Dini to Replace Holtberg at St. Mark’s

David Dini (left) will take the reins from Arnie Holtberg in July.

David Dini (left) will take the reins from Arnie Holtberg in July.

After searching far and wide for a successor to headmaster Arnold E. Holtberg, St. Mark’s has decided to promote assistant headmaster David W. Dini.

“It is an immense source of pride to announce that after meeting so many qualified candidates from leading independent schools, the individual ideally suited to build upon the great legacy of this institution is already on campus,” said Randall Fojtasek, a 1981 graduate of St. Mark’s and president of the school’s board of trustees.

Holtberg announced in March that he planned to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Dini, who has worked at St. Mark’s for more than 19 years, will assume his new duties effective July 1.

“I am deeply honored by the decision of the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees, and I am humbled by the prospect of leading this great institution,” Dini said. “St. Mark’s School of Texas was established with a vision to become a beacon of excellence, and I feel an important responsibility to make sure we carry that legacy forward.”

Dini graduated from Houston Strake Jesuit before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SMU. His career in education began at the John Cooper School in Houston. Holtberg recruited Dini in 1994 to create the comprehensive advancement program that has since guided all St. Mark’s development and alumni relations.

Under Dini’s leadership, St. Mark’s has raised more than $170 million in new contributions and has tripled the size of its endowment to more than $120 million. In addition, he has been integrally involved in the transformation of the campus, helping lead major building projects in 2000 and 2008.

“Our next headmaster brings experience, outstanding personal qualities, a passion for educational excellence, and a deep commitment to our school and our community,” Fojtasek said.

By Dan Koller Nov. 8, 2013 | 2:06 pm | 4 Comments | Comments RSS
  • tb

    I don’t know David Dini. I’ve heard some good things about him from one other SM alum who does know him. Nonetheless, it’s unsettling that the trustees chose a fundraiser as headmaster. What values are revealed by tapping someone who’s good at schmoozing guys like Tom Hicks and Wallace Hall? (If you know what I mean, and I think you do.) Yes, the job requires administrative skills, but I’d have preferred someone who’s also spent a good deal of time as a teacher — someone dedicated to broadening and deepening the minds and characters of young people. I’ll be delighted to learn that my concerns are misplaced.

  • pcres

    @tb: It says on the website that he has prior experience as a teacher, advisor, and trip leader. He also won an award for excellence in teaching, so I would assume he has extensive teaching experience.

  • tb

    @pcres: The “teaching” awards are for leading summer courses on fundraising for prep school development personnel. They’re not for teaching elementary, middle, or high school students. It appears Mr. Dini has been primarily in fundraising since 1992.

  • truth

    “I don’t know David Dini.” …. You just lost all credibility in judging David Dini with your first sentence.

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