List of 10 news stories.

  • SAINT MARK’S PICKS UP TWO STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THREE DAYS

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Girls Cross Country and Girls Volleyball Dominate State Tournaments
     
    Three days, two sports, two state championships. Not a bad run for the Spartans.
     
    The Saint Mark’s girls cross country team AND the girls volleyball team each earned top honors with state championship wins just a few days apart.

    The girls cross country team went undefeated this season, winning five invitationals including the Great American XC Festival, the Joe O’Neill Invitational, the Catholic Conference Championship, the New Castle County Championship and, of course, the DIAA State Championship. 
     
    Head Cross Country Coach Mike DiGennaro credits good old-fashioned grit and determination for the championship win on November 13 at Brandywine Creek State Park.  "This team win is the culmination of four years of hard work and commitment.  I am so proud of the entire team for their energy and effort throughout the season.  They showed up at the state meet and delivered on the biggest stage," he said.
     
    "The girls were battle tested this season,” he continued.  “We won five major invitationals, and those early season races gave the girls the confidence that they could race well later in the year."
     
    Identical twins Tiffany and Stephanie Herrera, consistent superstars on the cross country team, shined at the state tournament, as they have all season long.  Tiffany earned first-team all-state honors for the fourth straight season after her runner-up finish at States.  She will graduate as one of only two girls in Saint Mark’s history to lead the team in every single race over four seasons, a feat only accomplished by Analise Kaminski (class of 2016).  Stephanie's 5th place finish at States earned her first-team all-state honors for the second year in a row.
     
    The volleyball team is also celebrating, earning their second straight state championship with a 3-0 sweep at the Bob Carpenter Center on Monday, November 15. 
     
    The win marks the Spartans’ 12th state volleyball championship and the 105th overall for Saint Mark’s.  The team has been undefeated for the past two seasons, going 15-0 last season and 18-0 this season for an amazing 33 wins in a row.  If that wasn’t enough, 16 of their 18 matches this year were three-set sweeps.
     
    “I’m so very proud of this team and so happy for them,” said Head Girls Volleyball Coach Nancy Griskowitz.  “Back-to-back undefeated state championship seasons!  Such an incredible accomplishment for a phenomenal team!”
     
    “As was seen in the championship match, every player has the ability to contribute at any moment on the court and every player on this team was an integral part of this championship season,” she continued.
     
    Six of those players earned all-state honors.  Brooke Dow, Mya Lewis and Julia Yurkovich were named first-team all-state while Nicole Dimiris, Taylor Holly, and Katie Sonchen achieved second-team all-state. 
     
    President Tom Fertal has high praise for both teams.  “Our entire community celebrates for and with the girls volleyball and cross country teams.  The young ladies of these teams individually and collectively exemplify the very best of what it means to be a student athlete at Saint Mark’s.  Their dedication, passion and commitment to excellence has resulted in these well-deserved championships, and we are extraordinarily proud of them,” he said.
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  • SAINT MARK’S HIGH SCHOOL TAPS CAM BUTLER AS NEW HEAD WRESTLING COACH

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Saint Mark’s is pleased to welcome Mr. Cam Butler as Head Wrestling Coach. 

    Butler comes to the Spartan program with 18 years of wrestling experience and a long list of accomplishments and accolades.  He is a former Maryland State Champion and a two-time State Medalist.  In addition, he is a former two-time Eastern National champion, Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and Regional Champion, La Plata Male Athlete of the Year and Charles County Winter Athlete of the Year.  He was a two-time member of the Maryland National Team and a two-time member of the Maryland State Wrestling Association All-Academic team.

    As a consistent leader for the Division I Clarion University Golden Eagles, Butler competed in the varsity line-up for four years at three different weight classes.  He was a Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship qualifier and became a two-time All-MAC Academic team member.
    Currently a graduate student at Clarion, Butler will graduate with a Master’s degree in education and pursue his life’s goal of becoming an educator and wrestling coach.  He has recently moved to the First State and is excited to take the reins as Head Coach of the Saint Mark’s Wrestling Program, building upon its impressive legacy.

    Saint Mark’s president Tom Fertal is delighted to welcome Butler to the Spartan coaching staff.  “Coach Butler is an impressive young man who clearly has the passion and the skill to take our program to the next level,” he said.  “Even more so, he exhibits a confidence and character that will serve our student athletes well as they learn from him and with him.”

    Butler is eager to hit the ground running, setting his sights high for the upcoming season.  “Our main goals will always be to win Conference and State Championships. We have a young group of talented and hardworking guys and we’re looking to establish ourselves as a premier team,” he said.
    “The future is very bright,” he continued.  “The program has been going in the right direction, and I’m looking to carry on that positive momentum to build upon the strong foundation that is already established.  The sky’s the limit for Saint Mark’s Wrestling.”

    As a seasoned coach and athlete, Butler’s experience on the national level will surely help to catapult Spartan wrestlers into college careers and beyond.  “I’m excited and honored to continue the link between Clarion University and Saint Mark’s, which includes NCAA Champion Sheldon Thomas, NCAA All-American John Testa and many additional talented wrestlers,” he said.  “There is a strong history of Spartans doing great things once they graduate, and I look forward to sending more Saint Mark’s student athletes to pursue success at a higher level.”

    To catch Butler’s team in action, visit www.spartanssports.com for a full listing of upcoming matches and events.
     
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  • The Great Fire - Purchase Tickets

    Come see Saint Mark’s Theatre Department's production of The Great Fire!
     
    November 12th and 13th at 7:00 PM & November 14th at 2:00 PM
     
    It has been one of the hottest, driest autumns on record, and now a strong wind blows from the Southwest. At 9:40PM, the Chicago Fire Department gets their first report of a small blaze on the city’s southwest side. Soon there is no stopping the Great Chicago Fire until it finally runs out of things to burn. In one night, the very rich, the very poor and everyone in between are transformed forever. Spectacular, spiritual, highly physical and exquisitely emotional, the Chicago Sun-Times praised The Great Fire as “highly original, hugely entertaining” and remarked that “no one who sees this show will be able to look at Chicago in the same way again.”

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  • SAINT MARK’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM CAPTURES CATHOLIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Girls win team championship, Herrera wins girls individual, Winnington wins boys individual
     
    The Saint Mark’s High School Cross Country Team outshined the competition at this year’s Annual Catholic Conference Championship, sailing past opponents to capture a team championship, two individual championships and a new school record.

    The girls team captured the team championship with a score of 22-33-87, topping their nearest opponent by 11 points.  Tiffany Herrera (senior), Stephanie Herrera (senior), and Natalie Donaldson (junior) swept the girls competition with a one-two-three finish. 

    “We were so excited to win as a team,” said Stephanie Herrera.  “I knew this race was going to be fast.”
    Donaldson stressed the importance of teamwork as she celebrated the win.  “It was exciting to go 1-2-3 at Catholic Conferences. Going into races knowing that you can count on each other and push each other to be the best relieves some stress and makes everything more enjoyable,” she said.  “It’s fun to train together as friends and work hard to achieve our own goals and our team goals.”
     
    Tiffany Herrera’s 18:03 finish was the second fastest time in meet history.  She set a new school record AND cinched the girls individual championship, marking her third straight Catholic Conference title.  Stephanie Herrera’s second place finish at 18:30 was the third fastest time in school history.  Donaldson crossed the finish line at 19:06, the fifth fastest time in school history.  

    Tiffany and Stephanie, who are identical twins, have been dominating race courses together since their freshman year.  “Coming 1 and 2 with Stephanie was something I’ll never forget. That moment made me realize how lucky I am to have a twin,” said Tiffany.
     
    Coach Mike DiGennaro has high praise for his team.  "Winning the Girls' Catholic Conference Championship was one of our team goals to start the season, and we are very proud of the girls team for bringing home the title!” he said.  “We love this end-of-season meet because it's an opportunity to not only run well against excellent opponents, but we also get to honor our seniors.  We compete hard, but then we come together as a community of Catholic schools to recognize our top runners and pay tribute to our seniors.”

    The boys team also made an impressive showing, earning second place in the team competition.  Casey Winnington (senior) captured the boys individual championship with a time of 16:50. 

    “It felt amazing to cross the line in first place, especially it being my senior year, and senior night,” said Winnington.  “I have never won a cross country race before this, so it was very special my senior year to win the conference championship surrounded by all my teammates.”

    DiGennaro said Winnington’s championship run was a career best.  “Casey ran his best race as a Spartan, and he is so worthy of this title because it is a reflection of his hard work and commitment.  He's a true role model on the boys' squad," he said.

    President Tom Fertal was eager to congratulate the newly crowned champions.  “As a community we celebrate the dedication and devotion of these exceptional student athletes. Their commitment to their sport and to each other exemplifies the Spartan Spirit,” he said.

    With the season almost over, the Spartans have turned their sights to the county and state championships.  Tiffany is the reigning Division 2 girls state champ and will be keen to defend her title.  Both the boys and girls squads will be eyeing up team wins.  To catch the Spartan runners in action, check www.spartanssports.com for a listing of upcoming meets and events.
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  • SAINT MARK’S WELCOMES 19 NEW FACULTY AND STAFF

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Expansion of staff is the result of explosive growth in enrollment and advancement

    While staffing shortages seem to be plaguing many institutions and businesses around the country, there appears to be no shortage of professionals eager to become Spartans. On the first day of duty for faculty and staff at Saint Mark’s, the school welcomed 19 new members to their team. While four hires were due to retirements or other attrition, 15 hires were for new positions for the 2021-2022 school year, including the addition of at least one faculty member in every academic department.

    The upsurge in staffing is primarily the result of the unprecedented growth in student enrollment at the school. Over the last two years, the student body has grown by more than 215 students, an increase of 40%. In June, the school graduated 108 students. This week, they welcomed 223 incoming freshmen “...and counting,” according to Director of Admissions Rob DeMasi. “We still have prospective freshmen and transfers in the pipeline.” Transfer students have contributed to the growth at Saint Mark’s as well, with the school adding 56 transfers from 28 high schools over the last two years.

    “The new faculty and staff members will have an immediate and significant impact on the student experience at Saint Mark’s,” says Principal Diane Casey. Casey, who served as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs for the last two years, took the helm as Principal on July 1st when the school adopted a President-Principal model of school leadership. Casey said 16 of the 19 positions are in academics and/or student life. “We are investing in our program so as to fulfill our vision of serving as the premier center for education and ministry in the Diocese of Wilmington,” she added.

    The remaining three positions are in advancement and communications. “As with enrollment, our growth in advancement dollars has been dramatic,” says school President Tom Fertal. Fertal came to Saint Mark’s as Principal in 2019 and moved to the role of President on July 1st of this year. “It is fitting that, beginning with our 50th anniversary celebration two years ago, our constituents have rallied around the school in unprecedented ways, including an 83% increase in annual giving during this time period,” he added.

    Saint Mark’s begins its 52nd academic year this fall.
     
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  • Faculty/Staff College Decision Day Video

    Ms. Jaclyn Tatnall
    Saturday, May 1 is the National College Decision Day. To celebrate with our seniors, Faculty and Staff will wear their college gear on Friday, too. Enjoy the Faculty College Video.
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  • Play Written by Saint Mark's Senior To Be Performed On Stage At Delaware Theatre Company

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Move over, Arthur Miller. Delaney Burnham, a senior at Saint Mark's High School, was recently named a finalist in the Delaware Theatre Company's 2020-2021 Delaware Young Playwrights Festival. Her play, Stressed Out, will be performed on the DTC stage in March.
     
    Burnham was among sixty-two students from 11 different schools to submit an entry. She will participate in a series of virtual workshops with DTC artists who will help her to refine her work. Burnham's play will be staged and performed for a small, socially distant audience, then shared online for the public to enjoy virtually.
     
    Stressed Out is the story of a teenage boy who misses a month of school due to being overwhelmed and vents to a friend about his heavy workload. The script was partially inspired by some of Burnham's own personal experiences. “At the time I was working on my college essay, as well as preparing an audition for college applications, and transferred some of the stress I felt onto the character,” she said. “I also gained inspiration after hearing how different people handle the stress that school can cause. Some people can handle it well while others cannot.”
     
    Burnham's win is not surprising as she is no stranger to the performing arts. She has been involved with the Saint Mark's Theater Program for four years, working both on stage as an actor and behind the scenes as part of the stage crew. She plans to pursue a career in the arts as an audio engineer and hopes to work on sound design for movies and video games.
     
    Saint Mark's Senior Owen Kanienberg also submitted an entry into the Festival and was recognized for the merit of his work with an Honorable Mention. His play, Returning Home, is about a senior in high school who reunites with his brother and is subsequently encouraged to follow his dreams of a career in the theater.
     
    Anne Marie Eanes, Saint Mark's English Department Chair, helped to guide both Burnham and Kanienberg through the creative process. “I was so excited that Delaney’s play was chosen as a winner and that Owen’s play received an honorable mention commendation in this year’s Delaware Young Playwrights Festival,” she said. “I am thrilled that everyone will be able to witness Delaney’s play come to life on the Delaware Theatre Company’s stage in March.
    Whether I am permitted to sit in the theatre to watch the production or will be watching a taped performance via Zoom, I will be so excited and proud of Delaney’s accomplishment.”
     
    Principal Tom Fertal echoed the sentiment. “As a school committed to the fine and performing arts, we are so very proud of Delaney! As we continue to expand our offerings and bring talented FPA students to Saint Mark’s through our merit scholarship program, we will expect great things from our students, and Delaney has certainly set the bar high for them.”
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  • Saint Mark's High School is voted BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL IN DELAWARE

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    Thank you, Delaware!
     
    The votes are in and the celebration has begun. Saint Mark's High School has received the Readers' Choice award for BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL IN DELAWARE.
     
    “We are grateful to the community, as this honor validates our vision of serving as the premier center for education and ministry in Delaware,” said Principal Tom Fertal.
     
    The Readers' Choice Awards celebrate and recognize the best our community has to offer. Nominations were held in August. Members of the community-at-large were asked to nominate their favorite private schools. The five schools receiving the most nominations advanced to the voting round, which took place in October. Saint Mark's High School received more votes than any other private school in the state.
     
    “We are excited and honored that the community is seeing what we have felt all along. Saint Mark's has fantastic students, faculty and staff who make this a great school, as well as a home away from home,” said Diane Casey, Assistant Principal of Student Affairs. “We thank everyone who took time to vote.”
     
    The award is a fitting reflection of the school's upward trajectory. Enrollment numbers have been skyrocketing, with a 57% increase in freshman enrollment and a 20% increase in overall school enrollment.
     
    “It is quite clear that the good news of Saint Mark’s High School is reaching a wide number of people in the region. The Saint Mark’s community has a history of excellence in the past and a vision to continue that excellence in the future,” said Francis Corrigan, Assistant Principal for Mission and Academics.
     
    Plans for a school-wide celebration are in the works. “We look forward to celebrating with our students as they are the reason for our success,” said Fertal.
     
    There's been a lot to celebrate at Saint Mark's over the past few weeks. The girls volleyball team won its 11th state championship last weekend. Junior Tiffany Herrera took first place at the Division II Girls Cross Country State Championship, while the girls cross country team took an impressive second place overall.
     
    There's never been a better time to be a Spartan. “We encourage families to discover why Saint Mark’s is The Place to Be,” said Fertal.
     
    For more information about Saint Mark's High School, visit www.stmarkshs.net.
     
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  • Undefeated Saint Mark's Wins Volleyball State Championship

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    It was the perfect end to the perfect season. With a record of 15-0, Saint Mark's Volleyball iced the cake with a 3-0 sweep of Padua in the state championship match this past weekend.
     
    The undefeated Spartans won in three sets, with scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 27-25. This is the Spartans' 11th volleyball state championship and the school's 102nd state championship overall.
     
    “The entire community celebrates with our newly crowned state champion volleyball team! These young ladies showed tenacity, passion, teamwork and incredible character throughout the season. They truly exemplify what it means to be Spartan Strong,” said Principal Tom Fertal.
     
    Head Coach Nancy Griskowitz has been leading the program at Saint Mark's for 23 years. “I am so proud of each and every player on this team. What they accomplished during this strange and unusual season is just amazing! Every day they worked so hard to bring home the championship. The incredible team chemistry these special young ladies shared was extraordinary and significantly contributed to their undefeated state championship season,” she said.
     
    Team Captain Samantha Gerhart played a huge role in the victory. “This year I have been so lucky to have been able to play my senior season with such an amazing team,” she said. “Despite the uncertainty of our season, we continued to practice and work hard everyday. This year especially, due to Covid, we had to rely on each other more than ever. Due to the lack of our student section and fans in the stands, we had to learn to bring our own energy to the court and thrive off of each other. Everyone, on and off the court, played a vital role in not only earning a state championship title but also in having an incredible, undefeated season.”
     
    With only four seniors graduating off the team this year, the Spartan team is young and will be looking for a repeat during next year's state tournament. Gerhart, who will be graduating in the spring, is beaming with pride. “I am beyond proud of this team, especially the seniors (Kyla Dow, Madison Znacko, and Caroline Detrick), and the fantastic season we have had this year. I also cannot wait to see what the returning Spartans (Brooke Dow, Faith Dowling, Nicole Dimiris, Chiara Grott, Sarah Hessler, Mya Lewis, Angelina Mendez, Katie Sonchen, Julia Yurkovich) accomplish next season. The future of Saint Mark’s volleyball looks very bright and while I am sad to go, I will cherish each moment I had with my best friends on the court. Go Spartans!”
     
    For additional information about Saint Mark’s High School, visit www.stmarkshs.net.
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  • SAINT MARK’S VOLLEYBALL HEAD COACH NAMED CO-COACH OF THE YEAR

    Mrs. Denise Blum
    The good news just keeps coming in for Saint Mark's Volleyball. Head Coach Nancy Griskowitz has just been named Co-Coach of the Year by the Delaware Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association. The honor comes just days after the Spartan team cinched the state championship on their home court in a 3-0 sweep.
     
    Griskowitz is extremely honored and humbled by the award. “Seeing the team reach their goal Saturday night and seeing the joy on their faces as they celebrated winning the state championship meant the world to me. As a coach, what more can you ask for? An undefeated championship season for a very special team.”
     
    Griskowitz has been Head Coach of the Saint Mark's Volleyball program for 23 years. Prior to that, she was Assistant Coach for nine years. She helped to lead the Spartans to four undefeated seasons and 10 of their 11 state championship wins (eight as Head Coach).
     
    Team Captain Samantha Gerhart is excited for Griskowitz and believes the honor is well-deserved. “One of the reasons I looked forward to the new season and practice every day was because Nancy was able to keep practices focused yet fun. Her dedication to the team and school largely impacted our success. The time and energy she committed to the team made us want to work hard,” she said. “Our undefeated record and state championship title this season just scratches the surface of what Nancy Griskowitz has achieved during her time as Saint Mark’s Volleyball Head Coach. I am grateful and honored to have been coached by Nancy during my four years at Saint Mark’s. Her belief in me has made me the player I am today and I hope all future Spartans will feel the same impact as I did.”
     
    Sophomore outside hitter Julia Yurkovich wholeheartedly concurs. “Nancy played a huge role in our success in our undefeated season with her ability to keep us grounded and focused on the game at hand and not overlooking any of our opponents, no matter their record. She was able to keep us on track at each practice and made us the determined team we came to be.”
     
    Athletic Director Matt Smith is proud to have Griskowitz on his coaching staff. “Nancy has a sound value system that prepares her players for success on and off the court,” he said.
     
    Principal Tom Fertal perhaps sums it up best. “Coach Griskowitz represents all that is best about high school athletics. She inspires her players to work diligently and to pursue excellence on and off the court. This recognition is certainly well-deserved.”
     
    To catch Saint Mark's Volleyball in action next season, visit www.spartanssports.com for a listing of their full schedule.
     
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