Community, Inclusion, and Diversity Efforts Expand
Throughout the summer months and into the new school year, members of the St. Mark’s community have been actively engaged in meaningful and affirming conversations about the School’s commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for every boy, regardless of background or experience. Alumni, parents, students, faculty, and other members of the school community have shared personal experiences, observations, and recommendations for ways to expand support for current and future generations of Marksmen. These conversations have been both informative and instructive as St. Mark’s strives to strengthen and improve the experiences of every Marksman.
In an effort to realize key goals outlined in Goals for St. Mark’s IV and bring greater alignment, coordination, and intentionality to the School’s inclusion and diversity priorities, a new senior administrative position has been established. After more than three years as a member of the St. Mark’s family, Lorre Allen has been appointed to serve as Director of Inclusion, Diversity, and Human Resources. Lorre joined St. Mark’s in 2017 as Director of Human Resources to support and strengthen employment policies, training, and practices across the School, bringing over 15 years of professional expertise from her work in higher education and the corporate world, most recently at the University of Washington and Boeing. She has played an active role in leading annual professional development experiences for employees, including harassment prevention training and implicit bias training. Throughout her career, she has presented at national conferences on inclusion, diversity, and human resources. Lorre also has embraced her interactions and work with the boys, supporting the Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization (DADYO) on campus and attending the Annual NAIS People of Color Conference.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the boys and to hear them openly share their personal experiences with each other. St. Mark’s is a special community that will support you in embracing your authentic self. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities ahead to support the boys, my colleagues, and our families in ways that will make those experiences even better,” said Mrs. Allen.
Working alongside and in close partnership with other senior administrators, Lorre will guide best practices that support and nurture community, inclusion, and diversity on campus for both students and employees, while also communicating the importance of these values across the School community. In addition to her work with student programs and professional development, Lorre will expand the School’s efforts to attract, retain, and support a broadly diverse faculty and contribute to the School’s ongoing commitment to foster an environment that is respectful, inclusive, and welcoming for all students, families, and employees.
One of the senior class leaders, SeMaj Musco ’21, added, “Having Mrs. Allen as an advisor has been great for DADYO. She’s been a big help in keeping us organized and really helped get a lot more people involved. I don’t think we could be doing this without her.”
St. Mark’s has also formed a Committee on Community, Inclusion, and Diversity consisting of faculty, administrators, and trustees to review and assess current and prospective programs and practices that foster student well-being and to make recommendations about ways to better serve boys from every background. This Committee was formed after extensive conversations and is reflective of a clear commitment from the Board of Trustees, the administration, and the faculty to strengthen and enhance the bonds we all share. As Headmaster David Dini noted in his fall letter last week, “As a community whose strength is in many ways defined by its breadth, depth, and diversity, we are fully committed to exploring additional opportunities to ensure that every Marksman is known, loved, and valued equally.”
The Committee is comprised of representatives from across our community with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, including Lorre Allen (Director of Inclusion, Diversity, and Human Resources), Rev. Stephen Arbogast (Chaplain), John Ashton (Associate Headmaster), David Dini (Headmaster), Lawrence Gardner (Trustee, Parent ’25), Marwin Brown ’90 (Trustee, Alumnus, Former Faculty), Scott Gonzalez (Cecil and Ida Green Master Teacher), Dwight Phillips (Physical Education Faculty Member), Dr. Gabby Reed (Director of Counseling), Ray Westbrook (Gene & Alice Oltrogge Master Teacher, Journalism Sponsor). The Committee will continue to meet regularly throughout the year and lead a process to engage members of the broader St. Mark’s community to gather additional feedback, guidance, and perspective as recommendations are developed and implemented.
As with any strategic priority, it is important to focus on deliberate, thoughtful, and comprehensive planning to ensure that meaningful, sustained, and impactful results are achieved now and into the future. These efforts require the collective commitment of individuals across the St. Mark’s community as we strive to strengthen and improve the experiences of every Marksman.
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.