Student Achievements: Three to Celebrate

1. Boy Scout Bee Helpers

Boy Scouts with the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church-chartered Troop 577, tackled a project to help solitary bees. St. Mark’s School of Texas junior Spencer Burke (left) led the effort. Aided by the Karma for Cara Foundation grant, the team built 100 nesting boxes by drilling various sized holes into wood to create spaces for the pollinators to live and lay eggs. Solitary bees, including the mason bee, leaf-cutter bee, and sweat bee, are tiny, unobtrusive insects that, as the name implies, live alone.

2. Buddy Bench Builders


Olivia Isbell and Aidan Hull. (PHOTO: Catherine Hull)

FROM LEFT: Two Troop 5410 Girl Scouts – freshmen Olivia Isbell, of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, and Aidan Hull, of Bishop Lynch High School – built and installed a buddy bench for the preschoolers attending St. Monica Catholic School, which they had attended. The community improvement project was for the Silver Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve. 

3. Heartbeat for China

St. Mark’s School of Texas freshman Warner Hartnett plays the tanggu drum – just one example of how deeply he has embraced his studies of the Chinese language and culture that began in fifth grade.

“Today, when I am beating on my Chinese drum, the drumbeat and my heartbeat are one,” he said during the North Texas competition in May. “We succeed together.”

Warner Hartnett and teacher CJ Chiang at a competition a few years ago. (COURTESY: St. Mark’s School of Texas)

His success during this year’s online DFW Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition has him competing in the Chinese Bridge World Competition this fall. It runs virtually through Nov. 5 and will assess Hartnett’s Chinese language skills, knowledge of China’s national conditions, Chinese cultural skills, and comprehensive learning abilities.

“I hope that other Marksmen will feel encouraged by Warner’s achievement and will also try competing in the future,” said Grace Anderson, middle and upper school Chinese teacher. “It is pretty amazing that he was able to place first in the DFW area for the Chinese Bridge Competition after only taking a few years of Chinese.”

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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