ‘hand of God’ coming in.” — junior Burke Garza

Without my faith, I’m not the same person at all. I think it’s important to a society because it gives people common goals, common ethical codes that are universal that aren’t really up to debate which is important when giving a society structure. — senior

Cameron Baxley

To say, ‘I’m too intelligent to believe in God,’ I don’t think that’s the proper response. I think what you’re really saying is that you’re not comfortable not understanding everything. You’re not comfortable saying, ‘I don’t understand this.’ Science is about trying to understand the world around us. For a scientist, as you’re trying to understand the universe around you, it comes back to ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ — Cecil and Ida Green Master Teacher Dr. Stephen Balog

“Religion had been an afterthought for me for a while. I associated myself with Christianity. I didn’t really think about what I believed. And then, in Mr. Brown’s class, he went around the room and said state what you believe — how you affiliate yourself and what you believe. And it was definitely overwhelming how many atheists there were. It was probably around half. I don’t remember the exact number. That moment made me evaluate what I believe and what the culture of not only our school but also the surrounding environment is shifting toward. — senior Matt Mahowald

“‘What if I pray for God to allow me to be my best self? What if I pray for God to allow me to do hard work, and to listen and to be understanding?’ And then the next step was, ‘I think I can do those things by trying to do those things.’ I learned that concept from Martin Buber in confirmation class that you can approach life in a religious way without help. And you ought to do that without help. And if you can, then what is God for? You can approach the day in a religious mindset, with a zeal for helping others, without God.” — senior Bradley Mankoff

“I sometimes do wonder if there is a God. I certainly don’t have answers for everything, for example I have no idea how the universe began. But people used to think the same way about lightning, and now we can explain that. I’m very thankful that my parents let me make my own choice about my religious views. I think that everyone should decide for themselves what religion they are, and no one can really force you to make that choice.” — sophomore Aidan Maurstad

“Christians believe that you have to be saved. I was saved when I was 28, and I accepted Christ as my personal savior then, so that’s when I would say I was religious.... In the old days, anybody that went to church was religious. Now, we define differently depending on your perspective.” — Master Teacher Jon Valasek

In their own words Upper schoolers were asked to anonymously describe how religion affects their daily lives. This is what they said.

• The times I pray are before games, tests etc., because these are the times that I am nervous. God, to me, helps me calm these nerves and I don’t see him as much else. • God is essentially my peace of mind in tense moments. • If God existed, he wouldn’t have put me through all of the BS I have been through. • I believe in God, though I’ve grown annoyed with the ‘Church Scene.’ • I’m the one who has made the decision to make God part of my life in this high pressure school. My parents are just my ride to church. • I don’t believe in God because I personally think the idea is silly, God was invented by humans. • I’m too busy with school and sports to go do all the religious things they do. • My parents want me to decide for myself which religious/spiritual path I follow and I don’t think that I’m wise enough to make that decision yet, so right now I’m not really religious. • I was raised Catholic and I don’t believe certain parts of the religion. A religion shouldn’t tell people who to love or what to do with their bodies. • I just don’t think church lessons are very relevant. I don’t feel very enriched by lectures of the Bible or church. Logic over faith maybe. • I have considered deeply the religion of my parents, and I have found it to be equivalent to mine. • My personal beliefs differ in many ways from my parents, but within my own faith I would consider myself as devout as them. • As I’ve gotten older my faith has waned. • My parents grew up in a country where Hinduism was more of a major way of life. To them it is a mode of being. To me it is a cultural tradition that I simply enjoy taking part in. • I don’t feel as strong of a connection to the church as my parents. I would rather watch football on Sundays. • They go to church, I do, but I don’t want to. • I’m young and young people are always less religious than their parents. I might find God more appealing later in life than they do. • I don’t practice religion. but I believe in basic values of morals and how every action you do influences much more than you might think. • I believe in what I cann scientism. Nobody can prove God or any other deity doesn’t exist so they all exist. • Religion is very dear to me. It gives me a sense of purpose and it keeps me motivated to endure the hardships of life. It gives life meaning. • They have taught me how to behave, and they showed me how to worship and behave. • I come from different religious backgrounds on both sides of my family with different levels of religious influence on both sides and my parents having different religious views and experiences. • They were born in India where Hinduism is a more dominant religion and they were more devout followers of the religion. I still, however, am a Brahmin like the other men in my family. • Religion was stressed a lot more when my parents were kids. They were brought up differently. • I’ve come to a lot of conclusions about religion and God on my own so I guess I have strayed from my parents’ opinions. • My parents never enforced a religion, and even though I used to go to religious school on Sundays, I feel that the community has diminished each year. • My mom is not religious at all while my dad enjoys the holidays and traditions. I am a mix of the two. • We rarely attend services, but we still believe in God. We just don’t see services or daily prayers to be essential to our religious beliefs.


Those who humble themselves




atthew 23:12 — “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” After Father Dangelo gave a beautiful chapel speech about Matthew 23:12 Nov. 5, I was deeply moved. I found the verse not only inspiring, but also incredibly deep. Later that day, I told one of my friends that Matthew 23:12 was my new favorite bible verse. He just looked at me. Then he said, “How can you like something from the Bible? I thought you can’t like anything good from it.”

It’s time to stop associating atheism with hatred and evil. Any group of people— any community, any faith, and any demographic—is going to have good people and bad people.

Page 4B


The thing is, I don’t believe in God. Too often in the past, and still to this day, some people always seem to confuse my lack of faith for my hating all that is good and beautiful in the world. “What keeps you from just killing people or stealing things?” “You’re probably going to end up being a jerk your whole life.” “How can you love your family if you don’t love God first?” One classmate told me in ninth grade, with a smile on his face, “You know you’re going to burn in hell for eternity, right?” It’s time to stop associating atheism with hatred and evil. Any group of people—any community,

any faith, and any demographic—is going to have good people and bad people. It will have smart people and dumb people. It will have people who are open-minded and those who despise anything or anyone different in any way. This has been a trend throughout history. People seem to think that because I’m atheist I despise religion. I have a secret: I love it. Religion has been arguably the most important galvanizing force in history. It has unified masses and helped them achieve incredible things. It is a source of love and healing. I truly believe that without unifying effect of humanity’s love for God(s) throughout history, we would be nowhere close to where we are in 2013. But I’ve thought about religion and God and have determined for myself that, for various reasons, I don’t believe. I do not profess to know all of the answers, and I’m comfortable with never knowing. Many of my friends identify as non-believers as well. Look at the numbers we gathered in this chapel poll—19 percent of the Upper School student body doesn’t believe in God. I would go out on a limb and say that 19 percent of this amazing community is in no way condemned to “burn in hell for eternity.” I’m not here to explain why I don’t believe in God or to tell others to follow my path, as I believe

Religious leaders see a generational issue By Alexander Munoz special projects editor hen he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in religion, Father Joel Prather looked forward to showing newcomers his religion through his eyes. But when he got behind the alter to deliver his first sermon and scanned the congregation, he noticed that most faces were elderly. Prather wanted to have the opportunity to show youth his interpretation of Christianity at his church, the Episcopal Church of the Savior, but the audience was simply lacking.



Pandit Sri Kanna Balsubramanian Religious leaders see a deep-rooted issue with the millennial generation and its decreasing level of religious involvement.

“I’ve definitely noticed a lack of youth in my congregations,” Prather said. “Millennials have dropped right off of the map in terms of spiritual interest and vigor.” The Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, is the generation with birth years starting in the early 1980s. A 2012 study conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that religion’s influence is weakening for the generation. “I think youth is becoming detached from the fundamental structure of religion, which includes things like weekly church attendance, repeated prayer, and overall reverence in daily life,” Prather said. Prather argues that while the cause of the decreasing spirituality in youth is unclear, its effect can only be negative for both the young people and the society. “Religion is not only an ease of mind and freedom from stress—it is also a tool. A tool to moderate radical behavior and ensure psychological stability,” Prather said. “Without such a tool, society loses a cornerstone of its paradigm.” David Stern, a Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El, has also noticed a decrease in the temple’s youth attendance since he joined the temple in 1989. He agrees with Prather about the dangerous nature of the decreasing spirituality among America’s youth. “Our society is like a house,” Stern said. “Science, politics, medicine, and business form the walls and boards of the house; they hold everything together. But religion is the roof of the house. It seals everything up and protects it.”

Stern argues that without the “roof ” of religion, society will not be able to trust the stability of the rest of society’s “house.” “And even more than just being necessary for society to trust its neighbors, religion adds an element of faith to the culture,” Stern said. “Everyone needs to have faith in something. Faith provides a unique passivity of mind that simply cannot be achieved through other means.” With all the benefits of faith, Stern believes that Millennials would be more attracted to religion if they gave faith a sincere try. “I think the biggest problem in terms of the spirituality of this generation is the lack of exposure,” Stern said. “Because young boys and girls have had less exposure, they are less interested in religion and less likely to attend a religious service.” lthough Stern thinks that increasing Millennials’ exposure to religion will increase spirituality, Pandit Sri Kannan Balasubramanian of the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple disagrees, arguing that the problem is less superficial. “With the Internet and so much new technology, this generation has more access to information than any generation before,” Balasubramanian said. “This knowledge and repulsion from religion are deep-rooted and will be hard to reverse.” Although Balasubramanian hasn’t noticed as significant of a drop in youth attendance to religious services as Prather and Stern, he has still noticed an overall decrease in Millennial spirituality. “When people see and read information, they think it’s the whole truth,” Balasubramanian said. “Well, knowledge is great, but that information may not be 100% correct. Even in science there is room for error. Nothing is certain. Even science requires faith.” Balasubramanian claims that many aspects of life require faith, not only religion. Religious services, however, are the best place to hone the skills of faith for other aspects of life. “When you think of a temple service, don’t think of religion, don’t think of science, don’t think of what’s truth and what’s not, because that’s the most important part of any religion,” Balasubramanian said. Balasubramanian argues that access to information has caused many to lose sight of the underlying purpose of religion—the selfimprovement that he believes comes from a relationship with God. “Ultimately, religion is about you, God, and how you can become more like God,” Balasubramanian said.


that everyone’s faith should be his own decision. All I’m asking is for you to critically think about what you believe and to remain open to what others believe. In reading answers to the ‘Why?’ question from, “Are you more/equally/less religious than your parents? Why?” on the surveys we handed out in chapel last month, I was shocked. Yes, there were many well-thought-out answers for each of the three options. But some were not so: “Why not?” “I don’t know.” “Everyone else is.” Please don’t be one of these people. Know why you believe what you do. If you examine your faith and find that you truly believe you identify with the Christian tradition or Muslim tradition or fill-in-the-blank tradition, stay strong in your faith. If you find that you doubt God or come up with a system of beliefs unique to yourself, don’t be afraid to say so. Whatever you do, embrace what you do—or don’t—believe, and respect what others believe. Especially when it’s different from what you do. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

MARKSMEN AND RELIGION exploring what we believe


of Upper Schoolers identify as neither religious nor spiritual


23% %

identify as Christian


do not believe in God


1 6

out of

consider religion their highest priority

Upper Schoolers considers religion


in his life

44% see chapel as helpful, while 55% see it as neither helpful nor hurtful


of Upper Schoolers pray alone daily

more than

percent see themselves as less religious than their parents

33% attend religious services weekly

24% identify as


The ReMarker | December 2013  
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