At Mark Day School, we strive to live our mission each day. We honor and are guided by the Seven Pillars of Character--Caring, Courage, Citizenship, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Fairness--in all that we do. We endeavor to innovate, to use our talents responsibly in the world, and to strengthen the communities in which we live.
Inspiration forms a critical component in achieving our best, and our alumni inspire us in many ways. We look to honor that inspiration through our newly created Mark Day School Alumni Recognition, by celebrating one of the many alumni who, through their work, community service, or personal accomplishments, exemplify this legacy of embracing the mission and Seven Pillars.
Fill out the form below to nominate an alum by October 1, 2016
Elena Dennis, class of 2011
Elena is the the first recipient selected by our Alumni Recognition committee. We received a number of nominations, and every nominee was an exceptional alumnus of Mark Day School. However, we agreed that Elena truly embodies our mission and philosophy in al that she does. We were particularly struck by how her beliefs, convictions, experiences, and endeavors mirror our Seven Pillars of Character, including our unofficial eighth pillar of philanthropy.
Elena cares deeply about her community and works diligently as a commissioner on the Marin County Youth Commission. She fights for food justice and the reduction of teen alcohol and drug abuse. She started Camp Cauliflower, a summer culinary camp for kids to teach them about healthy cooking and nutritious food choices. Moreover, she started a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise critical funds to ensure the camp was free to participants, regardless of ability to pay. In February, Elena was recognized by the Marin Human Rights Commission's Martin Luther King Jr. award for service in January 2015.
The Human Rights Commission writes of Elena:
"Elena Dennis, a senior at Branson High School (a 2015 graduate), a member of the Marin County Youth Commission, a Varsity swimmer, Senior Class Social Representative, was a Summer Scholars Intern at the Buck Institute, a Girl Scout Camp Aide and the founder of Camp Cauliflower. Elena is passionate about many things--most notably the prevention of underage drinking and encouraging access to healthy food for everyone. It is this passion that led her to found Camp Cauliflower, which is a weeklong cooking camp for elementary school students, teaching them how to cook healthy food. Elena took it upon herself to research, organize and, and fundraise for this camp and connected with the Food and Nutrition Director of the Novato Unified School District to get the camp up and running. Elena is described as passionate, motivated, and dedicated and has proven to be an influential member of the Marin County Community."