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as far as the mind can see

GIVING VOICE TO THE SILENCED ACTS OF KINDNESS LARGE AND SMALL LESSONS SERVED AT HUNGER BANQUET

Spring 2015


32nd Annual Gala

FRANCIS

PARKER SCHOOL

Saturday, April 25, 2015 6-11 pm San Diego Air & Space Museum

REGISTER AT

www.francisparker.org/gala


MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD

Parker's public purpose in action Dear Parker Community, Among Parker's defining characteristics is being a caring community.

Photo by Tommy Korn, parent '26, '28

In many ways, big and small, our students at the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools are doing their part in strengthening the community through the exchange of ideas, participation in local forums and civic discussions, art exhibitions, and service to others. The Spring 2015 issue of the Parker Magazine offers you a glimpse into Parker's commitment to its public purpose. Global awareness and civic responsibility are part of the Parker educational mission. In the Middle School, teachers organized a thought-provoking "Hunger Banquet" to help students gain insight on the issue of worldwide food insecurity. (Page 10) Inside San Diego's famed Old Globe Theatre, an art installation by Upper School students is shining a light on contemporary writers worldwide who have been persecuted for expressing their ideas. (Page 4) Parker partnered with the online news organization VoiceofSan Diego.org to host a panel discussion on sport safety. You can read

Kat Parish-Philp (left) and Iris Korn, both Grade 1, offer the Head of School some healthy snacks at the Lower School. about the multiple measures we take to protect our students in "Playing it Safe." (Page 30) The Mission Hills Campus became a hub of activities this year during Kindness Week as students from Lower, Middle and Upper School came together to earn Parker recognition as a "Kindness Certified School." (Page 16) Of course it's our people who make Parker an exceptional School. In this issue we bring you profiles of some of our standout alumni, faculty, staff and stu-

dents. We shine the spotlight on four legacy employees who are moving on after investing 25 years or more at Parker. As we head toward the last months of the academic year, we look forward to celebrating Commencement with the Class of 2015. We've done our best to position them ­— and all of our students — to make a meaningful difference in the world. Warm regards, Kevin Yaley

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contents parker magazine

4

SPRING 2015 EDITOR Graciela Sevilla

Speaking for the Silenced Upper School students use art to shine light on human stories of oppression.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lori Foote '94 GRAPHIC DESIGNER Amy Stirnkorb CONTRIBUTORS Pat Flynn '75 Aida Bustos Garcia Tracy J. Jones Susan Myrland

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PHOTOGRAPHY Earnie Grafton Nancee Lewis

Bringing Hunger Home Dynamic Middle School lessons set the table for addressing global hunger.

Send questions, story suggestions or address corrections to: communications@ francisparker.org

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Francis Parker School Communications Office 6501 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111

Kindness Matters Two campuses come together to tackle the Great Kindness Challenge.

Parker Magazine online www.francisparker.org/ magazine

Francis Parker School Board of Trustees 2014-2015 Kathy Purdon (chair) Thomas Bancroft Dee Anne Canepa Andrew Clark Susan Davey Susan (Hansen) Fox '86 David Gamboa 2

Shakha Gillin Robert Gleason Maria Heredia Julia Ingram Randy Jones Susan Lester Kelly Price Noble

Michael O'Halloran Stella Pai Jeff Silberman '75 Hamilton Southworth III Warren Spieker Jan Steinert Ted Tchang '81

Stephen Tomlin Jeffrey Von Behren '90 David Wellis Sarah White Kevin Yaley, Head of School


Spotting Parker Promise

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35

As Director of Admissions, Judy Conner’s eye for talent and her kind heart shaped generations.

Playing it Safe

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Parker solidifies its standing as a champion for safety in sports.

Designing a Brighter Future

Alumni Profiles

Sophomore building prosthetic hands for children in India—and that’s just for starters.

Innovative graduates credit Parker for launching them on path to success.

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Front cover credit

Back cover credit

Inside back cover credit

During the presentation of the Homecoming court, seniors Caroline Merkin and Tommy Bancroft share a moment. On location at Lauer Field, October 2014. Photo by Earnie Grafton.

Grade 8 students relaxing in the Middle School quad, February 2014. Background, facing front from left: Madison Parker, Jacqueline Ghosh, Jamie Yanofsky, Anush Birdjandi, Anna Stanton, Luke Kim. Foreground: Emily Park, Aimee Tao and Zach Braner. Nancee Lewis Photography.

Grade 1 student, Isla Duncan, performs the Scottish sword dance during Language and Culture Week at the Lower School.

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SPEAKING FOR THE

SILENCED Old Globe Theatre shines light on oppressed writers with student art S TO RY BY S U S A N M YR L A N D

CHINESE JOURNALIST GAO YU, 70 years old and in poor health, faced a life sentence for sending a publicly available document to a magazine. Police threatened to arrest her son if she did not confess to leaking state secrets. Swedish-Eritrean journalist and playwright Dawit Isaak has been jailed since 2001. The Eritrean president told a Swedish television station that Isaak would not receive a trial and would not be freed. They are two of 21 persecuted authors, journalists and bloggers portrayed in a multi-panel collage by Melanie Taylor's Upper School art class in conjunction with The Old Globe's West Coast premiere of the play, "The Twenty-seventh Man."

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"When a writer in another house is not free, no writer is free."

Above: Visual Art students Elizabeth Jackson and Max Feye, both Class of 2015, work on the frame of a panel. Previous page: Writer Gao Yu of China is depicted in the artwork created by Faith Tomlin, Class of 2017.

"The students engaged with the [play's] themes in a deep way and created an installation that is equal parts artwork and educational tool," said Barry Edelstein, the Globe's artistic director and a Parker parent, who invited the Two-Dimensional Art class to design the exhibit. The art hung in the lobby of the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre 6

Courtesy The Old Globe Theatre

Susan Myrland

Susan Myrland

— Orhan Pamuk, persecuted Turkish novelist and Nobel Prize winner

from February 14 to March 22, bringing the fictionalized play by Nathan Englander into a very real present. Filling a wall of the lobby's entryway, the display consisted of 35 wooden panels. Interspersed with blank panels, were collages brimming with impact: faces taken from news stories, embedded under layers of lacquer and paint; words

hidden to symbolize censorship, strips of torn paper for lives torn apart. A stylized light bulb spanned three panels at the top, echoing Englander's poignant stage direction: "A bare light bulb hangs from a wire. It is, for the prisoners, the sun." Edelstein savored the reaction of playgoers.


Mixed media elements on wood panels portray individual writers who have been oppressed. Interspersed were blank panels representing the remaining names on PEN's list. From January to June in 2014, the organization tracked 810 writers known to be harassed, on trial, imprisoned or killed.

"It moves me to watch our audience linger on it as they enter and leave the theater. And it gives me real joy to know that these intelligent and creative Parker students have discovered for themselves that the narrow lens of art can help connect us to important issues in the wider world."

He directed "The Twenty-seventh Man" at New York's Public Theatre in 2012 and knew it could be a rich educational experience, touching on creative writing, history, politics, sociology and activism. "The play highlights a littleknown episode in 20th-century

history that deserves to be remembered, but its canvas is much larger than that," Edelstein said. "It talks about the potency of art and the necessity of stories, and it reminds us that while tyranny is a sad constant in human life, so are wit, wisdom and the creative spark." 7


Background photo Nancee Lewis Photography

"The Twenty-seventh Man" is based on the last of Joseph Stalin's vicious purges, when secret police rounded up and executed groups of Yiddish poets, novelists, playwrights and journalists, silencing the leading voices of the culture. Englander's script brings out the capriciousness of censorship, when a casual phrase can suddenly become a threat. It's heavy stuff for teenagers. Parker art teacher Taylor worked closely with the Globe's Director of Education, Roberta Wells-Famula, to develop an instructional plan, beginning with what she called "a slow and thoughtful reading of the play," giving students a chance to absorb the intensity without becoming overwhelmed. 8

"The play itself is intimate and moving," she said. "It was helpful to identify with the four characters rather than broach the large subject of persecution immediately. We considered how each personality approached their situation and the brutality of what happened to them." Working in teams, students researched Yiddish language and culture, endangered languages, symbolism, the stories of oppressed writers and the details of the play itself. They learned about the history of collage, beginning with Picasso and Braque and moving on to contemporaries such as Nancy Spero and John Stezaker. Using the website of PEN International, an association of

writers who defend freedom of expression worldwide, and their Writers in Prison Committee Case List, each student selected a writer to highlight. Alison Carey, Class of 2016, chose young Iranian journalist Saba Azarpeik, who was arrested in May 2014 and held for 57 days, subjected to solitary confinement while waiting for a trial. Carey was drawn to the story because she thought female journalists might be doubly targeted in repressive countries. Even so, she was surprised by the severity of Azarpeik's detention. "She's being treated like a terrorist or somebody that deserves harsher punishment than just expressing her opinions. That's


Susan Myrland

Students spent several weeks working in teams to research the stories of the writers and the play itself before interpreting the writers' trials through art. From left, Austin Troutman, Class of 2016, Meghan Kanegaye, Class of 2017, and Jennifer Cantabrana, Class of 2016.

something we don't see in America. We don't see people getting punished for what they say." Camryn Miyahira, Class of 2017, picked Guy-AndrĂŠ Kieffer, a French-Canadian journalist who vanished in 2004 while covering political corruption in West Africa's Ivory Coast. "He basically just wrote about the government and got imprisoned for that. It brought to my attention all these writers, they're just doing what they love. They're just writing, and

now they're in jail for the rest of their lives." The class visited The Old Globe to see the set being built. Moving through the theater's serpentine backstage spaces, they learned about creative and technical careers from staff, docents and Literary Manager/ Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato. Edelstein broke away from rehearsals to take questions on the logistics of running three stages, and the links between

visual and performing art. Then the students headed back to Parker. With just a few days left before opening day previews, the art room was a flurry of painting and polishing. The effort paid off. At a Sunday matinee, shortly after the play and exhibit opened, theatergoers leaned in to soak up details of the pictures and stories. One man murmured, "This is remarkable." 9


At World Language and Culture Week assembly. Above: Cate Hasler. Right: Nicolas del Rio and Matthew Baker-Dunn. Below: Neusha Kharrati and Arrington Jones.

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BRINGING HUNGER HOME Dynamic lessons put a human face on world of need S TO RY BY A I DA B U S TO S G A RC I A | N A N C E E L E W I S P H OTO G R A P HY

"Do you know that one in six Americans goes hungry every day?" asked the girl with the microphone. "And that 25 percent of students in San Diego go to school without breakfast?" In an instant, Parker's 300 Middle School students, noisily packed into one side of the gym, fell quiet. In the center of the room, apart from the crowd, several Grade 7 students stood or sat on the floor. Clutching cardboard signs, they transmitted despair. Eyes cast downward, they brought a lesson on hunger to life with handlettered messages: "I fought for you. Will you fight for me?"

"Mother with young children." "Laid off. Lost everything." The girl with the mike continued. "These people‌ are completely unaware where their next meals are coming from." DISCOVERING GLOBAL HUNGER Fostering the values of respect, empathy and civic responsibility have been part of Parker's educational mission since the school's founding in 1912. In the Middle School, teachers organize thought-provoking activities so students can experience dynamic learning. 11


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To help anchor the character education program, each grade level has a different year-long focus — self-awareness in Grade 6, community awareness in Grade 7 and global awareness in Grade 8. Twice a year, the Middle School comes together as a whole for a week of shared lessons aimed at helping to open the students' eyes to the world and needs beyond campus.

girls, please go to the end of the line," they were directed. The final 60 percent of the students had to sit on the gym floor, behind a fence. They received a single graham cracker — boys first. They could get water from a container outside — symbolizing the need to travel for it. Once the wells ran dry, there was no more to drink.

"I was surprised at how many people are hungry in America," said Vicky Comunale, Grade 8. "We think that hunger is foreign, that it's in some Third World country, but it's actually near us."

LESSONS SERVED AT BANQUET

This year, teachers began leading students through an exploration of worldwide food insecurity.

"As you eat (or not) today during this banquet, remember this: Everyone on Earth has the same basic needs; it is only our circumstances — where we live and the culture into which we are born — that differ," the speaker told them. that hunger is

"We think foreign, that it's in some Third World countRy, but it's actually near us."

FOUNDATION FOR CHANGE

Through a variety of activities and handson lessons, teachers — Vicky Comunale, Grade 8 encourage Parker's students to think beyond their own reality. Faithful to Parker's mission to "make a meaningGrade 7 students started in September with a ful difference in the world," the students work on "Hunger Banquet." large and small projects to fight hunger here and around the world. Gathered in the gym, the students were randomly divided into three groups representing high-, During February's World Language and Culture middle- and low-income tiers, loosely in proporweek, students held bake sales, raising about tion of how wealth is distributed worldwide. $2,000. The proceeds were donated to Heifer International, a non-profit that gives cows, goats and "Look around you. We represent the world," they chickens to poor families worldwide to help them were told. become self-sufficient. About 10 percent of the students were seated at Ashley Stone, a Parker parent (Zakai, Class of 2020), tables with tablecloths and invited to eat their fill has volunteered with Heifer for more than 12 years of fruit, muffins and beef jerky accompanied by and is a board member of the Arkansas-based glasses of water, with the girls served first. organization. Another 30 percent had only chairs but no tables. They were handed a granola bar and told to get their own water from a cooler. "Women and She spoke to the Middle School students about

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Heifer, explaining how the organization works for six to eight months with an impoverished family, teaching the members basic farming skills, then gives them a cow or goat. In turn, the family agrees to give the animal's first-born female offspring to another family and to pass along the skills they learned. "That's how you build a foundation for change," she said. "One goat can transform generations." These lessons matter, she said. "It's important for children of privilege to explore a massive problem like poverty," she continued. "Trying to understand poverty in such a lush place is a difficult concept." The Middle School teachers worked hard to make that concept digestible for the 12- to 14-year-olds. One class had to

figure out how to feed a family of four for a week, relying just on a bag of donated groceries from a food bank.

really skinny or starving," Maya said. "The food that poor people can buy is a lot cheaper but not healthy."

The students discovered, too, that a food bank is only part of the solution.

Students got involved in community service projects and field trips to social assistance organizations.

"Even when it does help, it's humiliating for a lot of the families that have to go," said Sahana Kumar, an eighth-grader. "You have to let go of your pride."

BREAKING DOWN BIASES

Teaching such empathy is part of the goal of character education. Teacher Jeremy Howard said a key point of the lessons is to help students break down stereotypes about people who are poor and hungry. Eighth-grader Maya Chu was surprised to learn there is a link between obesity and poverty. "It's not just people who are

Donating nutritious food was one of the solutions the Middle Schoolers proposed to help the hungry. They collected food donations and created a week of meals that they bagged for needy families. More than anything, the activities were designed to get students to think deeply about how shifts in global weather, access to resources, social inequalities and conditions such as war and illiteracy can lead to hunger and poverty. A simple game the students played in Howard's class served as a springboard to a lively discussion. He placed a plastic bucket in the middle of the classroom and students wadded up a piece of paper to make "balls" that could be tossed into it. Each time a

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Middle School students held two bake sales, raising about $2,000 to fight poverty worldwide. The sales drew eager buyers, from left: Luke Kim, Julia Bernicker, Isabella Polsfuss, Jonathon Whitten, Arrington Jones, Larry Mei and Miles Williams.

student landed a ball in the bucket, he or she would get a piece of chocolate.

to us. It's where you're born. And you can't fault the people from the back."

many people around the world — and nearby neighborhoods — confront daily.

Those sitting in front of the bucket were able to practically drop the balls into it and repeatedly got candy. Those who by luck were sitting farthest back had a tough time hitting the target. Frustrated, they felt the game was unfair.

SETTING TABLE FOR CHANGE

"I learned how many people are actually struggling with hunger," said Zoe Gray, grade 8. "I was very surprised to see how hard it was for them to survive day to day."

"The point is to show that some of us are born kind of at the front," Howard said. "We have a top-notch education available

Perspectives could be shaped by the location where the students sat. "Often, the people who make it, and are at the front, don't realize that there are people behind them," he said. In all, the lessons gave the students a slice of the hard life

Student Vicky Comunale reflected on her own life. "I learned to not take so many things for granted ­­— and to set aside things for others." 15


"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." — Dalai Lama 16


Annie Voight

KINDNESS MATTERS. For a week in January, both Parker campuses basked in the glow of deliberate acts of kindness. Smiles, compliments and high-fives were freely shared as part of The Great Kindness Challenge, a national initiative aimed at creating a culture of kindness on campuses across the country. "We were awash in kindness," noted Bob Gillingham, Head of the Lower School. "Hugs, notes of appreciation, and special playground activities really underscored the essence of what makes Parker so special." 17


Courtesy Peter Durdaller

Josh Rodriguez, Class of 2017, works alongside Daxton Gutekunst, Class of 2023, on the kindness unity chain.

Lower, Middle and Upper School ASBs sponsored Kindness Week, asking students and faculty to perform as many kind acts as possible during the five days.

the decorated kind-hearted handprints made by all Parker students to create the kindness unity chains," said Charity Byrnes, mother of Avery, Class of 2022, and Darby, Class of 2025.

"My favorite part of Kindness Week was having students from the Upper and Middle School ASBs come to the Lower School campus to join together

At the Lower School, Byrnes helped organize the weeklong kindness stations and activities together with Jamie Herold, who teaches Spanish.

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Courtesy Annie Voight

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." — Aesop

Courtesy Peter Durdaller

Lower School students kick-off Kindness Week with a parade of smiles at flag raising.

ASB students from the Upper, Middle and Lower Schools met on the Mission Hills Campus to create kindness chains from hand drawings.

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"Do your little bit of good where you are. It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." — Desmond Tutu "The kids truly embraced the purpose of the week, and they involved themselves fully in the activities," Gillingham said.

throughout the week helped keep the students aware of and engaged in simple, fun and caring ways to show kindness.

Creating unity between the Mission Hills and Linda Vista Campuses was a key goal.

The Middle School ASB selected students and teachers to act as "Kindness Kops" whose duty was to "catch someone doing something good" and reward them with praise.

Nussbaum, and a delegation of Upper School students, also traveled to the Lower School to share kindness-themed stories and lessons with the younger students.

Courtesy Peter Durdaller

"One of the projects was the 'kindness hand' chain," explained Claire Nussbaum, Upper School ASB president. "Every Parker student in the Lower, Middle and Upper School traced his or her own hand" and decorated the drawing with a kindness theme. The drawings were joined to create a chain, parts of which were hung on both campuses.

"The Upper School students seemed genuinely happy and grateful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Lower School students on this project," Byrnes said. Back at the Linda Vista Campus, students in Middle School also joined in. A variety of activities 20

Students at Middle School enjoyed writing "What makes you smile" testimonials on the sidewalk in chalk, focusing on different activities each day: Hug Day, Smile Day, a donut on Tasty Kindness Day and Compliment Day. Across the country, nearly 2 million students in 3,639 schools registered to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge. At the conclusion of the week, Parker became a "Kindness Certified School." Gillingham was pleased with the outcome of the lessons in the power of kindness. He said, "We always hope that the kids notice and understand that their smiles and words are very powerful in changing people's lives, and we want them to use them for the good." — By G. Sevilla


. TRY. M DO. A E R D

Grade 4

Entrepreneurs

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ies” n a p m “co pated partici

$1,400

in produ ct sales

in 14 years, the project has raised more than

$15,000 for local charities

this yea r

students said this about what they learned: “Sometimes you have to give and take when you are working as a team.” “Teamwork can make good things happen.” “If you want to succeed, you can never give up.”

Students take a project from concept to market. They start with an idea, develop a business plan and apply for up to $40 in start-up funds. Students advertise around campus and sell their products to classmates. From the proceeds of "Business Sale Day," they repay their loans and donate the rest to charity. 21


RETIREE PROFILES

Parker Promise SPOTTING

Judy Conner shaped the future one student at a time BY PAT FLYNN '75 | PHOTOS BY EARNIE GR AFTON

B

y any measure, Judy Conner has been the heart and soul of the Parker family for decades.

Loved and admired by students, parents and colleagues alike, Conner has filled many roles at Parker, from student to teacher to administrator. In her position as Director of Admissions for most of the past 20 years, she has helped shape the character of the student body and positioned Parker to become one of the most desirable independent schools, attracting record numbers of prospective students. "Judy possesses the rarest of gifts — to make every child feel welcome and heard," says Head of School, Kevin Yaley. "From the moment prospective students arrive on campus, they are greeted by her warmth and charm. At Commencement, new graduates and their parents seek out Judy to offer their profound thanks and gratitude."

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Conner will retire at the end of the academic year. "Parker has been such an important part of my life for such a long time," she told colleagues. "I'm looking forward to a new role as goodwill ambassador for Parker." Patrick Mitchell, retired head of the Upper School, praised Conner's contributions. "Admissions is high-stakes work," he said. "When considering achievement in academics, athletics, arts and service, Parker excels." Mitchell continued, "Credit for building the team that achieves such success begins with Judy Conner. The fact that she has done it with such good grace, such aplomb, such behind-the-scenes

modesty — that she has done it so well for so long — is the definition of success." Conner attended Parker through Middle School. After graduating from Scripps College, she taught one year of public school before returning to Parker in 1968 as a thirdgrade teacher. "I had a real checkered career," she said with a chuckle. "I came and went, came back and went. I taught, then I had a couple of kids. I went to Perth (for the America's Cup). Each time I came back, fortunately, there was a job open." Conner taught Grades 4 and 5 as well, and then served two years as assistant head of the Lower School under Bob Gillingham.

"This retirement will be a huge loss," said Gillingham, who has known Conner since her early teaching days. "She can recognize in these kids and families that they will bring the kind of values that we really cherish." He also praised her selfless dedication to Parker and her "strong institutional knowledge about what has been important at the school." Conner became Director of Admissions in 1995 and has remained in that role since, with the exception of a one-year stint as head of the Middle School. "You know how you think you can do something and then you get over there and find out … ," she said, grinning and shaking her head. "It wasn't my thing." Conner was asked what she enjoyed most about her work. "That's easy," she said. "You get to know all the students, and the families, who are new to the school. You see the progress of these little people who start in the sixth grade and they become real leaders in the high school. "And the same with the parents. When they are new, they are trying to find their role. By the time their kids are in high school, they are on committees, the Parents Association, the Board of Trustees. And then you say, 'That was a good match.'

To help prospective students test the Parker waters, Judy Conner carefully matched them with current students as guides for a "shadow" visit.

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"The sadness," Conner continued, "is all the wonderful kids that come through the process and then you can't take them because there's not enough space."


Judy Conner's ability to connect with children and uncover their individual gifts made her an ideal Parker ambassador. Here she greets a prospective student and her mother.

Bob Ogle, a former Parker teacher and coach, is now the head of The Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad. "Mrs. Conner was my fourth-grade teacher," he recalled. "Mostly, I remember Mrs. Conner giving me the confidence to pursue interests and opinions I had not yet pursued. "While Judy has influenced me in various stages of her career, to me she will always be what is most important in schools — a great teacher." David Gamboa, a Parker trustee, described his first glimpse of Conner's "mastery of admissions"

when he and his family arrived for an interview in 2009. "We were asking a lot of Parker by applying for admission for not one but three Gamboa children," he said, acknowledging how competitive admissions can be. But Conner impressed the family with her characteristic thoughtfulness. "Without skipping a beat, she handed Parker yearbooks to the children, the most recent college matriculation results to their mother and the tuition pricing sheet to me. Wow, could she read minds? It was the act of an expert that had perfected her craft over decades. 

"Our family remains indebted to Judy and to Parker for welcoming us to the community," he said. "Judy suggested I pay it forward by volunteering at Parker.  Now, as a third-year trustee, I credit Judy for instilling in all the Gamboas a spirit of service, giving and professionalism that exemplifies our school." Conner said "there's a lot of good living to do," and plans to "hike, fish and ride horses" and spend more time with her family. And come the busy admissions season next year, "I will be enjoying a glass of wine in France," she said with a smile.

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Librarian led volumes of change From her post as a reference librarian, Carol Brown has had a front row seat to the information revolution. Arriving at Parker in 1988 as Head Librarian for the Lower School, she had her work cut out for her. "It was a bit old-fashioned with a pile of donated and out-of-date books sitting on the floor," she remembered. At the time, Brown had no notion of the way technology would soon transform her world. During her five years at the Mission Hills Campus, Brown focused her energy and resources on modernizing the library into a vibrant learning hub. "It was such a joy to be there and to do storytime hour for the preschoolers and fun games for the 'big kid' fourth- and fifth-graders," she recalled. When Brown became Upper School Head Librarian in 1993, she took charge of exchanging the card catalogues and microfiche for full-text indexes on CD-ROMs. "We were on the cutting edge of adopting and adapting technology for our students." With the advent of web-based searches and Internet databases, she took the lead in helping "students and faculty understand how technology was revolutionizing research." Cherie Redelings, chair of Parker's Social Studies Department, said Brown became an indispensable instructional resource. "Carol set the standard for teaching students and teachers how to do appropriate research," Redelings said. "Every year, she would tailor her purchasing to make the library the kind of institution that helped students do up-to-date research." Brown also found untraditional ways to use the library and entice students to learn. When the new library opened in 2006, Redelings suggested a "Lock-In" — having students spend

Earnie Grafton

leaving a Lasting Impact 26

Carol BROWN

the entire night amid the book stacks. "I wanted to jump-start the freshmen's History Day research," Redelings said. "I was sure Carol would be horrified. Instead, she grinned and said 'yes.' She has always been supportive of anything that allows the library and its resources to be used, even if the idea is unorthodox." Brown's plans for retirement include spending more time with family, gardening, bird watching and playing the ukulele, a pastime she picked up at age 60. She also has travel plans inspired by her many years of Renaissance research. Next summer, she and her husband want to walk the 600-mile medieval pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago, in Spain. "The idea of doing a pilgrimage and journey was something that spoke to me," she said. In her 27 years at Parker, Brown has seen tremendous changes. "We've grown larger but the way our students are cared for, taught and loved remains the same and I don't think that will ever change." — By Tracy J. Jones


Mixing passion with artistry Framed posters from productions Gordon Cantiello directed at Parker span every genre from dramas and comedies to Shakespeare and musicals. It's an impressive playlist for a drama teacher who shied away from the spotlight, preferring to stay behind the scenes while inspiring countless students to shine center stage. "He is knowledgeable about every aspect of theater. Not only being a director, but he is a master of the technical aspects, including lighting, sound and set design," observed Shelley Benoit, past Parker parent (Joey '12 and Jack '14). "He is a true theater artist." Cantiello is wrapping his 25th year at Parker as chair of the Upper School Drama Department. Following his final production of the musical "Chicago," he will take his bow in June. Known for his hard work and high standards, Cantiello always demanded the best from himself and his students. That dedication resulted in top-quality performances that quickly sold out. "It's absolutely amazing what he can get out of high school kids," said Debbie Burzynski, Parker's Director of Transportation who often volunteered as a make-up and wig assistant. "He ran a really tight ship," recalled Katie Chadwick '01, an actor in Los Angeles. "Gordon didn't take it lightly. Being in a play with him was like being in an AP History or AP English class. It's hard work. But that's the reason

the shows at Parker are of such high caliber. From the costumes to the lights to rounding up the troops to help backstage, he was very thorough." Despite his love of the stage, Cantiello is more comfortable behind the scenes. He declined to be interviewed for this story, telling friends he preferred to put his students in the spotlight. But others were glad to focus on his legacy. Patrick Mitchell, retired Head of the Upper School, noted that Cantiello could be "passionate" and "fiery" in rehearsal. But come performance time, "He was the most relaxed person in the audience." "He would often explain that by the time the curtain went up his work was done. Now the work was in the hands of his performers," Mitchell said. Parker Archives

Gordon Cantiello

Carol Jensen, Director of Community Programs, recalled first seeing Cantiello at a Lower School production many years ago. "He was standing at the back of the theater, beaming from ear to ear with pride for the students. It was such a wonderful thing to watch a teacher be so supportive and caring," said Jensen, whose son later appeared in "Evita." "Over the years I have attended almost all of his productions. When I take friends to a show they can hardly believe it is a high school production … And he still stands at the back of the theater smiling when the students are performing." ­— By Pat Flynn '75 27


Carol Jensen A Commitment to Community Helping to "build kids with good character, good citizens for life" has been Carol Jensen's mission as Upper School Director of Community Programs. The evidence, after 17 years, indicates success. More than 1,500 Parker students have completed public service with more than 500 San Diego County organizations and projects in that time. "Carol Jensen was the one who inspired me to get involved and then helped me grow as a leader," said Liza Gurtin '12, who won a prestigious national teen public service award for her leadership while at Parker. "She set a great example of how to live a meaningful life." Courtesy Carol Jensen

Jensen, who will retire at the end of the academic year, not only involved students in community service, she did her own. She has served as president of the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club and received the highest service award from the Senior Community Centers for her work as a volunteer and board member. While she has been employed by Parker for 27 years, she was associated with the school as a parent and volunteer well before that. "We say Parker family, and that's what it's been for me. All the support for me and my family," she said. "It's 38 years with all of the involvement. That's a pretty big chunk of life, right?" Patrick Mitchell, head of the Upper School from 1991 to 2010, said, "Carol has done it all at Parker, usually in a behind-the-scenes capacity, but also as an occasional scene stealer." Jensen has been a room mother, president of the Mother's Club and a member of the Board of Trustees, chairwoman of the annual gala and a longtime volunteer with the annual giving campaign. In 1988, Jensen, whose two children were Parker "lifers," was offered the job of Alumni Director. After a decade in that post, she assumed her current role. "The most rewarding part since I've been here is 28

Carol Jensen made a lasting impact on many of the students she worked with, including Liza Gurtin '12 (left) and Katie Plaxe '12.

watching students learn that they get more than they give when they're doing these projects," she said. "I hear back from lots of kids after college and even if they are pursuing their careers, they still find time to serve on boards or undertake projects." Among the many influenced by Jensen is Katie Plaxe '12. "My relationship with Carol Jensen was easily the highlight of my high school experience," Plaxe said. "She was my mom on campus. There was no issue too big or too small that she was not willing to listen to. That is what I love most about Carol Jensen, her capacity to think of others." Mitchell summed it up: "Carol never sought the spotlight. But she deserved to be in it." ­— By Pat Flynn '75


ANNIE VOIGHT Instilling a Love of Learning Annie Voight took her first teaching job out of college in Australia. She returned to the United States, after a two-year stint, to find vacancies in schools scarce. But she needed a job, and found her entry at Francis Parker School. "A neighbor of mine drove a school bus here," Voight said recently while sitting in her Lower School classroom. "He said, 'Come over here and drive a bus.'

"I would put on my skirt, come down here, teach all day, and then they'd shuttle my bus down here and I'd drive again."

Earnie Grafton

"For a year and a half I drove a bus and subbed. In those days, women teachers had to wear a skirt or a dress. I kept a skirt or dress in the closet of the transportation office. I would come in from my route and they would tell me if they needed me that day," she recalled.

That led to a 27-year career at the school — interrupted by a decade teaching in the Midwest – that will come to an end with her retirement at the end of the academic year. Bob Gillingham, head of the Lower School, has known Voight since she started at Parker in January 1977. "We first met as bus drivers — she had super long hair," he said. "We've been great friends since the 70s." Gillingham is not only a friend but a fan of the woman who became a full-time Grade 6 teacher at the begin-

ning of the 1978-79 school year and then returned from the Midwest in 1991 to teach Grade 4. "She is about as committed a teacher as there is in addressing individual student needs, just a dogged determination to help them succeed," he said. Voight has many fans, including the Spieker family. Warren and Meghan Spieker have four boys at Parker: Warren, Class of 2021, who was in Voight's fourth grade; Quinn, Class of 2023, who is in her class this year; and two younger sons, Liam and Rogan, Classes of 25 and 27, respectively. "Annie is the perfect combination of kind and tough … ," said Warren Spieker Sr. (a Parker trustee). "Selfishly, we can't help but wish that she had waited five more years so that our younger boys could have benefitted from her own inimitable combination of exacting standards and encouragement," he said. "We miss her already." In retirement, Voight plans to travel, hike and camp with her husband, Bob. "Watching my former students grow into confident, competent adults is rewarding — thinking that I may have played some very minor part in their development," she said. "I will miss the laughter of students, support of parents and camaraderie of teachers and staff, but I look forward to the journey that awaits me. Besides, I will be back to visit." — By Pat Flynn '75 29


PLAYING IT SAFE

Parker puts premium on protecting student-athletes S TO RY BY A I DA B U S TO S G A RC I A

From the NFL to college campuses — where helmets collide in every game — concussions are at the heart of a fierce national debate about safety in football and what should be done to protect players from brain injury. At 103-years strong, Parker has built a reputation as a leader in developing outstanding student-athletes. But as the controversy over sports injuries swirls, Parker is solidifying its standing as a champion for sport safety. In January, the National Athletic Trainers Association named Parker the only Safe Sports 1st Team School in San Diego County for "providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment." "It's a core Parker value that we want to keep our student-athletes safe," said Phil Hunt, Athletic Director. "Anything we can do to be proactive, we're going to do it." Some 200 or so boys and girls participate in 26 varsity and junior varsity teams at Parker. The School's teams compete at the highest levels. But in contact sports ranging from football and soccer to basketball and even cheer, an occasional injury is unavoidable. 30


Earnie Grafton

Wide receiver Daniel Du points the way to victory while being guarded by defensive back Ryan Risse in a game against La Jolla Country Day School.

31


Nancee Lewis Photography

Most injuries involve minor trauma to muscles, ligaments and tendons that heal in a few days with proper care. For years, Parker has gone the extra mile to protect student-athletes from concussions and to manage them when they occur. It's part of a comprehensive program that includes pre-season conditioning, state-of-the art equipment and a veteran coaching and athletic training staff that places safety first. Last fall, when a number of starting football players were sidelined during a game, Parker did not hesitate to act. The Lancers cancelled the next game rather than risk injury to the remaining players — and to give the team time to heal. "We don't compromise the health of our student-athletes," said Hunt. "We make no exceptions." Parker puts high value on avoiding concussions — and detecting them when they do occur so studentathletes can receive treatment immediately and avoid further injury. 32

Statewide, only 19 percent of 1,554 high schools have even a part-time trainer, according to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Parker has two

"Athletic trainers are the only ones attending the game for the sole purpose of keeping students safe." — Niki Dehner

certified athletic trainers on staff, Jarrad Phillips and Niki Dehner. Both have years of experience at high school, collegiate and professional levels. An athletic trainer is on the sidelines at every game, and available for consultation during practices, if needed. "Athletic trainers are the only ones attending the game for the sole purpose of keeping students safe,"

said Dehner. "We're not worried about wins and losses, how many fans are in the stands or operational costs. We're only focused on keeping kids safe." The trainers kick into action at the first sign of injury. "If there are any signs or symptoms of a concussion, the players are not returning to play," as mandated by CIF rules, Phillips said. If a student shows any sign of injury, the athletic trainers do a medical evaluation and safety check before deciding whether an athlete can return to the game. The evaluations include reviewing the studentathlete's baseline health profile. Since 2006, all Parker student-athletes have had baseline testing of their physical and cognitive functions before the season begins. "Even if players appear fine, without any symptoms, a comparison with their baseline can show when they are not right and we will not allow them to play," says Phillips. During practices, Parker places pads


Nancee Lewis Photography

Athletic trainer Niki Dehner shows softball player Danya Perket how to exercise at home to strengthen her sprained hand.

over the helmets for an additional layer of protection. And the school has invested in technology favored by some NFL teams to protect football players. The school acquired "smart" helmets with embedded sensors that alert a trainer of the intensity of a hit. After a significant impact is registered, the student-athlete is immediately taken out and evaluated for symptoms of a concussion.

CIF Executive Director Roger Blake knew of only one school district in Southern California that uses these helmets, Riverside Unified. Parker also promotes awareness about concussions among participants of all sports. As part of a national "Athletes Saving Athletes" campaign, the School's varsity football team, led by quarterback Khaleel Jenkins, made a video urging student-athletes to

"Speak up!" if they think they may have suffered a concussion. In February, the School hosted a public forum in partnership with VoiceofSanDiego.org to examine what can be done to improve safety in school sports. Speaking at the forum, the CIF's Blake urged a rethinking about concussions. "We have to remind kids, parents and coaches to think beyond, 'It's just a concussion,'" Blake said. "No, 33


Courtesy: Athletes Saving Athletes

it's a traumatic brain injury and there are life-long ramifications if it's not treated appropriately." Of course most of the time, studentathletes suffer lesser injuries. "Sprains, rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, you name it," Dehner said. "Most heal rapidly with proper care and rest," she said. More serious injuries require medical treatment and rehabilitation. The trainers work out of a room with cushioned treatment tables, steps away from the sports fields. It's the hub of activity before games, when trainers "tape" the athletes and afterward, when they "ice" any pain spots or provide therapy. If a player is hurt during a game, the athletic trainers stabilize the injury and consult with a physician. They stay in touch with the athletes and their doctors during treatment. When students return to school, the trainers work with them in rehab sessions, another advantage to having a trainer on campus full time. The two athletic trainers work with 34

As part of an awareness campaign, QB Khaleel Jenkins urges players to know the signs of concussion in a "Speak Up" video.

students in Middle School P.E. classes, too, stressing warm-up exercises, building core strength and conditioning. Such preparation is key to avoiding injury, especially for some Middle School students who aren't physically prepared to play contact sports such as basketball. The school maintains a gym with weightlifting and exercise equipment, staffed by two part-time strength and conditioning coaches, who prepare the athletes in the months before a sport begins. During the season, coaches drill proper playing techniques, which is crucial to avoiding injuries. "An injury can happen in any sport," Phillips stressed. "How you manage that injury is the most important thing to making a full recovery." Danya Perket, a Grade 8 softball player, knows this reality well. She tore a ligament in her ankle sliding into home base when she was in the seventh grade. The following year, she had physical therapy at school with Dehner twice a week, to

strengthen her ankle while easing the pain. "Niki has been instrumental in giving different types of training for the ankle because you can't have surgery on this type of injury," said Danya's father, Cary Perket, as he waited for his daughter to finish with the trainer one Friday after school. Danya wanted to know if it was OK for her to play softball that weekend despite nursing a sprained hand. Dehner held Danya's injured hand and gently flexed the fingers up and down, checking for pain. She gave the student strengthening exercises to do at home — leaning against a table or gripping a sweatshirt. As a concerned father, Cary Perket was pleased to be able to consult with a trainer at School. "It's important to have trainers who can interact with the students regularly, making sure they do proper stretching and proper conditioning," he said. "That's the key to preventing injuries in the first place."


Designing a Brighter Future Sophomore pieces together life-changing solutions

Math) because it explains our world," she explains. "STEM teaches you that any time you see a problem you can use science or technology to fix it." It was a visit to an orphanage that spurred Meghana's first brainstorm. "I saw two young children with missing limbs and I was shocked and moved to do something to help them. There was no means for the orphanage to pay for hand prosthetics and so I thought perhaps there was another option."

BY T R AC Y J. J O N E S

Parker sophomore Meghana Reddy is taking social service to a new level. She is designing and inventing life-changing solutions for people on the other side of the world. Her quest began in the summer of 2014, when what started as a family trip to India became a catalyst for so much more.

When Meghana returned home, she turned to STEM and made a discovery.

Before the summer was over, Meghana was inspired to create a nonprofit, learned how to build prosthetic limbs using 3D printers and wrote an award-winning essay for the World Food Prize Global Youth Initiative.

"I found that people were using 3D printer technology to create inexpensive but highly functional prosthetics that were even better than the expensive ones." Meghana went to a maker lab where she began learning about 3D printer technology and software.

The 15-year-old is matterof-fact as she unravels how these disparate interests came together in one trip. "I have always been fascinated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and

"Then we got a personal 3D printer at home so that I could learn on my own and work on the hands for the children in India." Nancee Lewis Photography 35


Meghana has relied on two mentors to help her with the learning process: her father, Dr. Joseph Reddy, a gastroenterologist; and Mohan Krishnan, a family friend who is an engineering and management consultant for the Department of Defense. "In the beginning, I didn't know how the hand actually functioned and my dad helped me learn all about that. Mr. Krishnan has helped me get up to speed on the 3D printer hardware and software," said Meghana. "Their medical and engineering sides are the perfect combination for what I'm trying to do."

It takes between 12 to 22 hours to print and then one to two hours to assemble each prosthetic. "It's getting smoother because as you learn more, you know how to fix your own mistakes. I've gotten faster and better at that." One of the benefits of a 3D printed prosthetic is the low cost. Nancee Lewis Photography

After completing the hands for the two orphans she met over the summer, Meghana established Limbs with Love, a nonprofit with the mission "to provide children and adults around the world with prosthetic limbs free of cost through 3D printing technology."

"Every client has a unique limb and I use open-source 3D printer software to modify each piece based on the size of the wrist or the remaining parts of their hand."

Krishnan said Meghana's biggest challenge is learning how to troubleshoot the 3D printer herself.

Limbs with Love has partnered with three organizations in India that funnel the requests for prosthetics. "We now have a process where they take the recipient's measurements, send that to us and then we make the prosthetic and mail it back to India," said Meghana.

Meghana Reddy creates artificial hands on a 3D printer for a total cost of $35 per prosthetic. Traditional prosthetics cost anywhere between $3,000 to $50,000.

According to the sophomore, approximately 80 percent of the components of her prosthetics are made with a 3D printer. "It's basically a puzzle you have to put together since all of the pieces are printed separately." Adding to the puzzle's complexity are the different variations and modifications needed in each case. 36

"We've got it down to $35 per prosthetic. This makes it appealing both domestically and internationally and especially for children who need new hands every two years."

"These personal 3D printers are like early computers. They break down and break down often," he said.

Krishnan takes pride in how much Meghana has learned. "Doing this highly technical work is not easy or something that is given to her. She has to learn by making mistakes and she never gives up." The third hand she made went to a UCLA student who contacted her through the limbswithlove.org website. "When he put on his hand, I was one of the happi-


Nancee Lewis Photography

caption caption here fcaption caption here caption caption here for caption

Studying with her friend, Snigdha Nandipati, who sometimes assists with the 3D printing, Meghana says that creating the prosthetics is like building a puzzle. "I put the prosthetic together with hardware including Velcro strips, tension rings, nylon strings and screws that mimic how a real hand flexes and provide the functionality to move and pick up objects."

est people in the world. He told me, 'This is going to change my life forever,' and no one has ever said something so nice to me," said Meghana. While Meghana was in India, she also did research for Parker's History Day competition. "The moment History Day 2014 concluded, Meghana began working on History Day 2015," said Cherie Redelings, chair of Parker's Social Studies Department. Meghana had decided to do research on the Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, an agricultural scientist who engineered more productive crops for India and Mexico. "Through my research, I found that Dr. Borlaug also founded the World Food Prize and so I decided that writing an essay for the competition would further my History Day project." Meghana focused her essay on India's issues with water scarcity. She used part of her vacation to inter-

view rural farmers as well as agricultural scientists. Based on the strength of her essay and research, Meghana was among a handful of students nationwide chosen to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute last October in Iowa. "I like combining STEM work with community service," said Meghana, adding that she's not ready to commit to a single focus just yet. Her History Day coach agrees. "Meghana has given a great deal of energy to solving the world's food problem, and she has learned some amazing engineering skills," said Redelings. "I hope Meghana can combine these two strengths in the future, although her talents could lead her in almost any direction." For now, Meghana looks forward to getting her driver's license and enjoying time with friends, playing badminton and reviewing films. 37


GLOBAL REACH Parker students visited destinations around the world as part of 2015 Global Studies, including the Dominican Republic, Philippines, Rome, South Africa and Vietnam. At each location, they experienced a world dramatically different from their own as they immersed themselves in the local culture. They learned about the region’s history and current events, all the while practicing their foreign-language skills. And they participated in hands-on service projects that will have a lasting impact on the communities they touched. Read travel blogs and see photos from the 2015 trips online at www.francisparker.org/global

THE PHILIPPINES

38

SOUTH AFRICA


DOMINICAN VIETNAM

REPUBLIC

ROME

39


Allison Komiyama '99

Andrew Taniguchi '09

Passion Project

Bringing Parker's Mission to Life

A single class changed the course of Allison Komiyama's career. After graduating from Parker, she was working on her Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford, focusing on the development of the fruit fly visual system. "But somewhere, I always knew that I wanted to be closer to medicine." Deciding to pursue other interests, she took a law school class on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exploring the agency's ethics and history. "It was a fantastic class that piqued my interest in regulatory affairs." After earning her Ph.D., Komiyama moved with her husband to Washington, D.C., where she came across a job for a neurotoxicologist at the FDA. The position combined her neuroscience background with her interest in the agency. "I was at the crossroads of the medical field and regulatory issues."

Andrew Taniguchi's interest in medicine started in Middle School during family trips to Mexico, where he saw how poverty severely limited health-care options. "I became aware at an early age of the disparity in care between cultures." Taniguchi also credits Parker's ideals of community service and civic responsibility with influencing his pursuit of medicine. "Like most students, it wasn't always easy to balance school with community service but volunteering helping children with spina bifida really sparked my interest in science."

She became an FDA reviewer, specializing in biocompatibility requirements for implanted devices. "It was thrilling to play a part in these amazing technologies coming to market." Today she is back in San Diego running her own firm, AcKnowledge Regulatory Strategies. She serves clients who manufacture a wide range of medical devices including long-term implants, in vitro diagnostics, and wearable technology. Komiyama is pleased to see the growth of targeted medical technologies. "Instead of taking a drug that's systemic and goes through your entire body you can receive a minimally-invasive implant or wear a wristband that treats you locally," she says. "This is truly my passion." Thinking back on her Parker years, Komiyama remembers phenomenal math and science classes. "More than just the great teachers, I remember being challenged. I learned it was okay to struggle and to be pushed. Parker taught me not to be scared of hard work." Her advice to Parker students is to look for opportunities outside the classroom. "Parker provides valuable links to network and broaden your horizons."

40

While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Notre Dame, he did several service internships abroad that reinforced his commitment to rural medicine. "I fell in love with international medicine and immersing myself into different cultures." His plan had been to go to medical school straight after college but he shifted focus after an eightweek internship in Ecuador at Andean Health and Development, where he experienced cultural immersion living with a local family and working in a rural hospital. "I did everything from cleaning wounds to holding the hand of a mother in labor." That experience led Taniguchi to delay medical school to first earn a master's degree in Global Health from Notre Dame's Eck Institute for Global Health. Taniguchi is now a student at Loyola University of Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine, where he will finish his training in 2021. His focus remains global health and rural medicine. "My plan is to start a rural health program serving migrant workers near San Diego." Reflecting on his time at Parker, Taniguchi remembers Upper School science teacher David Johnson. "He was the first cornerstone that cemented my love of science and to seek out answers." His advice to students: "Be receptive to everything and make Parker the foundation for all your future plans."

ALUMNI


Matt Wahl '04

Playing with a Purpose

Light Bulb Moment

Cassidy Litchman describes herself as a "Professional Volleyball Player / Sniper / Vagabond." Add to that good Samaritan and she begins to come into focus. A member of the U.S. women's volleyball team, she travels the world playing for pro teams. She also runs her own charity — Play with a Purpose — raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. She does it all while living with chronic pain.

It's a rite of passage for all Parker students — The Bench Project, where Grade 6 students paint a tile representing their dream occupation. Matt Wahl remembers drawing a light bulb symbolizing his dream of becoming an inventor. "I didn't really know what an inventor meant but I've been fortunate to find a position where I build exciting, impactful things with the best developers and designers," he said. "Without Parker, I would have never found the path."

Her mother is a volleyball coach and her older brother, Josh, also a Parker alumnus, played the sport. "I've loved volleyball for as long as I can remember," said Lichtman. At age nine, however, she woke up one morning in agony. Doctors found no way to relieve the pain, which continues today. "I decided I was going to play volleyball, an even bolder choice for a kid who found walking painful," she recalled. The game itself has propelled her past the pain to play for Stanford and now to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. "The immense love I have for it, the adrenaline — just draws me in." An outside hitter, the U.S. team relies on her ball control in both offense and defense. "I can hit my target well, which is where I get the title of sniper." She spends half the year training with the U.S. team in Anaheim, under legendary coach Karch Kiraly. And the rest of the time she plays in countries such as France, Poland and Switzerland. "I train or compete six days a week and I'm at the gym for eight or nine hours a day." Her goal: Making the U.S. team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her advice to Parker students: "Stop stressing so much! That's probably the biggest reason that I've made it to where I am and had a great time along the way."

— All Profiles by Tracy J. Jones

www.fivb.com

Cassidy Lichtman '07

That path led this Stanford grad to the Khan Academy, where is he is product director for mobile apps, helping the non-profit to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere." Each month, more than 20 million students access the academy. But that's just a start, Wahl said. "We want to put a personal tutor in everyone's pocket that's always on, available in your language, and really fast." His team's goal is to create a mobile experience that can level the educational playing field. "In three to five years, we foresee a world where a student in rural Mongolia can access the same content that Bill Gates' children are using," Wahl said. He remembers teachers who inspired him at Parker. "Even though I took graduate-level economics at Stanford, I think Mr. (Tom) Crowley was probably the best economics teacher I ever had," he said. "He was also a total Renaissance man, stone carver and hockey player that showed me there is great good at the intersection of different skills." Wahl says Parker helped him connect the dots to a solid career. "I now see that the dots were started at Parker 15 years ago leading me to what I do today." His advice to Parker's students is simple: make as much stuff as you can. "Start building things, whether it's beautiful poetry, robots, visual arts or computer programs, because our society is increasingly growing to value creative pursuits."

PROFILES

41


ALUMNI & PARENT N E T W O R K I N G JANUARY 8 SAN DIEGO CENTRAL LIBRARY JANUARY 8, 2015 PHOTOS BY EARNIE GR AFTON

More than 170 alumni, parents, students and faculty gathered for an evening of career inspiration. On the rooftop of the San Diego Central Library, with starry skies and the downtown skyline as a backdrop, current students and recent graduates received great advice from parents and alumni enjoying professional success in 13 fields, including biotech, healthcare, real estate, architecture and entrepreneurship. The event was co-sponsored by the Alumni Relations Committee, Parents Association and D.A.D.S.

Left: Regina Brown, Christina Clark '14, Jacob Gardenswartz '14, and Olivia Ghosh, Class of 2015. Above: Ayman Mayberry '14 and Pam Fair.

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www.francisparker.org/reunion

FOR REUNION ALL ALUMNI BRUNCH MAY 16, 2015

SAVE THE DATE Above: Ted Kim and Drey Gerger '16. Right: Khaleel Jenkins and James Foster, both Class of 2015, and Jeff Martin.

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FPS in NYC

Alumni Reception Thursday, November 13

NOVEMBER 13, 2014 PHOTOS BY DANA MAXSON

Parker pride flew high among the New York City skyscrapers during last fall's first NYC Alumni Reception. The event was hosted by Matt Blumberg '88 at the headquarters of Return Path, his email technology/marketing company. Among those attending were Head of School Kevin Yaley, faculty members Tom Crowley and Rose Hanscom and a contingent of East Coast alumni, both recent and long-time Parker graduates.

Left: Ellie Peters '09 and Kevin Yaley. Above: Nicholas Moore '07, Nicole Thomas '08 and Marcelle Friedman '06. 44


From left to right: Jacob Gardenswartz '14, Sean Waters '14, Kate Lemberg '14, Estelle Wong '14, Arturo Alemany '14, Luke Pelessone '14, Sofia LaBella '14, Dutra Brown '14

Above: Dimitri Saad '93 and Tom Crowley. Right: Richard Woods '07, Katie Shragge '07, Rose Hanscom, Dana Epsten '07 and Zoe Landers '98. 45


REARVIEW

Parker Archive

STROLLING DOWN MEMORY LANE A group of students cross "the hills" of the former Upper School Quad, on a sunny day in the late 80s.

WHO ARE THEY AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW? If you know the answers, send an email to Parker Magazine at communications@francisparker.org. The answers will be published in the fall edition of the magazine.

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Your support Makes Parker Experiences Happen Have you made your annual gift? Please support our commitment to cultivating global citizens. Make your gift, of any size, by June 30, 2015.

www.francisparker.org/givenow


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Parker Magazine Spring 2015  

Parker Magazine is the semiannual print publication from Francis Parker School in San Diego, California.

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