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Achievement and Leadership Opportunities

Middle School Awards

Students have opportunities to earn or compete for special recognition during the school year in both academic and enrichment activities. Recognition of these achievements is made throughout the year and at an Award Assembly near the end of each school year.

The St. Mark's Cup Award

This award is given to the graduating 8th grade student who best represents the spirit of the Middle School. The student strives for personal best in all areas of school life: academics, sports, fine arts, and extracurricular activities. He or she represents our school with a positive attitude, good sportsmanship, neat appearance, self-discipline, and responsible behavior on campus as well as off campus at school events. This young adult affects the staff’s teaching in positive ways and has enriched the life of our school with a strong spirit of volunteerism and active participation in school events and activities.

The Ambassador Award

Selected by the Admission Office, this award goes to the 8th grade student who exemplifies outstanding character and demonstrates what it means to be Respectful, Responsible, and Kind. This student consistently displays ethical leadership and social responsibility in and out of the classroom.

The Faculty Award

This award is given to an 8th grade student who consistently and independently wants to learn more. The recipient of this award demonstrates not only an intellectual curiosity, but also a passion for learning and creativity. The recipient’s interests are driven not by a grade but by a genuine thirst for knowledge that inspires the student to ask questions, engage in conversation beyond the classroom, and participate in independent research.

Scholastic Virtue Award

Given to one boy and one girl in each grade from 5th through 8th (8 winners) who displayed consistent effort to adopt a growth mindset as evidenced in their attention to addressing challenges, learning from mistakes, accepting feedback, displaying perseverance, asking questions, and taking risks in his or her learning. The recipients of this award are chosen by the grade level advisors.


The Heart of a Leader Award

Given to one boy and one girl in each grade from 5th through 8th (8 winners) who displayed remarkable effort to consistently work effectively with others and, thus, by his or her actions, added value to a group experience. The recipients of this award are chosen by the grade level teams.

National Junior Honor Society

The National Junior Honor Society chapter of St. Mark’s Episcopal School is a duly chartered and affiliated chapter of this prestigious national organization. Membership is open to those students who meet the required standards in five areas of evaluation: scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship, and character. Standards for selection are established by the national office of NJHS and have been revised to meet our local chapter needs. Students are selected to be members by a six member Faculty Council, appointed by the Head of Middle School, which bestows this honor upon qualified students on behalf of the faculty of our school each March. 

Students in the second semester of 6th Grade or students in 7th and 8th Grade are eligible for membership. For scholarship consideration, a student must have a cumulative grade average of 93 in core classes at the time of consideration. Those students who meet this criterion are invited to complete a Student Activity Information Form that provides the Faculty Council with information regarding the candidate’s leadership and service. A history of leadership experiences and participation in school or community service is also required.

To evaluate a candidate’s character, the Faculty Council uses two forms of input. First, school disciplinary records are reviewed. Second, members of the faculty are solicited for input regarding their professional reflections on a candidate’s service activities, character citizenship, and leadership. These forms and the Student Activity Information Forms are carefully reviewed by the Faculty Council to determine membership. A majority vote of the Council is necessary for selection. Candidates are notified regarding selection or non-selection according to a predetermined schedule.

Following notification, a formal induction ceremony is held at the school to recognize all the newly selected members. Once inducted, new members are required to maintain the same level of performance (or better) in all five criteria that led to their selection. This obligation includes regular attendance at chapter meetings held monthly during the school year, and participation in chapter service projects. Students or parents who have questions regarding the selection process or membership obligations can contact the chapter adviser.

Duke Talent Identification Program

Students in 7th grade qualified for the Duke University TIP if they receive a score of 95% or above on a standardized achievement test. They may then compete with high school students taking the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test).


National Spanish Contest

Students in 8th grade compete with students across the nation in this test.


The Scripps Spelling Bee

Sponsored by the Houston Chronicle, the spelling bee is held each for students in 3rd through 8th grade. The school winner advances to compete in the city-wide spelling bee.


President's Challenge Physical Fitness Awards

Students in 3rd through 8th grade perform four different testing events and must score above the 85% on all four tests for Presidential Awards and 50% and above for National Awards.


Sallie Wilson Sportsmanship Award

Presented at the Middle School Sports Banquet to one 8th grade male athlete and one 8th grade female athlete whose actions and attitude most exemplify the ideals of sportsmanship; including fairness, civility, honesty, selflessness, respect, and responsibility toward their teammates, coaches, officials, opponents, and fans.