Mark Day School/Saint Mark's alumni make up a diverse and notable group--educators, business owners, engineers, artists, lawyers, graphic designers, archeologists, musicians, historians, conductors...Whether you graduated in 1987 or 2017, you are part of an extensive community with a central shared experience. We hope you have had the chance to be in touch with your classmates and past teachers. Reconnecting with friends at Mark Day School is always rewarding.
We'd love to hear what you've been up to recently and find out where we can reach you--email, snail mail, or otherwise. We plan alumni events throughout the year and would like to invite you to join us. Contact Christine Maguire, Development Associate and Alumni Affairs Coordinator at (415) 472-8000, extension 1016, or email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Life After Mark Day
Where do Mark Day School students go after they graduate? The following high schools and universities comprise a partial list of where our alumni continue their education.
Marin School of the Arts
Redwood High School
San Rafael High School
Sir Francis Drake High School
Tamalpais High School
Terra Linda High School
The Bay School
The Branson School
The Marin School
The Urban School
University High School
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
New York University
Santa Clara University
UC Santa Cruz
University of Chicago
University of Southern California
Wake Forest University
Where are they now?
Check out what some of our Mark Day alumni are up to years - and sometimes decades - after graduating.
Romeo Mays '13
After graduating from Mark Day School in 2013, Romeo continued his education at Saint Patrick Saint Vincent High School and Dominican University. He currently resides in Redlands, CA, where he is a full-time student getting his masters in Organizational Leadership. And next year, he will be transitioning to medical school with the goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. “Getting my masters degree allowed me to play an extra year of collegiate basketball while also giving me a leg up for my medical school application,” says Romeo. “I love that I have been given the opportunity to learn in new ways, apply myself to concepts I was not familiar with, and meet some amazing people along the way.”
When he thinks of his time at Mark Day, Romeo says, “What stands out most to me is all the time I spent at After School Club. I will never forget when Ms. Bendenelli taught me how to tie my shoe after school in Kindergarten and all of the kickball, basketball, and capture the flag games we played.” He continues, “Mark Day School gave me the discipline and work ethic to achieve any goal I set out for. Without being intellectually stimulated and challenged as I was, I would not be the student that I am today.”
Balandra Fregoso '90
Following Mark Day School, Blander attended Redwood High School and then University of California, Santa Cruz, where she majored in Community Studies and minored in Education. She also received her Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University in 2003.
Currently residing in Richmond, Balandra is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Executive Director of Parent Services Project, a non-profit in Marin. "We engage families to take leadership for the well-being of their children, families, and communities," she says. "We believe that families are leaders in their children's programs, schools, and communities, where they are part of building equitable partnerships based on mutual respect. Families' engagement and leadership creates social change and equity for all, and as a result, all children develop to their fullest potential surrounded by a caring community."
She became involved in this work after finding inspiration during a leadership workshop called Leadership for Equity and Opportunity. She explains, "Fairness and equity are important to me and I feel a sense of responsibility to help others, to speak out against racism, and remove systemic barriers that keep some from thriving." Her experience as a student at Mark Day also laid the foundation for her future work - particularly volunteer opportunities at North Marin Community Services and Walker Creek Ranch. These opportunities gave her a chance to take an active role in the community and contribute to causes she cared about.
During her free time, Balandra enjoys hiking, swimming, and learning how to weave. Health and wellness has also become a side passion of hers, and she loves learning about nutrition, essential oils, and holistic medicine.
Balandra remembers her time at Mark Day fondly. She says, "At the time, I didn't realize how lucky I was to have drama, art, and music as part of my regular school schedule. I loved being in the school plays and often think of music class with Mr. Navarrete, and field trips to the Marin Headlands, the Exploratorium, and Yosemite. I have so many amazing memories of my eight years at Mark Day - so many things that made it special and that helped shape who I am today."
Balandra lives with her husband Jon, a talented musician, their two young children, and their three-legged cat.
Cole Stevens '08
After graduating from Mark Day, Cole attended The Bay School of San Francisco, followed by Colby College, where he studied geology and studio art and served on the crew team for four years. Upon graduation, Cole set off to the Appalachian Trail to hike 2,192 miles in 147 days. “My trail name was Pole Runner because I had a bad habit of forgetting my trekking poles,” says Cole. “My ultimate goal is to become one of the less than 600 people to ever complete the American Triple Crown of Hiking, which consists of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail. One down, two to go!”
In 2014, Cole returned to his alma mater, The Bay School of San Francisco, to join the Student Life department. In his role, he manages many aspects of student life, including events, traditions, clubs, student leadership, yearbook, and student newspaper. He also coaches ultimate frisbee and teaches school acculturation and geology classes to students. “Through education, I have had the opportunity to enjoy some amazing experiences and form important lifelong relationships that have helped shape who I am,” says Cole. “My goal is to make a positive impact on the educational experience of the next generation just like my teachers, administrators, coaches, and classmates did for me.”
Cole lives in the Presidio in San Francisco, where you can find him rock climbing at Planet Granite and training for his next adventure. He also enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, making linocut prints, and golfing. He also just became an uncle; his sister Leila, another Mark Day grad from the class of 2005, welcomed a daughter in February. He’s also currently training for a 10,000-mile bike ride across America starting this July.
He remembers his time at Mark Day School fondly. “Who could forget Mr. Evans’s awesome colored water science demonstration that always stumped the class?” he says, also recalling the holiday celebration sing-a-long with the Doobie Brothers, Ms. Young’s patience helping him correct his homework, track meets, and Mr. Forrester DJ’ing the school dances. He also remembers “the glow we all had during graduation prep and the sense of accomplishment after giving my speech.” He attributes Mark Day’s curriculum to laying the foundation of true academic rigor. “Because of Mark Day, I was more prepared mentally and physically for high school, college, and beyond that I could have ever realized at the time. Also, my classmates were totally amazing and incredibly high-caliber people who have already gone on to do some amazing things.”
Elizabeth Kamai '04
A Redwood High School grad and someone who has always loved learning and problem-solving, Elizabeth landed in a career as an environmental epidemiologist. "I study how the environment - especially factors like pollution, chemicals in consumer products, and industrial hazards - affects the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable populations," she says. She's currently finishing her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also recently completed work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University if Southern California.
Part of what first piqued her interest in environmental epidemiology was a course she took during college at Dartmouth. She interned with one of her professors and since graduation, she's worked on a variety of environmental health and epidemiology research projects. "Over time, I learned that epidemiology is a multidisciplinary toolkit," Elizabeth explains. "Broadly, epidemiologists are experts at designing ways to answer tough questions. Specifically, environmental epidemiology incorporates my loves of problem-solving, data analysis and visualization, the outdoors, and helping people. I feel quite lucky to have found this meaningful and rewarding career path." In the near future, Elizabeth hopes to pursue meaningful policy and justice-oriented research with people who inspire her.
In her free time, she loves to swim - sometimes competitively - and spend as much time outside as she can, hiking, biking, and walking. "Up until the pandemic began, I competed with a local co-ed adult water polo team, traveling around the country for tournaments," she says. "Since, I've built a garden with my neighbor, began fostering dogs, and tried to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID research." As with most people around the world, the pandemic has been impactful on Elizabeth. "I've spent many hours reckoning with the sudden broad public awareness of the field of epidemiology, thinking and learning about what the role of epidemiologists and public health researchers can or should be, how research is communicated and understood by policy-makers and the public, the links between science and politics, and the persisting systematic racism, injustices, and inequities in our public health systems." She values being able to learn and grow during this time. She adds, "I've also realized there are very few plants I can keep alive."
She is grateful to Mark Day School for fostering her love of learning and encouraging her to challenge herself. "I loved the outdoor education trips to Yosemite and Pinnacles National Park, playing on the girls flag football team coached by former history teacher Mike Fargo, science classes and projects with former science teacher Diane Bredt, and competing with my friends on the Mathletes team mentored by former math teacher Norm Lyons." Elizabeth continues to apply the skills and habits she learned at Mark Day to her career and life.
Spencer Petras '14
Spencer first discovered his love for football in 7th grade at Mark Day School when he played at lunch and recess on the blacktop. He carried this passion through to Marin Catholic and then the University of Iowa, where he’s currently working towards a master’s degree in Sports and Recreation Management and serving as starting quarterback for the University’s football team. “I love the comradery and the ability to improve,” says Spencer. “The game of football is impossible to master, like every sport, and every day presents a new opportunity for growth. It truly never gets boring, and there’s nothing better than playing in front of 70,000 fans every Saturday in the fall.”
Outside of football and his master’s degree education, Spencer enjoys playing the guitar, reading, and spending time with friends. “Post college, I hope to have a career in the NFL,” he says. “And hopefully followed by a career as a football coach.”
Spencer’s fondest memories of Mark Day School are his former teachers: Ms. Sigler, Mr. Hickman, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Cunningham. He touts Mark Day not only as setting a foundation for academic success but also for giving him the opportunity to explore his love for sports that he dedicates his life to today.
Meghan Schafer Fraser '88
“I have always wanted a career working with animals,” says Meghan, who currently helps select new breeder dogs at Guide Dogs for the Blind and place them with local families to live as pets during their breeding career.
After graduating from Marin Catholic in 1992, Wheaton College in 1996, and the Exotic
Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College in 1998, Meghan worked as an animal trainer for film and television in Los Angeles for 17 years. “After we had our daughter Violet, we decided to move back to Marin to be near family,” Meghan explains. It was the job at Guide Dogs for the Blind that sealed the deal for her. “It’s very rewarding to be part of their mission and such a lovely community of people to work with. And of course, working with dogs and puppies every day just never gets old.”
Meghan currently lives in Petaluma with her husband Jonas, daughter Violet (who is a current student at Mark Day School!), two dogs, two chickens, two turtles, and five fish. “We love living in Petaluma and spending a lot of our weekends walking downtown to enjoy the shops and food. We also enjoy heading out to the coast with the dogs to camp, hike, or walk on the beach.”
As a current parent to a Mark Day student, Meghan is happy to continue her involvement with Mark Day. When she thinks back to her own time at the school, her fondest memory is its supportive family-feel. “I loved being there and I loved the faculty and staff and felt that they loved me, too,” says Meghan. “My science teacher Sam Migliaccio was one of the most amazing and influential people in my early education.” She believes that Mark Day inspired her to take pride in her school work and excel in whatever she set out to do. “It gave me a strong foundation of study skills, independence, empathy, and the drive to want to succeed and do something I loved in my life.”