At the Upper School Final Assembly on May 27, 2021, the Alumni Association announced Janis Oprea and Doug Rummel as finalists for the 2021 Ralph B. Rogers Alumni Award, and Nurse Julie Doerge was named the recipient of this year’s honor. The award, now in its 23rd year, recognizes a member of the faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions above and beyond their assigned responsibilities.
“From the earliest days of the pandemic, Nurse Julie has remained committed to fostering the wellness of not only the boys, but of the entire St. Mark’s community,” said Lowell Ku ’89, Chair of the Ralph B. Rogers Committee. “She has spent countless hours fielding calls and questions, advising families impacted by the virus, meeting with the St. Mark's Medical Advisory Committee, the School administration, St. Mark’s families, and the boys to make sure that every layer of the community is protected and safe from COVID-19.”
In addition to delivering exceptional care, Nurse Julie has far exceeded her role as a nurse to work on developing health policies, implementing safety precautions, and establishing new school protocols. She is recognized by her fellow colleagues as an “unsung hero” who “endures COVID-19 with grace.” Last weekend, she was also honored by the Marksmen yearbook staff, who announced her as their 2021 yearbook dedicatee.
“To every St. Mark’s faculty and staff member, thank you for inspiring our boys each day to be their very best,” said Paul Genender ’87, Alumni Association President, who presented the Rogers Award during Upper School Final Assembly. “And to this year’s finalists, Janis Oprea and Doug Rummel, and this year’s winner, Julie Doerge: congratulations and we are eternally grateful for your example.”
Along with Nurse Julie, Ralph B. Rogers Award finalists Janis Oprea and Doug Rummel were honored at Upper School Final Assembly.
Janis Oprea is much more than an Upper School geometry teacher, a Middle School math team leader, and swim coach. She has taken her role as an educator a step further by looking out for the boys’ wellbeing both inside and outside of her classroom. Janis is recognized as being consistently available to her students and helping them stay on track in her own subject material, while also extending her aid to subjects other than math. One student advocate described her as someone who always brings out the best in each boy and is routinely advocating for the best interest of her students.
The second finalist is Founders Master Teaching Chair and eighth-grade science teacher Doug Rummel, who has gone above and beyond to provide dedication and support to the boys throughout his time at St. Mark’s. During the pandemic, he arranged pick-ups and drop-offs for students at their homes, so they would have all of their materials needed for class. Selflessly, since the beginning of the school year, Doug and his wife made the joint decision to quarantine away from one another so he could remain in the classroom. Doug is willing to do whatever it takes to support the boys and his sacrifice is deeply appreciated by his students and peers alike.
Congratulations to these three and to all the faculty and staff who continue to display excellence and dedication. In a year when the world and the St. Mark’s community have faced continued hardship, each member of the St. Mark’s faculty and staff has worked tirelessly to ensure the learning experience of the boys remains unparalleled, expanding the Rogers Award candidate depth and making the selection process more challenging.
The Ralph B. Rogers Alumni Award was established in 1998 by the Rogers Family in partnership with the St. Mark’s Alumni Association to honor faculty and staff for their pioneering contributions to the School community in academic, athletic, and extracurricular areas that go above and beyond the confines of their job descriptions, thus extending the boundaries of the learning experience for St. Mark’s students.