Mark Day School Equips Students to Create a Brighter Future

As educators, we are constantly evaluating how best to prepare youth for the changing world in which we live. More than 40 years ago, Mark Day School in San Rafael was founded as a K-8 school with a philosophy of providing a “high-quality education in an atmosphere of love and care in which each member of the community was responsible for the well-being of the others.”

Though founders William F. “Buzz” Nern and Ray Bizjack never could have predicted the whirlwind years that lie decades ahead, their Northern Star continues to serve Mark Day School well — even amid the pandemic.

“Never have I experienced a whole community quite this unified by a shared focus on what is most important: the education of our children,” writes Joe Harvey, head of school since 2011, in the spring 2021 school magazine. “Every teacher, every student, every family, every member of the staff and administrative team has made sacrifices to accomplish an incredible year of growth and learning in the context of a global pandemic that ground many important things — including many, many schools — to a halt.”

Especially in a moment marked by significant division and uncertainty, Mark Day students are prepared to thoughtfully listen, learn and lead. They learn how to gather information and seek to understand all aspects of an issue before drawing conclusions. They lead with empathy and recognize the essential parts of being human — rising to new challenges each day, making mistakes, navigating through emotions, and experiencing life’s ups and downs.

They draw from multiple disciplines to find creative solutions to complex problems and believe in the power of collaboration. They learn who they are as individuals and learners, and the strengths and toolkits they bring to the table. They know they can make an impact — and that when they band together, that impact grows exponentially.

Our students inspire us with their creative and empathetic leadership. They hold our greatest promise for a brighter future.

We invite you to learn more about our program, our students, and the incredible teachers that help guide them at