Our mission is to equip Marksmen with the tools they need to thrive.
Professionals. Each of the School’s three divisions (Upper School, Middle School and Lower School) has a dedicated behavioral health provider available as a resource for students, parents, faculty and staff. The counselors are experienced clinicians who understand and respond to the challenges presented by a diverse student population.
Integration. The mission of the Marksman Wellness Center is to assist students and their families with academic, social, behavioral and emotional needs. The counseling team achieves this through a robust health and wellness program integrated into the academic curriculum. Counselors are present at every level of school life, from teaching classes and sponsoring clubs to chaperoning camping trips and serving as grade-level advisors.
The first and foremost purpose of the Marksman Wellness Center is to ensure the positive mental and emotional health and well-being of the boys. To achieve this, the counseling team offers services including:
Counseling for students and families requesting assistance in each Division
Screening for emotional or behavioral concerns
Consultation with parents regarding their son’s academic, behavioral or emotional needs
Referrals to mental health providers in the community
Coordination of care within the school for students working with a mental health provider outside of the School
Individual counseling offered through the school is primarily a short-term, temporary service aimed at providing immediate relief of acute distress and facilitating more effective education and socialization of the student within the school community. While our counselors provide crisis intervention and regular consultation during normal school hours, these services cannot take the place of long-term, comprehensive psychological counseling. We maintain a list of excellent community mental health providers and regularly provide referrals for students and families.
Because the Marksman Wellness Center takes a holistic approach to the development of boys in mind and body, health and wellness programs and activities are also embedded in the School's academic curriculum. In each division, counselors lead classes focused on the development of life skills and the fostering of good mental health. Teaching boys to balance their time, resolve conflicts and practice empathy results in better students and better men.
Partnering with the faculty of the Lower School to deliver regular in-class Life Skills lessons, our youngest students receive Health and Wellness instruction in skills including:
Mindfulness and stress management
Kindness and empathy
As boys enter Middle School, the counseling team partners with the physical education department to help guide the boys through their preteen and teenage years. Each year, the boys receive 18 hours of lessons on topics including:
Substance abuse prevention
Technology and its impact on the brain
Nutrition and healthy habits
The Upper School program requires every boy to take two semesters of Physical Education. This curriculum includes ten 45-minute lessons each semester provided by Dr. Bonsu, the Upper School Counselor, on topics including:
Healthy relationships and sexual citizenship
Drug and alcohol abuse prevention
The science of addiction
Understanding mental health
"If a boy comes through my door, it's my job to help him feel comfortable, make him feel heard and make some kind of a connection."
Learning Plans with the approved accommodation of extended time must be in place at St. Mark’s for a minimum of four months up to one year to potentially meet eligibility for accommodations on College Board or ACT exams.
Students with established Learning Plans will be contacted by the Director of Academic Success, Julie Pechersky, during the student’s freshman year to determine eligibility for accommodations on College Board exams in the fall of their junior year to request accommodations on the ACT.
Director of Marksman Wellness Middle School Counselor
“Our department is about much more than just counseling. We help boys thrive academically, teach them the skills they need to be healthy and happy, and are there for them when they need social or emotional support.”
"There is nothing more rewarding to me than observing our boys grow from year to year into academically confident young men. I hope to provide an environment where a boy feels comfortable coming to me as a resource for study skills, time management, organization or simply to help guide their success in a class."
"Upper School is a boy’s capstone environment along the path to manhood. The Upper School counselor must strike a balance between respecting a boy’s agency and the need for autonomy while providing skills through scaffolding. I believe in trusting the process of growth, and it’s exciting to see them overcome a challenge or gain a renewed sense of confidence.”
"Being physically present in the Lower School helps the students and faculty know that the counselor is accessible and present to provide support when needed. The more present the counselor is, the more familiar and comfortable the boys feel in seeking out help from the counselor."
"We work collaboratively with young men alongside their families and teachers to support their growth and empower them to reach their potential as well-rounded men. As an academic resource, I work with Marksmen to facilitate the development of various skills and strategies they will utilize throughout their time at St. Mark's and beyond."
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.