Beginning in the 2019–2020 school year, a veteran member of the faculty, Mark Sullivan, will assume a newly established administrative role as St. Mark’s first Director of Physical and Experiential Education. St. Mark’s is introducing this new administrative position to support the strategic coordination of a number of important priorities, including comprehensive health and wellness education and experiential learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom. As part of the School’s commitment to strengthen the experience of every Marksman, this new position will provide greater resource alignment for many critical student programs across the campus. As Director of Physical and Experiential Education, Mark will have oversight responsibility for the curriculum, staffing, and instruction of physical and experiential education programs, including health and wellness, physical education, the wilderness program, and student travel. The goal is to help every Marksman reach his fullest potential as he makes his way along the path to manhood.
Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini commented on this appointment saying, “We are incredibly fortunate for Mark’s ongoing commitment to St. Mark’s and for his willingness to assume this vitally important new role as we work to strengthen the overall experience for all of our boys.”
For nearly four decades, Mark Sullivan has served as a dedicated teacher, coach, mentor, and administrator across the campus. From teaching physical education, coaching multiple sports, and leading student trips around the world, to serving as Assistant Head of Middle School, Director of the Wilderness Program, and Athletic Director, Mark truly has done it all, devoting 37 years of his life in support of St. Mark’s mission of helping boys develop into good, character-driven men who will make a positive impact.
“This position will bring new challenges for me and for the School as we look to support the programs that have become so deeply ingrained into our culture, as well as expand the opportunities for our boys to learn and grow outside of the classroom,” said Mark.
Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary physical education and a master’s degree in educational administration. He is a recipient of the John H. Murrell Excellence in Teaching Award and has been recognized throughout his tenure for excellence and commitment. Mark has been a mainstay of the St. Mark’s Wilderness Program, serving as a leader on 33 Pecos trips and more than 75 Middle School campouts. In addition, he has been a chaperone on student trips around the globe, from Argentina and Cambodia to Romania and Bhutan, and he has contributed to the life experiences of thousands of Marksmen.
For the past 20 years, Mark has served as Director of Physical Education and Athletics, managing 88 coaching positions, 500 annual athletic contests, and 45 teams across 16 sports. Under Mark’s leadership as Athletic Director, St. Mark’s teams have won 77 Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) Championships, 15 Regional Championships, and 14 State Championships, and the School has earned the SPC Director’s Cup (as the winningest boys’ athletic program) for 10 of the past 12 years. Additionally, Mark has served for many years on the SPC Operations Committee, which oversees standards and ethics across the Conference. He has been a steady and consistent presence at all SPC events, always demonstrating the virtues of a Marksman, earning him the respect of his peers.
"Mark is a consummate professional and educator who is highly regarded and respected both within the circle of athletic directors and school heads,” said Mark Desjardins, Headmaster of St. John’s School in Houston, Texas, and former SPC President. “Highly principled, thoughtful, ethical and engaged, Mark always represents what is best about athletics and competition, namely sportsmanship, character, and integrity. Not only is Mark a great ambassador for the SPC, he is equally an outstanding representative of St. Mark's School of Texas. His ‘others before self’ attitude is a positive reflection of the values and high standards of St. Mark's."
While Mark will continue to lead the Physical Education program, the School will hire a new Athletic Director to focus squarely on the leadership, management, and stewardship of our athletic programs, teams, coaches, and operations. By separating the oversight of Physical Education and Athletics, St. Mark’s will devote even greater resources to support the quality and performance of both programs. A national search is currently underway to identify the next Athletic Director who will strengthen St. Mark’s commitment to the highest level of performance, sportsmanship, and character.