As the faculty and staff of St. Mark’s returned to campus for the 2019–2020 school year, Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini began with a special announcement: Middle School humanities teacher Rebecca Jenkins has been appointed the next holder of the Thomas S. Adams Master Teaching Chair.
“Rebecca, in so many ways, embodies the quality, values, and commitment that this Chair’s namesake embodied during his nearly five decades at this School,” David Dini said. “Rebecca is a veteran of the classroom and a model teacher. Boys gravitate to her as she imparts daily nuggets and life lessons about what it means to be a good man. Whenever I drop into this teacher's classroom, I come away affirmed and inspired.”
Rebecca Jenkins joined the St. Mark’s faculty in 2005. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a concentration in geography. After doing graduate work in ESL and Spanish, Rebecca moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she taught at the Instituto Suizo-Americano. After returning to the United States and starting a family, Rebecca joined the independent school community where, in addition to teaching, she wrote curriculum for social studies and language arts. At St. Mark’s, she serves as a sixth-grade humanities teacher, advisor, and sponsor for the sixth-grade class. She also serves as the co-coach of the Middle School Academic Team, the coordinator of the Middle School’s annual National Geographic Bee, and the co-director of the St. Mark’s Teacher Institute. She is a recipient of the Murrell Excellence in Teaching Award, the Ackerman Character Education Award, and a finalist for the Ralph B. Rogers Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The Thomas S. Adams Master Teaching Chair was given by a collective group of alumni in 2016 to honor the legacy of Tom Adams, who taught and coached at St. Mark’s for 45 years. The Chair was previously held by John Perryman from 2016–2019.
Established by generous gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the School, endowed chairs are one of the ways St. Mark’s recognizes excellence among the faculty. The current number of Master Teaching Chairs stands at 22, including five endowed Department Chairs and the Headmaster’s endowed position.