Journalist of the Year Portfolio

Campus beats: Headmaster David Dini

Notes from Headmaster David Dini campus beat


  • Dini’s goals for the year:
  1. Implementation of Goals for St. Mark's IV using communication strategies and tracking progress of the implementation.
  2. ISAS self study begins this year. Work with various departments to see successful completion.

  3. Continue expansion of character education program. Hope to put out character education informational website in 2018.

  4. Make financial aid program better and more accessible.

  5. Successful oversight of the new science building construction.

  6. Implementation of a schedule review committee. Two years from now, it will hopefully be reality. At the end of Christmas break, a teacher in-service day will be held to talk about the schedule.

  • Dini is doing a lot of back to school activities, mini-school and other events like that. Not traveling in September so he can help get things accustomed to new year.
  • September is usually the month of retirement announcements, so they are already working on staffing for next year and staffing for the new science building two years from now.
  • Already planning budget for next two years.
  • Locker room by the pool was redone over the summer; concession stand also redone.
  • New sound system for the stadium and field now in place.
  • Gym floor repainted; Dini said a lot of thought went into it and should boost school spirit.
  • Mr. Jordan’s 50th year — that’s never happened at St. Mark's before. He’s taught thousands of students here. Definitely a great story to cover.


  • Self study continues to be a big focus; administration has recently finalized Oct. 2018 date for next year’s ISAS committee to come and review the study. They will also be sending out a student survey soon for grades 7 through 12.
  • They will have a character/leadership education website and magazine pamphlet roll out like they did for Goals IV in January/February. Hopefully will get global attention eventually he says. They also made a logo to give the program its own look.
  • October marks the beginning of traveling to alumni events across the country for Dini.
  • Board is working on science building, specifically landscaping work to match the quad.
  • A cafeteria worker who retired 3 years ago and worked here for 42 years passed away last week.


  • Habitat for Humanity work begins this Saturday.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 9, 5 p.m. — A re-dedication ceremony in which Centennial Hall will be re-dedicated in honor of Arnie Holtberg. This will probably be well-attended, with lots of Board members and officials on hand.
  • Thursday, Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m. — Topping off ceremony for the Science Building.  Seniors will sign some of the final steel posts — should be fun and the possibility for some great action shots. The Architects from NYC are also visiting Thursday
  • Still working on the ISAS self study.
  • Faculty inservice day for the schedule — Roxan Higgins was the specialist that came in. She had a ton of interesting research to give the faculty about how student perform at different times of the day and different times of the year. Could be interesting to include her research somewhere – she also has a lot of research on sleep, HW, etc.
  • In the middle of hiring season for next year (Frazier recently announced she’s leaving for a job in China)
  • Tony Vincent → Former Fine arts/drama teacher in the 1960’s. He essentially built the fine arts department and made it what it is today. He had a program that was essentially a musical/drama troupe. He was responsible for bringing in people like Mr. Livengood and Ms. Oltrogge and made the fine arts a huge part of SM at the time… because of him, we have people like Mark Kapri and Tommy Lee as alumni (these two were born out of Vincent’s program). In the last few year and especially recently, there’s been an effort to recognize him for his contributions. An alumni who is the SM head of alumni relations in the Bay Area has been working for the last couple years to find some of the old students who were in Vincent’s program and bring them together. They’ve had several reunions together to honor Vincent. BUT NOW… this alumni has rallied this group to raise over a million dollars to rededicate and endow the current fine arts department chair position in Vincent’s name. This position could come online as soon as next year. This story would be a great historical piece with a lot of human interest going on — also, if you wanna talk to tommy lee, this might be your chance.
  • Dr. Mize → 40th year being the football team physician. He was honored at halftime earlier this year and will be honored again in a big way at the athletic banquet later this year. He goes to a lot of lax and bball games too and was responsible for bringing Brett Rainer to school for 10 years... Rainer was an orthopedist and worked as assistant physician here. This is a cool, under-covered, human-interest story. Maybe it's more timely for a spring paper closer to the athletic banquet, though?