Parker Magazine Winter/Spring 2019

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SUMMER 2019 at Parker Registration now open! Come one, come all, Parker’s Summer Program is open to the general public. All Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 campers are welcome!

Register at

2019 SUMMER PROGRAM SCHEDULE JUNE 24—AUG. 2 Summer at Parker JULY 15—19 Robo.Camp JULY 8—13 JULY 22—27 AUGUST 5—16

Summer Jazz Workshop: Session I (Grades 6 to 9) Summer Jazz Workshop: Session II (Grades 10 to 12) Lancer Day Camp (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5)

Parker Moment The Lower School celebrated Language and Culture Week in February. This Parker tradition brings the community together, sharing stories and experiences from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. The week kicks off with a special Monday flag-raising and parade of flags from around the world (pictured).

Head of School Message

Above: Head of School Kevin Yaley speaks to Pollyanna Conference attendees in J. Crivello Hall on Parker’s Linda Vista Campus. Read more page 30.

What happens at Parker doesn’t stay at Parker. This much is true: A Parker education extends well beyond the walls of our classrooms. At Parker, we are committed to graduating students who are not only able to achieve academic success and personal fulfillment, but also have an understanding of the importance of being a responsible member of their local and global communities. Colonel Francis W. Parker maintained that the needs of society should determine the work of the school and that the supreme need of society— good citizenship—demands the highest degree of knowledge, power, skill, and service. In other words, good citizenship is a skill that like all others must be taught. Through authentic, age-appropriate experiential learning our students learn the skill of good citizenship, which includes among

other things an understanding of and commitment to community engagement, cultural competency, empathy, goal setting, and selfadvocacy. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, the lessons learned within our classrooms and on our fields and stages prepare students to think beyond what they discover in their readings and lessons. Our goal is to help students connect their learning to the world around them such that they will come to understand their role and their responsibility in this everchanging world. Just this week, our Grade 8 students departed on their Discovery Week programs, traveling the globe to better understand what it means to be citizens of the world. Earlier this month, Upper School students returned from their travels to Croatia, India, South Africa, Cambodia, and Fiji having discovered much about themselves, their world, and each other. In this issue of Parker Magazine you are provided with a window into Parkerʼs classrooms, fields, and stages where we have created engaging and

personal learning experiences for our emerging citizens—where students, faculty, and alumni take their skills and share them with communities here in our own backyard in San Diego and across the globe. Among the highlights contained in these pages, you will learn about the expansion of our community engagement program to include all students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and meet some exceptional alumni who are accomplishing incredible things within their respective fields. It is my hope that these stories serve as a reminder of the extraordinary Parker community that works collectively to inspire our students to imagine and achieve their own contributions within their communities both large and small. With gratitude,

Kevin Yaley Head of School

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Contents 08


Francis Parker School’s Community Engagement program sows the seeds of good citizenship from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Industry pros offer unique insight into Parker’s college prep process.

Think. Act. Reflect.

Advice for the Advisors



One Parker, two campuses, three divisions—and thousands of poems!

A look behind the scenes at how Parker prepares students for the transitions to Middle School, Upper School, and beyond.

Poetry Week 2019


Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Bridging School Divisions

Parker Magazine


Francis Parker School Kevin Yaley, Head of School

Departments 04


Lori Foote ’94

Parker Highlights

Copy Editor

The latest news from around the School.

Barb Fokos


Healthy Mind, Healthy Body


Windows & Mirrors

Melissa Beltz Chris Harrington Annie Sawyer Tiffany Yu

Reflecting the student experience at Parker.


10 Parker Alumni You Should Know


Parker Athletics



The Intersection of Academic Excellence and Student Wellness.


Parker alumni are doing great things. Learn about the accomplishments of 10 Parker graduates.

Updates and highlights from the Winter sports season.

A Unique Investment in the Parker Community

Prestigious Head of School Scholarship Program benefits individual scholars and the School as a whole.


Alumni Class Notes

Updates from Parker alumni across the decades.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Francis Parker School is an inclusive community where diversity is welcomed and celebrated. We seek talented students, families, faculty and staff from different backgrounds. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, creed or national origin in the administration of its admissions, tuition assistance, employment determination or other procedures or programs.

Inclusive Language Statement

2018-2019 Board of Trustees Robert Gleason, Chair Will Beamer ’89 Ayse Benker Diana Casey Randall Clark Kristie Diamond Rich Effress Graeme Gabriel

Melissa Beltz Kimberly Belverud Lori Foote ’94 Charles Lohman Courtney Ranaudo Tiffany Yu

Shakha Gillin, M.D. Robert Howard Randy Jones Ted Kim Susan Lester Jennifer Levitt Noelle Khoury Ludwig ’91 Patsy Marino

Kate Deely Smith Meghan Spieker Traci Stuart Mary Taylor Sarah White Caroline Rentto Wohl ’86 Kevin Yaley, Head of School

Our Mission The mission of Francis Parker School is to create and inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective, and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Francis Parker School is committed to the use of inclusive language. This pledge extends to our communications. We practice the use of writing styles and language that are free from bias and sensitive to people’s abilities, disabilities, ethnic and racial designations, cultural differences, and gender identities. Parker Magazine is published three times each year by the Communications Office as a School community magazine. Address correspondence to:

On the Cover

Isla Duncan and Ayan Champsi, both Class of 2026, assemble care packages as part of an expanded community engagement activity at Parker’s Lower School. Read more on page 8.

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Parker Highlights Parker Hosts Youth Art Month During the month of February, Parker hosted the San Diego Youth Art Month (YAM) Show in the James Alan Rose Art Gallery. Work by students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County was featured and judged, and a closing awards reception was held on March 3 to celebrate the artwork and reveal the winning pieces. A number of Parker students created artwork that was accepted into the show and many of those pieces advanced to the Southern California Area Youth Art Month Show in Riverside, Calif. All students who placed in the San Diego YAM show will move on to the Riverside competition. Students who place at the Southern California Region show will move on to the California State YAM exhibition in April.

Read more online at


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W.A.R. LORDS INSPIRE Parker’s Upper School robotics team, the W.A.R. Lords (We Are Robot Lords), won the Engineering Inspiration Award for the fourth time, this time at the San Diego Regional FIRST California Robotics competition on March 9. The award celebrates a team’s success in advancing respect and appreciation for the field of engineering within their school and community. The W.A.R. Lords do this throughout the year, dedicating their time to visiting schools and holding workshops around San Diego County to educate and pass the excitement of engineering on to younger students. Sponsored by NASA, the Engineering Inspiration Award automatically qualifies the W.A.R. Lords to advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas this April.

Students Head to State History Day Participating in the National History Day competition is one of Parker’s cherished annual traditions. On March 2, 49 students from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools took part in the San Diego County History Day Competition; 39 will be moving on to the California state competition in May. Centering around the theme, “Triumph & Tragedy in History,” Parker students worked to present their projects in one of five ways—creating a documentary, exhibit or website; writing a research paper; or performing a skit. In addition to advancing to state, 10 Parker projects also earned special awards, including the Economics Award, the San Diego County Libraries’ Research Award, the Award for Outstanding Historical Performance, the Air & Space History Award, the US Foreign Relations Award, and the University of San Diego California History Award.

Self-Study Update: Faculty and Staff Interviews Faculty and staff continue their work on Parker’s selfstudy, a component of the School’s re-accreditation process. Most recently, faculty and staff engaged in peer-to-peer interviews in order to gather data about the School’s mission, educational programs, student learning experience, climate and community, admissions and enrollment, governance, and more.

In the Spotlight: Parker Athletics The High School Sports Association (HSSA) recognized two outstanding members of Parker athletics. Athletic trainer Niki Dehner was named HSSA’s 2018 Athletic Trainer of the Year and coach Dave Glassey was named HSSA’s 2018 Head Coach of the Year for baseball. Both accepted their awards in front of family, friends, and colleagues at Marina Village in Mission Bay on Feb. 4. Niki has been an athletic trainer for nearly two decades, having worked with athletes and teams at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels. Dave retired as head coach last year after three decades leading Parker baseball, and continues to serve as Middle School Athletic Director and P.E. teacher.

Using questions they wrote within their self-study chapter groups, each group member identified key constituents to interview, including division heads, directors, program leaders, parents, trustees, and faculty and staff at each division. Their answers will be used to write a summary of findings from each chapter and will be included in the final self-study document.

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Parker Highlights

TUNE IN Tune in to the Parker Podcast When does the college counseling process start at Parker? How are students guided into applying to the right colleges for them? In episode 7 of Parker Podcast, members of the college counseling department talk about what makes the college admissions process unique at Parker. Dean of College Counseling Terri Devine and Director of College Counseling Bob Hurley bring their decadesworth of experience as both high school and college admissions counselors to the table when finding the right fit for each student. Parker Podcast peels back the layers of School programs and curriculum with insight from the faculty, staff, and administrators who implement them every day. With topics like Demystifying the Admissions Process; Design Thinking at Lower School; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Parker; and Global Learning at Parker, there is something for everyone in the Parker Podcast. Tune in each month for new episodes. To listen to the Parker Podcast, visit:


Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Guiding Principles of Parker’s New Daily Schedule The Daily Schedule Committee has been hard at work defining the guiding principles that will serve as the foundation for the new schedule to be implemented beginning in the fall of 2020. The Daily Schedule Committee, comprising 6-12 faculty and administrators, is leading a thorough and inclusive process that includes input from the community and will provide a recommendation to the heads of the Middle and Upper Schools who will finalize the 2020-2021 schedule and bring it to the Parker Leadership Team for final approval. The focus of the committee is to ensure that the new daily schedule reflects the guiding principles and supports Parker’s mission. The first part of the process is nearly complete with the following guiding principles: • Reflect Parker’s Mission and Vision • Honor Healthy Pace of the Day Through Transition Time and Break Time • Community Building and Character Development • Professional Collaboration and Learning • Supporting Whole-Child Education • Compliance for Accreditation • Optimize Student Sleep Cycle • Equity, Access, and Inclusion • Schedule reflects the entire educational program—academics, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities The next part of the process will be to translate these guiding principles into scheduling components and evaluate relevant research to consider while the optimal schedule is developed.

“Working in community with other people helps students build on necessary, 21st-century skills—interpersonal skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills.” Kevin Dunn, Director of Community Engagement

“It’s rare in this work that you’re provided the opportunity to get in the same room with all these constituents and have student voices and experiences represented in such a powerful way. ” Christen Tedrow-Harrison, Director of Diversity and Inclusion


p. 30

"Physical activity plays a vital role in student learning."

p. 8

“Truly, she electrified both Campuses with honest empathy and inspiration.” Carol Obermeier p. 22 Upper School teacher

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body p. 14

“By giving to this particular scholarship, donors are not only changing the lives of the recipient, but they’ll also change the lives of their own students in the greater Parker community.” Jeff Silberman ’75

p. 44

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WHEN CLARA STURGESS JOHNSON OPENED FRANCIS PARKER SCHOOL IN 1912, SHE PLANTED THE SEEDS OF PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION PROMOTED BY COL. FRANCIS W. PARKER. THE SCHOOL’S ROOTS GREW IN THE RICH SOIL OF WHOLE-CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HANDS-ON LEARNING, EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT ONLY TRADITIONAL ACADEMICS BUT ALSO GOOD CITIZENSHIP. The School has remained constant to those original core values and continues to sow the seeds of good citizenship by focusing on community engagement as a means to improve one’s community and one’s self. Powered by its Strategic Plan, Parker expanded the role of its Director of Community Engagement, Kevin Dunn, in the 2018-19 school year to support this work, JK to Grade 12. As director of community engagement, Kevin’s mission is to raise awareness of societal needs, emphasize off-Campus community engagement, and promote social justice and advocacy. The whole-School approach to community engagement brings focus and alignment to this work at all three divisions and furthers the School’s mission of character development and value-based learning. It also pushes students out of their comfort zones by taking them out of the classroom and educating them about relevant,

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real issues facing their communities. It’s one thing for students to learn about homelessness in San Diego in a social studies class, it’s another to prepare and serve meals and engage in conversation with the human beings standing in front of them.

SOWING THE SEEDS “Working in community with other people helps students build on necessary, 21st-century skills— interpersonal skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills. You can practice those in a classroom, sure, but engagement reinforces the knowledge and brings it to life. This is not just a feel-good exercise, it’s supposed to be thoughtful. It’s supposed to push students into communities and experiences that they’re typically not involved in,” says Kevin. Kevin uses the “Think, Act, Reflect” model to walk students through the components of meaningful community engagement. “Think” refers to the education and preparation students undergo before they go out into their community. “Act” refers to the direct involvement students have with community members. “Reflect” refers to the crucial time following their involvement when students take a step back and think about their time spent, what it means, and what they learned. Kevin says that’s when the real transformation happens. Community engagement cannot reach the point of true meaning until all of the components are present. Engagement without proper education can sour relationships and reinforce negative stereotypes; engagement without reflection can be just as detrimental,

as students lose the opportunity to see the bigger picture, ask bigger questions, and begin to understand the purpose of this work. “Engagement recognizes the wisdom of the community,” says Kevin. “The whole premise of engagement is based on the idea that you’re entering into a relationship with this person and community. The most important thing you can do is to be humble, enter into a conversation, and learn from them.” For example, junior Avalon Smith volunteered at a therapeutic rehabilitation service for her engagement hours. She walked in with assumptions that people with other abilities were somehow defined by those differences, but through her interactions and conversations at the center, she realized they were neither defined nor limited by the different abilities they possess. An avid lacrosse player, Avalon took on 10 teenage boys in a wheelchair lacrosse match and lost—unable to maneuver both stick and wheelchair at the same time.

SPARKING CHANGE Kevin is now bringing the “Think, Act, Reflect” model to Parker’s Lower School. The goal is to build on the existing community engagement work, much of which is focused on charitable giving, by educating students more in-depth about the issues they’re raising money for and offering more opportunities for students to interact with the communities they’re engaging with in person. “Unless we get to the underlying causes of problems—and we do that through educating students and helping them understand the root causes of issues—

“Engagement recognizes the wisdom of the community. The whole premise of engagement is based on the idea that you’re entering into a relationship with this person and community. The most important thing you can do is to be humble, enter into a conversation, and learn from them.” —Kevin Dunn, Director of Community Engagement

Above: Students assembled care packages as part of an expanded community engagement activity at Parkerʼs Lower School.

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“It’s an opportunity to understand and enrich the world for all. These concepts are abstract and hard to understand if students don’t see and connect with the communities they’re engaging with. They need to see how their efforts are impacting their peers and their community. It helps to develop empathy and understanding for other people.” —Heather Gray, Assistant Head of Lower School

there’s no way they can advocate for change,” says Kevin. He is already making strides. Recently, the Lower School partnered with Youth Assistance Coalition, an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to breaking the pattern of youth homelessness. Students raised nearly $2,000 through bake sales, purchased supplies with the proceeds, and assembled care packages for San Diego youths experiencing homelessness. As part of the engagement work, students learned about the issue of homelessness in San Diego, recognizing not only that it exists but also touching on the problems that contribute to it, problems like access to affordable housing and access to healthcare and mental health services.

“Community engagement is the embodiment of character education and S.T.R.I.V.E. at the Lower School,” says Assistant Head of Lower School Heather Gray. “It’s an opportunity to understand and enrich the world for all. These concepts are abstract and hard to understand if students don’t see and connect with the communities they’re engaging with. They need to see how their efforts are impacting their peers and their community. It helps to develop empathy and understanding for other people.” n

Right: Parkerʼs Lower School partnered with the nonprofit Youth Assistance Coalition to provide food and other necesities for people experiencing homelessness in San Diego.

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Community engagement affects one’s community and one’s self.

Avalon Smith, Class of 2020, spent time with children and adults with other abilities as part of her engagement work and found unexpected friendships during the experience.

Parker Upper School students, who are required to complete a certain number of hours each year in order to graduate, can speak to that experience.

“When I discovered Therapeutic Recreation Services, I found myself completing more hours with less of a feeling of obligation and more passion for what I was doing,” says Avalon. “It is an amazing feeling to find an alternative method of allowing someone who may typically be unable to participate in an activity and seeing them experience the same joy. Hearing the personal stories of the people I worked with was the most impactful part of the experience.”

Pallavi Murthy, Class of 2020, was interning with U.S. Rep. Scott Peter’s re-election campaign when she first realized the power of local elections and the importance of voter registration even within her own School community. During her hours of knocking on doors and talking with community members, Pallavi experienced the power of local elections and the importance of voter registration. “As part of the campaign, we knocked on doors around San Diego and held booths around community centers to register people to vote. I decided to hold a booth at Parker. Many students were unaware that they could preregister if they were 16 or older, so we were able to preregister a bunch of students,” says Pallavi. “I think voter registration helps make people more aware of their power as a citizen in America. People are often under the impression their vote doesn’t matter, but it does. While you may feel you have no voice on the federal level, lots of legislation that matters gets done on the local level.”

Scott Drouin, Class of 2022, began his community engagement work through an outside organization that offered a variety of activities to choose from. The work he is most proud of are the activities that benefit military veterans and their families. “Our veterans have done so much to protect our basic freedoms and I felt no way of giving back. I wanted to do something for them. It is often overlooked how much military families struggle, so it is important to me that they get help too,” says Scott. Scott saw first-hand the personally fulfilling experience of connecting with and helping members of his community and found that it made him want to help out even more. He came away knowing that no matter how small his work may seem, the impact that it left on those he helped was much larger than he originally thought possible.

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Healthy Healthy Mind Mind Healthy Healthy Body Body The Intersection of Academic Excellence and Student Wellness BY TIFFANY YU

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hen describing the optimal mental state for learning, one might detail a student that is alert, attentive, motivated, and clearminded—qualities that help students not only receive information but properly retain that information for later learning and retrieval. There is a vital connection between physical activity and wellness, and recent scientific studies show that regular aerobic exercise positions the brain for optimal performance. At Parker, significant emphasis is put on student wellness. Parker’s student support services, invested faculty, class deans, advisors, and coaches work in combination to create the optimal environment for student learning and wellness. Behind every student is an incredible team comprising classroom teachers, healthcare professionals (including a school nurse, clinical psychologist, and clinical counselor), deans, advisors, and learning specialists who know students personally and are sincerely excited to see them grow and succeed. The student support team at every division meets weekly to discuss students who may benefit from additional help (academically, socially, or emotionally) and works to develop an action plan to help students overcome their obstacles.

“It’s a way to make sure that we are not letting any student slip through the cracks,” says Dr. Bob Gillingham, Head of Lower School. “It can be extra academic support like reading, it could be socialemotional support, or all the above. But most importantly, itʼs a nice safety net for our students.” When students reach Middle School, they are developmentally ready to be more independent than they were in Lower School. However, they are met with new social and emotional challenges such as the stresses of multiple classes, clubs, and experiencing changes in friendships. “The student brain in Middle School is changing more than it has since they were little,” says Head of Middle School Dan Lang. “That, along with all of the other changes happening in their bodies, means that when you ask them, ‘Why did you do that,’ or, ‘How are you feeling,’ and they respond, ‘I don't know,’ they are telling the truth.” Dan continues, “Middle School is a unique developmental time, and the faculty who work with our students are experts with this age group. We know that they are going ‘sideways’ most of the day, and our job is to lead them to the path of learning.”

Kids learn in cognitive bursts.

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Rob Campbell, Middle School social studies teacher, found through his postgraduate research that students learn best when lessons are facilitated as focused activities in small segments.

“Developmentally, students need transitions and have to move. Not many students can sit at a desk for hours on end. A lot of problems in the classroom are a result of an unmet need like physical activity, especially sixth graders, and their need to move,” says Rob. Rob started using physical activity as a transition between small lessons. He will ask students to stand up if they are finished with their work—providing that cognitive break a student needs to refocus and move on to the next task.

Physical activity plays a vital role in student learning. 16 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

“When rotating partners, a fun activity is to get them up and dancing. I will say, ‘Okay, whoever has the best dance moves gets to rotate clockwise,’” says Rob. “My students don’t do a lesson segment [that is longer] than 15 minutes, and I try not to have them sitting more than 15 minutes at a time.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 who engage in at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day tend to have higher grades, better attendance at school, and improved cognitive performance (e.g., memory and concentration). From the Junior Kindergarten (JK) program to Grade 12, Parker’s P.E. and athletics departments have created a curriculum with age-appropriate activities that teach students how to practice lifelong healthy behaviors. Lessons on respect, teamwork, and positive thinking are even integrated into basic lessons with the JK students. “With our students, we discuss how we speak to each other,” says Mae Powell, Lower School associate P.E. teacher. “We talk about how it feels when your teammate says, ‘Good job!’ versus, ‘That was awful!’ Sometimes students don’t realize the power of their words, so it’s crucial that we teach them and model positivity.” In the Lower School P.E. curriculum, students learn the power of goal setting and what it is like to persevere to achieve their goals—a valuable life lesson that will help students now and into the future. “Every student has to set a personal goal. For example, they have to say how many push-ups they think they can

Students learn to appreciate the value of healthy behaviors. do. Every student gets to experience what it takes to achieve a goal. It takes practice, it takes dedication, it takes positive thinking; they learn it doesn’t come easy,” says Cecile Santini, Lower School P.E. teacher. “It’s so exciting to see a student do that one last pushup to reach their goal and seeing that, ‘Wow! I did it!’ look in their eyes.” “Physical activity has a tremendous amount of positives for the brain, period,” says P.E. Department Chair Jarrad Phillips. “Our ultimate goal is for our students to find something they like and will keep them active for the rest of their lives.” The Middle and Upper School physical education curriculum is structured to provide students in Grade 6 the opportunity to try a number of sports including volleyball, soccer, flag football, and basketball, so when they reach the Upper School they are ready to play on any of the 25 varsity and junior varsity athletic teams. “There is so much social and emotional work built into being a part of a team such as working through problems,

whether it is a disagreement between two teammates or working out a strategy on how to get through an opposing team’s defense,” says Jarrad. Students take part in what Jarrad calls “guided discovery”—where the coach poses the questions, “What do you think went wrong with that play?” and “How do think we can we fix this?” Students must work through problems together and learn to give constructive criticism. In addition to P.E. and athletics, the life skills curriculum at Parker includes dedicated class time and ageappropriate activities that address social and emotional wellbeing and practices. In Grades 3 to 5, a life skills class is introduced that covers topics such as bullying, mindfulness, gossip, anger management, and self-regulation.

“We talk with students about how they should deal with conflict and give them skills that they can use so that they can have solutions to the stresses that will come their way,” says Bob. In the Middle School life skills class and advisory, students revisit topics that were touched on in Lower School and dive deeper into the themes to discuss suicide prevention, cyberbullying, gossip, and more. The programming allows students time to discuss these topics, ensuring they will be better prepared for the realities of young adult life. The Grade 9 life skills program is a graduation requirement; students

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learn to appreciate the value of healthy behaviors through both classroom experiences and physical activity. “Students are in the classroom a lot during the day,” says John Morrison, Upper School life skills teacher. “Two days out of the week we get to go bouldering, kayaking or other fun activities outside of the classroom. We also don’t assign homework. So it gives students a time to relax. All they have to do is be willing to participate and be in the moment.” Learning to be in the moment is a way to practice mindfulness and cope with stress. Stress is a significant topic for Stacey Zoyiopoulos, Upper School teacher, in her life skills class. Stacey helps students not only think about their own stress, but also how to be mindful and find ways to help reduce the stress of their friends and family members. “We discuss that the most stressful time is from 5 to 6 o’clock at night because everyone wants everything at the same time—food, homework, etc. So we talk about how students can be helpful, being conscious that their parents or others might have had a bad day too, and thinking about what they can do to be helpful,” says Stacey. Students learn from each other and find that little things that can make a big difference in someone’s day. “When we have group discussions students get to hear the different family values that each share. They begin to hear the different perspectives that make up our community. It comes out in a way where they can appreciate one another,” says Stacey. Authentic engaging experiences are key to creating a culture of care in which

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students are at the center of learning. Providing students with the skills to cope with stress early in Lower School will only pave the way to a better academic experience in the upper divisions. Creating a safe forum where students can speak openly about health topics and life changes with trusted faculty and staff reduces the stigma of reaching out for help when they need it. Implementing physical education that emphasizes teamwork and perseverance helps students as they meet the new challenges that come their way in college and their careers.

Parker believes that maintaining a balanced curriculum that focuses on mental health, physical well-being, and support of lifetime fitness, gives students the opportunity to achieve their full potential and go on to build lifelong habits they will carry with them through college and beyond.

Above: Top college admissions professionals share advice with Parker's college counselors during a special two-day visit on the Linda Vista Campus.


INDUSTRY PROS OFFER UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO PARKER’S COLLEGE PREP PROCESS BY MELISSA BELTZ In February 2019, Parker welcomed a group of seasoned college admissions professionals for a two-day Campus visit. The meeting was the first of its kind for the School and a first for many of the admissions professionals who visited from colleges and universities across the country. The professionals were invited to Parker as members of the College Counseling Advisory Board.

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ADVICE FOR THE ADVISORS The goal of the two-day meeting was to familiarize them with the Parker Campus, programs, curricula, and faculty and administration, in order to gain insight into how well Parker prepares its students for college.

Concerns about student health and wellness at college have grown in the last decade, as schools have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students requiring support services—not just academic but mental health.

Admissions advisors from the University of Notre Dame; Yale University; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; New York University; California Institute of Technology, and more visited Parker’s Linda Vista Campus and met with various groups in an effort to understand what a Parker education truly looks like. The group met with members of the Board of Trustees, the Head of School, division heads, grade-level deans, the student support team, the Parents Association, as well as a number of faculty members and students. They also sat in on various Upper School classes; toured the sciences, arts, and athletics departments; and met with students in Grades 10 through 12 for a closer look into life at Parker.

“We had some very good discussions about the conflicting messages students receive, such as, ‘Take the most rigorous curriculum, show that you’re passionate and involved, achieve at these levels,’” says Head of Upper School Dr. Monica Gillespie. “At the same time, we want students to arrive at college and be well and thrive and to not be burnt out by the time they get there. We all own that this is a difficult issue. It’s a conundrum. How do you talk about wellness and also have these high standards at these elite colleges and universities?”

Parker’s College Counseling team works closely with these admissions professionals in the normal course of their jobs, and played host to the group as they immersed themselves in Campus life. When the advisors weren’t touring the robotics shop or meeting with students, they were with the college counseling team talking shop.

"We will use the advisory board’s expertise and impressions of the school to further our own programs."

­—Bob Hurley, Director of College Counseling

“This was a great chance for these professionals to get to know Parker and for us to further our relationship with them,” says Director of College Counseling Bob Hurley. “We will use the advisory board’s expertise and impressions of the School to further our own programs.”

Dean of College Counseling Terri Devine championed this first-ever advisory board meeting, which helped her department gain a better understanding of what colleges and universities are looking for in applications. Bob says the board was incredibly impressed with Parker’s amenities and the programs it offers students. Discussions about how students can best prepare for college and the admissions process were not centered around students’ preparation so much as the health and wellbeing of students once they step onto the college campus.

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Limiting the number of advanced placement (AP) courses and the number of courses a student can take overall are just some suggestions educators have offered to reduce stress and burnout in high school students. Though Parker leadership has discussed these topics at great length, there is no recommendation to change the School’s current standards at this time. “The sooner students take ownership of their own education, the better they will be at the next level,” suggests Bob. “It’s not about tailoring themselves to fit an ideal school, it’s about finding the school that is the right fit for them.”

The variety of college banners that line Bob’s office in the college counseling department—more than 140 from different colleges and universities from around the country and world—indicate that Parker’s advisors do their best to find that right fit. The impression that the visiting college admissions advisors got of Parker students also demonstrates that the School, its faculty, staff, and administration, are doing their best to create and inspire a diverse group of independent thinkers. The advisors remarked on how well Parker students articulated themselves and conducted themselves in conversations with adults they had never met before. “The advisors were very impressed. They said how genuine our students are, how engaged our students are, and how they appreciated being on a school campus,” says Monica. “It reminded them of the students behind the files. They really enjoyed their time at Parker.” n

Above: College admissions professionals met with Parker students, faculty, administrators, parents, and trustees for an in-depth look at the SchoolĘźs programs and course offerings.

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In the second week of February, Francis Parker School celebrated the beauty of poetic language and creative expression in its second annual Poetry Week. This year’s visiting poet was Naomi Shihab Nye, award-winning author of more than 30 volumes for both adults and children. Over the course of two days on both Campuses, Naomi read her poetry in front of every student in the School (JK-12), led four different workshops for budding writers and poets, charmed parents with her wit and wisdom during the Thursday night reading, and generally inspired a sense of delight and wonder everywhere she went. “Naomi brought a love of people, first, along with peace, goodwill, and a wholehearted love of Parker students,” says Upper School English teacher Carol Obermeier. “Truly, she electrified both Campuses with honest empathy and inspiration.” The core of the Poetry Week program is about students of all ages reading and writing poetry. Leading up to the week, students in all three divisions

22 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

ONE PARKER, TWO CAMPUSES, THREE DIVISIONS —AND THOUSANDS OF POEMS! were writing thousands of poems. On the Middle and Upper School Campus, several hundred students were selected by their peers to read aloud at a series of performances in J. Crivello Hall. Students and teachers were blown away by the creativity, honesty, and authenticity on display.

Head of Upper School Dr. Monica Gillespie believes that the Poetry Week experience is unique to Parker. “Poetry Week is meaningful,” she says. “It provides an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to share ideas, insights, and experiences in a way that rarely happens in schools.”

Meanwhile, poetry was cropping up everywhere on Campus: guest teachers read poems over the PA system in the morning; teachers of all disciplines (even math) were incorporating poetry into their lessons; faculty and administrators stepped up to the mic and bared their souls at the Faculty Poetry Reading and Open Mic Breakfast; local spoken word artist Viet Mai dazzled Middle and Upper School crowds with his performances; guitar teacher Michael Gonzales played Bob Dylan songs to admiring audiences. There were collaborations with the drama and dance classes, as well as Poetry Week buttons, Poetry Week t-shirts, Poetry Week posters, Poetrygrams, and a regularly updated Poetry Week Blog. It was a poetry carnival.

This year the Poetry Week effort was led by student coordinators Jake Brittain, Class of 2019 and Bella Sahota, Class of 2021, who together planned events and spearheaded publicity. “It was very rewarding to see students and teachers alike show up for events that we had been planning for months,” says Bella. “My favorite part of Poetry Week was seeing all the students read their poems in the English class readings. I was amazed by some of the hidden poets of our school!” Plans for the next Poetry Week are already underway. n

What I Wrote After Arriving... by Naomi Shihab Nye Francis Parker School San Diego I felt at home the moment we drove through the gate Poetry of architecture Low slung humble brown welcoming landscape Native plants breath of air Wide view YOU! could really be a better person here! Can’t wait to tell you what I learned Can’t wait you heard something great People so FRIENDLY Had we met before? Pictured at top: Poetry Week student coordinators Jake Brittain, Class of 2019, and Bella Sahota, Class of 2021, pose with guest poet Naomi Shihab Nye and Chris Harrington, Upper School teacher and Vassiliadis Family Chair in English. All other photos show Poetry Week activities including Naomi visiting with students on the Linda Vista Campus as well as students sharing their poems with the Parker community.

Sure! Everywhere there is kindness We met! We met!

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 23

finger lickin' good food


raise your paddle

(support parker students)

y ed b en r i a ch eskin k erik

be buckllte & s boots! 24 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019



onr m s i v el azing

d!) (am k ban c o r y r count

fr an c is pa r k er sc h oo l


3 7 th ga l a

pa r en ts a s so ci at io n

AN EVENING OF COUNTRY TO BENEFIT PARKER STUDENTS The gala is the Parents Association’s annual fundraising event, which raises support for student financial assistance.



cke i t r ou get y

kick u yer hee p ls!

the event not to miss! WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 25


26 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Fresh haircuts, crisp uniforms, and new backpacks are what you see on the first day of School each September. Students anticipate the new school year with excitement, unsure of just exactly what adventures lie ahead. For those in Grades 6 and 9, it is an especially significant occasion as they bridge to a new school division. Grade 6 students leave behind the comforts of the Lower School that some have known since Junior Kindergarten, and Grade 9 students are about to embark on their last four years of school before heading off to college. Parents and students may be nervous as they approach these transitional school years, but they will rest assured when they learn Parker staff is working hard behind the scenes to ensure students are prepared academically, socially, and emotionally for the new challenges that lie ahead. It is during these milestone years that grade level deans, faculty, and staff shape the curriculum to create hooks and handles that connect learning concepts between the grade levels. At Parker’s Lower School, Grade 5 is a year filled with increased independence, academic rigor, and responsibilities. To help parents and students transition to Middle School, Parker’s Grade 5 team of teachers maintains a close partnership with Grade 6 teachers and administrators—a benefit of which is a student experience that appropriately challenges them academically and imparts lessons on developing a growth mindset, self-advocacy skills, and teamwork—all important tools for Middle School life.

As a way for students to learn and practice independence, Parker’s Grade 5 teachers encourage them to take ownership of their time. As they are guided through time management and organizational practices, students are challenged to create habits that help them complete their schoolwork. “The more students understand routine, the more independent they can become,” says Grade 5 teacher Theresa Tran. The teachers work in tandem with students at the beginning of the year to help them build new skills and habits, but the expectation is that by the end of the school year, students practice these new habits on their own—just like they will in Middle School the following year. Academically, one of the noteworthy projects in Grade 5 is the environmental play, which serves as a point to check students’ preparedness for Middle School. In each Grade 5 class, students work together to write an original theater play about the environment. They handle every aspect of creating the play, from writing the script to casting the actors and creating the sets, props, and technology needed for the production. The project provides the perfect opportunity for students to prove their independence and practice their organizational and leadership skills. Head of Lower School Dr. Bob Gillingham explains, “It gives us the opportunity to check on the development of certain essential skills. Do they know how to collaborate? Are they accepting responsibility? Do they know how to deal with problems when they occur? Can they step up and take on leadership roles, and can they integrate the writing, acting, technology skills that they have learned over the years at Parker?” Halfway through the school year, the Grade 5 students begin to get a look at what the next year has in store for them during “Sneak Peek” day, when the rising Middle School students visit

the Linda Vista Campus, paired with a Grade 6 student to shadow for the day. While students experience a day in the life at Middle School, the Grade 6 team, Head of Middle School, and Assistant Head of Middle School meet with the Grade 5 team to discuss the current promoting class. “We talk about the overall character of the class,” says Grade 6 Dean Chris McGrath. “We want to know what they are like socially, because every class has their unique characteristics. We also work with the Lower School team to identify any students that may need extra assistance academically or otherwise. The main goal for us is to anticipate the needs of the incoming class and ensure that we create the best possible experience for every student.” In the Middle School, the curriculum builds on that of the Lower School and helps students grow academically, explore their personal identity, create relationships with their peers, and begin to see how they fit into the global community—skills they will need when they get to the Upper School. Beginning in Grade 6, each student becomes part of an Advisory group, similar to their homeroom classes in Lower School. Advisories meet twice a week to dive into age-appropriate topics including time management, student life, and their grade-level themes of self-awareness, community awareness, and global awareness. Advisors keep a close eye on each of their advisees—acting as their main point of support and guidance throughout the year.

Reflection and self-discovery are key takeaways of Middle School. As students advance from Grade 6 to 8, they work through the process of understanding themselves, their community, and the world. They learn WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 27

at each grade level to look back on their work throughout the year to self-report on their struggles, their strengths, and their accomplishments. By going through these exercises, they begin to take ownership of their student careers and strengthen goal-setting skills that they will use throughout their lives.

"One of the benefits of being a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 school is the planning that can take place." —Carrie Dilmore, Grade 9 Dean

The Middle School experience culminates with the Grade 8 Discovery trips, as students become travelers to other countries, fully immersing themselves in cultures much different from their own. The experience requires students to prove themselves as independent, responsible, culturally competent ambassadors of the School. As the environmental plays did in Lower School, this project serves as a checkpoint to measure the students’ preparedness for the rigors of Upper School. As students transition to Upper School, the major focus shifts from independence and responsibility to the ability to set and achieve long-term goals. Planning for one’s future is an important life-long skill that Grade 9 Dean Carrie Dilmore works to develop in each member of the freshman class. Just as the transition from Lower to Middle School began mid-year, so does the transition from Middle to Upper School. During a series of meetings that begin each winter, Carrie and Middle School leadership begin talking with Grade 8 parents and students about what they can expect in high school. From course selection and student-life activities to choosing and registering for classes, Grade 9 is planned before Grade 8 is completed. “One of the benefits of being a Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 school is the planning that can take place,” says Carrie. “Since the Upper School knows the activities the Middle School students experience, we are able to pick up right where the Middle School leaves off. If we know where our students are in their growth, we

28 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

can efficiently plan programming that best supports them. High school can be intimidating; our goal is to allow students to try new things in a safe, structured environment.” At the Upper School, Advisory classes continue, but look slightly different. Rather than a group of fellow classmates, Advisories include students from all grade levels. The experience provides the perfect space for students to step out of their comfort zone and forge new relationships. Head of Upper School Dr. Monica Gillespie explains that the Advisory program provides students with an environment where they can practice making meaningful connections with those who are different than them—a skill that will prepare them for success in all aspects of their lives. “One of the things that we know is that when our students leave us, the end of the journey is not going to college. It really is being engaged in the world. One of the critical skills that will allow them to be successful is the ability to form relationships, develop understanding, and communicate effectively across cultures. It is an essential skill for whatever path they choose,” says Monica. While the breadth of opportunities and class choices allows each Parker student to take a slightly different path through their Upper School years, one thing remains constant: Parker’s teachers, grade level deans, administrators, and student support team work quietly behind the scenes to create opportunities for students to develop and practice important lifelong skills such as independence, collaboration, goal setting, confidence and leadership, so that Parker graduates will have the skills they need to be personally successful, all while knowing they have a community of supporters behind them. n

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 29


30 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Pictured above: Constituents representing the Parker community including students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees took part in important conversations around diversity and inclusion at Parkerʼs first Pollyanna Conference in February 2019.

BY MELISSA BELTZ On the first day of Black History Month, Upper School students participated in Parker’s fourth annual Diversity Day, focusing on the intersection of race, class, and gender. The very next day, Parker hosted its first Pollyanna, a daylong diversity conference that invites local private and independent schools into one room to work towards a common goal. This year’s goal: building and sustaining a diverse community that reflects the student experience. The work of ensuring the School community is diverse and inclusive is an important and shared responsibility. It is one that affects the entire community and the consequences

impact all but are felt most by certain identities. Race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, physical abilities, age, and a range of other human differences all play a part in shaping a person’s identity. It is the responsibility of everyone to embrace those differences and make sure they’re valued in the community.

A DAY DEDICATED TO DIVERSITY Christen Tedrow-Harrison, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, works every day to make sure students of all identities feel comfortable, seen, and valued at Parker. Much of that means creating a School environment in which students see themselves reflected in their community—in WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 31

WINDOWS & MIRRORS the student body, the faculty and staff, and the administration. One of the tools Parker uses to initiate conversations around diversity and inclusion is Diversity Day.

Through their advisories, workshops, and one-on-one conversations, students come together to think and talk about what they learned during the day.

“Diversity Day serves to provide, in an intentional and thoughtful way, some ‘windows and mirrors’ of experiences for our students and the adult community,” says Christen. “It gives people a taste of what a full day dedicated to diversity and inclusion work feels like and looks like, and hopefully inspires teachers to talk about it more and students to feel like they’re in a comfortable space where this is valued.”

“So much of making this work real is slowing down, thinking, engaging in relationship with other people and having those conversations,” says Christen. “All of that takes time and we don’t always have that luxury. Those periods of reflection provide students some time to process. Students need that time to think about what they just experienced. They need to hear from their peers and create those connections. It makes the day more meaningful.”

This year, students watched documentaries that raised questions about the intersection of race, gender, and class, and participated in the Defamation Experience; an interactive diversity program that explores the issues of race, class, religion, gender, and the law.

She continues, “Making sure we’re carving out the time to really thoughtfully talk about and unpack those issues is where the real learning comes for us as a community and for those of us who are charged with planning programming like this,” says Christen.

The documentaries included “Class Divide,” “Dolores,” and “I Am Not Your Negro,” which students watched based on their grade level. Following their programs, students had the chance to discuss with each other what they saw and experienced.

She admits these conversations can be difficult and uncomfortable but they are necessary for progress. Leaning into tough conversations and listening are critical steps in creating a truly inclusive community. Without the skills to understand and listen to experiences of difference, we all lose. It is the School’s goal to take on this difficult work on Diversity Day and, this year, at the diversity conference Pollyanna.

This kind of reflection is one of the most important aspects of Diversity Day, and diversity training in general.

“Diversity Day serves to provide, in an intentional and thoughtful way, some ‘windows and mirrors’ of experiences for our students and the adult community.” —Christen Tedrow-Harrison, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

32 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

‘WINDOWS AND MIRRORS’: POLLYANNA AT PARKER Parker hosted its first Pollyanna Conference on Saturday, Feb. 2. The all-day conference brought five of the area’s private and independent schools to Campus, including Pacific Ridge School, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, and Academy of Our Lady of Peace. Each school arrived with a 14-person “pod,” consisting of students, faculty, diversity directors, administrators, trustees, alumni, and parents, to participate in breakout sessions, a student panel, and to hear keynote speaker Rosetta Lee talk about racial recruitment and retention. The conference theme, “Windows and Mirrors,” focused on the importance of not only hiring racially diverse faculty and staff who reflect the student body, but also cultivating an environment that supports those faculty and staff in order to retain them long-term. Schools must examine the hiring process and ask who is conducting interviews, who is combing through resumes, how are job descriptions worded, what stories do their websites tell, and what stories do they tell— both explicitly and implicitly—once a candidate is brought on campus. The work does not stop once a person of color is hired; it is only just beginning. That is where a lot of schools, and organizations in general, fail. In her keynote speech, Rosetta Lee said schools need to “till their soil” in order to retain faculty and staff of color. Schools can recruit the most qualified candidates, but unless they’re fostering a culture that supports people of color prior to hiring, new hires will likely leave within a few years.

For students of color within most independent schools, who often don’t see themselves represented in the curriculum nor in the faculty, this is detrimental. An African American student told constituents at Pollyanna that her goal is to be a teacher one day, but in her entire private school career, she has never had a black teacher—someone who looks like her to model that experience after. In her 14 years in education, Christen says she hears concerns like these over and over again from students of color. “Having these kinds of conferences is an opportunity to remind us of the urgency,” says Christen. “Those of us who have been in this work for a long time have heard this for a long time and are keenly aware of the impacts. When you’re not as close to this work, it’s easy to forget. That’s why having things like Diversity Day is so important; it might just be one day but imagine if we didn’t have the day. Imagine if we didn’t have the conference where we’re getting schoolwide representation saying we can’t wait anymore.” The uniqueness of the Pollyanna Conference is its format. “It’s rare in this work that you’re provided the opportunity to get in the same room with all these constituents and have student voices and experiences represented in such a powerful way. It demystifies these issues to some degree, helps us recognize the challenges we face are not unique to our institutions and puts us in a solution-oriented mindset,” says Christen. At the end of the conference, each pod works to create an action plan based on the day’s goal that their schools can later implement. Head of Upper School Dr. Monica Gillespie, who sat on the Pollyanna Committee and participated in the conference, says Parker is working on its own action plan to recruit and retain more faculty and staff of color. “We are deeply committed to doing this as a School. It’s very important for everyone,” says Monica.

Parker teacher Dr. Rai Wilson speaks to a group of Pollyanna Conference guests. Conference keynote speaker Rosetta Lee pictured to the right.

Parker is committed to working with professional networks and attending and presenting at conferences so people become more aware of the School and consider working here. Monica explains, “When administrators and educators present, people know that our School is committed to these efforts. People of color are looking for school WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 33


communities where they will be supported. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a key area in our Strategic Plan at Parker and important for us to continue to develop and strengthen our school community and culture.” But more important than the administrative directive are the living, breathing human beings who sit in class each day preparing to make a meaningful difference in the world. “The hallmark of the conference is that there is time for students to share with other attendees who are all adults. That dialogue is critical to doing this work well,” says Monica. “Their authenticity and their willingness to be vulnerable in sharing about their experiences are just incredibly humbling and we need to listen. Our actions have to line up with our words and we need to do the heavy lifting.” Christen agrees. “For students and adults who are people of color, when you come to a school and you’re an ‘only,’ you understand you’re signing up for a very unique experience. Until you reach a critical mass, whether it be students or adults, that’s when you start to really feel a shift in culture,” she says. “I think that’s what our students are telling us and trying to hold us accountable to. They’re saying, ‘I don’t see myself, I don’t feel seen.’ We need to make sure our students are getting access to stories and people that mirror their own experiences. We have a responsibility to our students and a responsibility to our families to do just that.” n 34 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Top: Students from Parker and area schools discuss their experiences with Pollyanna conference attendees. Above: Keynote speaker Rosetta Lee presents on racial recruitment and retention.


Letty Robinson ’78 Drama Teacher Francis Parker School

Leonardo Giovanelli ’96 Commanding Officer USS Preble (DDG 88), United States Navy

David Israel ’04


General Counsel

Parker alumni are doing great things. Read on to learn about the accomplishments of 10 Parker graduates making a significant impact in their respective fields.

Modern Times

Eldar Djangirov ’05 American Jazz Pianist

Matt Garrett ’93

Anne Gillman Cronin ’06

Founder and CEO TGG Accounting

Foreign Service Officer U.S. Department of State

Elizabeth Douglas ’96

Kirby Brady ’02 Director of Research


San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation


Darris Sherman ’90 Vice President of Digital Platforms Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Anna Stump ’82 Artist and Arts Educator

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 35


Kirby Brady ’02 Director of Research San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

The San Diego region is projected to increase by about one million people by the year 2050—and Kirby’s work analyzing regional economic trends is helping to shape the future of our city. The mission of the local EDC is to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness, and Kirby provides the data and research to reach that lofty goal. Her work focuses on understanding the regional economy and translating data into actionable information for local leaders and decision makers. Her research provides vital information for solving real-world problems, such as creating new housing, improving transportation, and attracting new businesses. Prior to joining EDC, Kirby spent 7 years doing long-range population and housing forecasting for the San Diego Association of Governments.

36 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Matt Garrett ’93 Founder and CEO TGG Accounting

A finalist for the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2006 and named one of San Diego’s Top 25 CEOs in 2013 by the San Diego Daily Transcript (and member of Parker’s Athletics Hall of Fame), Matt is an entrepreneur, first and foremost. He discovered the power of proper accounting and excellent financial management through the sale of two businesses, one unsuccessful and one extremely successful. He aims to share those lessons to bring accounting and finance to business owners without requiring them to learn accounting. With the opening of TGG Accounting in 2006, Matt set out to reduce the abysmal small business failure rate in this country by helping business owners achieve their goals through excellent financial management. TGG was selected as one of San Diego’s 50 Best Places to work for the past seven years, and qualified as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal and for the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in the nation for four years in a row.

Anne Gillman Cronin ’06 Foreign Service Officer U.S. Department of State

Anne joined the U.S. Foreign Service in July 2018 and started her first assignment as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands in November 2018. She received her master’s degree in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and spent four years as an international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce before being selected for foreign service. In the economic section of the embassy, Anne works to build and maintain positive economic and trade relations between the United States and the Netherlands and promote U.S. economic and commercial interests. Working under Ambassador Pete Hoekstra, Anne sends reporting and analysis back to Washington, D.C. on economic conditions and trends, primarily focusing on the issues in her portfolio: counter-terrorist financing, sanctions, the transportation sector, export controls, and communications.

Photo by Charles Lohman

Eldar Djangirov ’05 American Jazz Pianist

Elizabeth Douglas ’96 CEO

Anna Stump ’82 Artist and Arts Educator


Nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for his album “Re-imagination,” Eldar has been described by the New York Times as, “A blend of musical intelligence, organizational savvy, enthusiasm and prowess that was all the more impressive for seeming so casual... an ebullient impressionist.” Eldar came to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union when he was 10, and signed to Sony Masterworks at the age of just 17. He attended University of Southern California on a full scholarship and recorded his first major label self-titled debut in 2005, with seven albums as a solo artist or part of a trio since. With extensive touring throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, he has performed at venues from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has been featured on national TV including Conan O’Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition, he has also played with world-renowned symphony orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Eldar currently resides in New York City.

As the CEO of the world’s leading howto website,, Elizabeth spends her time working towards a simple yet aspirational goal: teaching everyone in the world how to do anything. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, wikiHow has grown more than 1,500 percent in unique users per month and is visited by more than 150 million people across 230 countries every month. She feels grateful to be the leader of a company that is making the world a better place for millions of people every day. Elizabeth describes her leadership style as vulnerable, empathetic, and approachable. She often speaks about these qualities at various venues for product managers, as well as for women’s leadership groups in the tech space. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford, as well as an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Before business school, Elizabeth worked as a user experience engineer at Apple where she served as president of Women at Apple, a group dedicated to supporting women in tech.

A member of Parker’s Arts Hall of Fame, Anna espouses two life philosophies: artists are entrepreneurs in their communities, and traveling is a must. Represented by Sparks Gallery in San Diego, Anna’s work has taken her all over the world, from serving as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey to being awarded residencies at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in County Kerry, Ireland and the Centre Pompadour in northern France, to exhibiting in Stockholm, Sweden. She and her partner are currently working to develop a space to support artists during extended stays on property outside of Joshua Tree National Park. Anna’s work can currently be found locally at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights, the La Jolla Historical Society, the Frame Maker in Banker’s Hill, and Sparks Gallery in the Gaslamp District. Anna earned her bachelor’s degree at Occidental College and her Master of Fine Arts at San Diego State University. She is one half of the painting collaboration Hill&Stump, founder of the San Diego Feminist Image Group, and teaches studio art courses at Grossmont College. WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 37


Darris Sherman ’90

David Israel ’04

Letty Robinson ’78

General Counsel

Drama Teacher

Modern Times

Francis Parker School

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

David, who received both his JD and his MBA degrees from the University of San Diego, is a one-man legal team for the 250-employee strong brewery Modern Times. Responsible for all forms of compliance for California’s very first employee-owned brewery, David runs the company’s legal operations in the seven states (and growing!) where Modern Times beer is distributed. With the brewery producing 250 to 300 new beers each year, a large part of his expertise goes into navigating rules in the highly regulated industry that is, according to David, impacted by prohibition-era restrictions.

Letty started her career at Parker more than 35 years ago, helping to choreograph Upper School plays. When a position opened in the Lower School, Letty saw the opportunity to fulfill a personal dream of creating a different kind of drama program.

As Vice President of Digital Platforms, Darris sits at the intersection of technology and entertainment. He is part of a team that works with platform partners to drive innovation and growth initiatives across NBCUniversal’s Film and Television transactional portfolio.

Coming from law firms where performance was measured by billable hours, David plans to spend the rest of his career with Modern Times, where his value as an employee is based on accomplishments and his ability to keep operations moving forward. In his spare time, David is Editor-in-Chief of a local music website,

38 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Lower School students learn more than the power of the imagination in Letty’s program. From learning the first stages of puppetry in Junior Kindergarten to creating their own play productions in Grade 5, stude nts le ave Lowe r School with a breadth of knowledge and experience that makes them into leaders. Lessons of confidence begin when students first enter Parker in JK and their projects grow in scope through Grade 5, when they are tasked to conceive, write, compose, cast, direct, produce, and prepare all props and technology support for their class productions. Letty has cultivated a program that speaks to the heart of every student —and with thousands of students ­ passing through the Lower School in her time there, that’s quite a lot of hearts that she has touched.

Vice President of Digital Platforms

It’s a compelling time to be in the industry, as the lines between technology and entertainment companies have blurred due to a wave of large scale acquisitions and significant intellectual property investments. His 14 years at NBCUniversal have been marked by expansive growth; recently, parent company Comcast acquired both DreamWorks Animation and Sky. Charged with monetizing the evergrowing company’s slate of products, Darris works to ensure that his team is constantly adapting, and analyzing consumer behavior to seek out new business model options, and redefining success in the global marketplace.



Saturday, April 27 Time and locations vary

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The ship’s homeport is Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam on Oahu, Hawaii, where Leonardo lives with his wife and three children.





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For more information, visit:




2019 16, AY

The Preble, a guided missile destroyer, is multi-mission and capable of antisubmarine and surface warfare and airstrikes. Highly maneuverable and capable of traveling up to 30 knots (35 mph) with 100 thousand horsepower, the powerful ship is at sea more than half of the time. As of the writing of this article, the ship was off the coast of Southeast Asia, where Leonardo was leading the crew in a series of freedom of navigation operations for contested islands in the South China Sea.

PARKER REUNION (Classes ending in 4s and 9s) Alumni in milestone reunion years are invited to join their classmates for an evening event.

REUNION2019 APRIL 26 - 27


Leonardo took command of the USS Preble in January 2019, in his 19th year as an officer in the United States Navy. He commands all operations involving the 9,200-ton ship, the two Sea Hawk helicopters it carries, and the 350 sailors aboard.


For more information, visit:


USS Preble (DDG 88), United States Navy

Friday, April 26, 12:30-7 pm at the Linda Vista Campus


Commanding Officer


Leonardo Giovanelli ’96

FPS IN SAN DIEGO Alumni of all class years are invited to the Linda Vista Campus for a fun back-to-school day followed by an afternoon reception on Lancer Lawn with past parents and current and retired faculty.

ALUMNI GIVING DAY Parker helped us build the foundation that launched our futures. Join us and make a gift to ensure that those experiences continue for Parker students. Help us reach 250 alumni donors on May 16, 2019. For more information, visit

Visit for more upcoming events, including FPS events on the road in cities across the country.

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 39

winter SPORTS

Pictured above: Matt Bender, Class of 2019, tries to gain possession on the jump ball against the Bishop’s School.

Pictured above: Makaylee Dahms, Class of 2022, defends home court against the Bishop’s School.

boys basketball

girls basketball

Boys basketball had an incredible season, fighting their way to the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 Championships and the first round of the CIF State Division 2 Championships. The Lancers lost the San Diego Section game by one point to Cathedral Catholic and fell to Colony High School 79-88 in the state championships. The team finished their season with a 20-11 record.

Girls basketball had a strong season this year, battling to the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Division 2 Playoffs before falling to El Camino 34-67. The team finished with a 12-13 record. It was a solid performance for a relatively young team made up of mostly freshman and sophomore players and one senior. Highlights from their regular season include a three-point win over Chula Vista in their second matchup of the season and a two-point win over La Jolla High School. The Lancers slid into the CIF playoffs after a 50-47 win against Calexico in a play-in game.

Players were selected to All League honors by Coastal League coaches: First team, Coastal League and Second team, All CIF: Kimo Ferrari, Class of 2020 Second Team: Matt Bender, Class of 2019 Player Kimo Ferrari, Class of 2020, was named a Union-Tribune Athlete of the Week and Jacob Jovien, Class of 2019 was named CIF Winter Season Spirit of Sport for San Diego. 40 Parker Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2019

Player Jazmin Brooks, Class of 2021, was selected to second team All League honors by Coastal League coaches.

Pictured above: The boys soccer team celebrates their seniors on senior night, sending off 10 of its varsity players.

Reflecting on their 2018-19 season, the boys soccer team is in the middle of a growing period. The team finished their regular season with a 4-10-3 overall record and honored 10 seniors following their game against Santa Fe Christian, saying goodbye to more than half of their varsity players. The team will continue its growth next season when new and freshman players join. Highlights from their season included a 6-1 win over Pacific Ridge and a 7-0 win over O’Farrell Charter. Players were selected to All League honors by Coastal League coaches: Second team: Bryce Dethloff and Laurent Cotter, both Class of 2019


boys soccer

The Lancers finished league at 6-2, good for a share of the Coastal League title. The title was clinched in convincing fashion on the last day of the season with a 5-1 shellacking of Santa Fe Christian. The team gained an automatic playoff berth and home game in the D2 playoffs, which ended with a hard-fought 0-1 loss to Valhalla. Seven players were selected to All League honors by Coastal League coaches: Pictured above: Allison Luo, Class of 2022, maintains possession against Santa Fe Christian, helping the Lancers to a 5-1 win on the night and a spot in the CIF playoffs.

girls soccer This past season was one of the most rewarding for Head Coach Marc Thiebach. The team overcame a slow start, but Coach Thiebach says it all came together in a very tough road game against Open Division powerhouse Cathedral Catholic. The Lancers lost 0-1 on the road on a late goal, but just two days later, the defeat translated into a 2-0 season-opening win at the Bishop’s School.

First team: Natalie Beary, Class of 2021; Jeyan Kirtay, Class of 2019; and Allison Luo, Class of 2022 Second team: Dalila Caceres, Class of 2021; Maia Carlson, Class of 2021; Jessica Chapin, Class of 2020; and Katie Fitzgerald, Class of 2021 Allison Luo, Class of 2022 was also voted player of the year for the Coastal League, the first freshman in league history with that honor, and was named a Union-Tribune Athlete of the Week. WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 41

winter SPORTS

Pictured above: Members of the sailing team show off their first place trophy after the Golden Bear Regatta in Oakland.

Pictured above: Members of the surf teamhave competed up and down the San Diego coast since its season started in October.



Parker’s sailing team is still in season and competing in challenging regattas throughout the state of California. The team had a strong showing early in their season at the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association SoCal 3 at Mission Bay Yacht Club in December. Parker had seven teams in the 36-boat fleet. For many of the students, it was their first high school regatta. Skipper Gabriel Campbell, Class of 2022, and crews Lindsey Williams, Class of 2022, and Tully Cook, Class of 2021, took first place. The Lancer’s Grade 8 team finished in fourth, led by skipper Garrett Henderson and crew Shea McGrath, both Class of 2023.

The Surf team is in the midst of a great season that started in October 2018 and continues through April 2019. The D5 team has competed in several contests as part of the Scholastic Surf Series, including an October contest in Ocean Beach where surfers Maddy Giek, Class of 2021; Charlie Ogle, Class of 2021; and Mark Tankersley, Class of 2020, placed in the top 5 in their divisions. Surfers Jessica Irving, Class of 2020 and Sierra James, Class of 2022, both made it to the semi-finals in the same contest. Since their season began, the surf team has also competed in contests at La Jolla Shores, Army Navy Beach in Carlsbad, and Oceanside.

In February, the Lancers sailed another great race at the 2019 Golden Bear Regatta in Oakland. In Silver Fleet, the A Division team of Gabe Campbell, Class of 2022; and Kat Crosby, Class of 2020, along with B Division skipper Paulo Campbell, Class of 2022, and crews Carolyn Kravets, Class of 2021; Nikolai Halldorson, Class of 2022; and Luca Bonanno, Class of 2021, sailed an awesome regatta to win first place overall in the 28-boat fleet. The team also sailed in the Rose Bowl Regatta in Long Beach in January and the Gaucho Regatta in Santa Barabara in March.

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Athletics Highlights

Pictured above: Brooke Seay, Class of 2019, and coach Stacey Zoyiopoulos stop for a photo after Brooke’s NLI signing in Nov.

Pictured above: Berkley Hayes, Class of 2019



Brooke Seay, Class of 2019, was selected to compete in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, to be held April 3 to 6 at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. It is the first women’s event to be held at the famous club since it opened in 1933. It was only in 2012 that the club opened up membership to women. On being selected, Brooke says she is excited to be part of the initial field of players. “A professional women’s tournament that parallels the level of excitement or prestige of the Masters has yet to be established. It’s exciting to see Augusta of all places—given its history of exclusion and emphasis on tradition—take initiative by introducing a women’s event,” she says.

Pictured above: Jacob Jovien, Class of 2019

Parker supports stellar student-athletes. In the fall and winter seasons, two Parker athletes were named CIF Spirit of Sport San Diego Section winners. Berkley Hayes and Jacob Jovien, both Class of 2019, were each named Spirit of Sport winners following their respective seasons. Berkley won for the fall 2018 season after a solid performance on the girls volleyball team, helping her team to the first round of the CIF Division II San Diego Section Championships. Jacob Jovien won for the winter 2018-19 season after a helping his team to the final round of the CIF Division I San Diego Section Championships for boys basketball.

LANCERS IN THE CIF PLAYOFFS The Lancers saw victorious ends to their regular winter seasons with boys basketball, girls basketball, and girls soccer all having made it into playoffs. Girls basketball headed to the CIF Division 2 San Diego Section playoffs after winning their play-in game against league champions Calexico High School. They took on El Camino High School in the first round but fell 34-67. Girls soccer shared the title League Champion and took on Valhalla High School in the first round of the CIF Division II San Diego Section Playoffs, but lost 0-1 in a hard-fought game. Boys basketball finished their regular season as the No. 3 seed in Division 1 and battled their way to the final round of the CIF Division I San Diego Section Championships, losing to Cathedral Catholic by one point. The team then entered the Division II State Championships but lost to Colony High School in the first round.

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 43

A Unique Investment in the Parker Community

PRESTIGIOUS HEAD OF SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BENEFITS INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARS AND THE SCHOOL AS A WHOLE BY MELISSA BELTZ In Fall 2017, alumnus Jeff Silberman ’75 and Karen Silberman established the Head of School Scholarship Program, the single largest endowment gift in Parker’s history. With their $1.5 million matching investment, the Silbermans increased the School’s ability to provide transformative educational experiences to qualified students across all socioeconomic backgrounds. Never before has the School had a scholarship program like this which provides funds in addition to a family’s financial assistance award. After completing a supplemental essay and application, these ambitious and talented students were selected for the award, which helps cover the additional expenses of attending Parker such as books, uniforms, global program expenses, bus transportation, tuition, and other essentials. The first — Grade 9 Scholar cohort of 5 students is in the midst of its first year at Parker. The School plans to add four to five scholars to the program each school year.

I love that I have a chance to have a good education and learn from great teachers.

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Jeff and Karen look at this scholarship fund as a means to benefit the individual Head of School scholars, as well as the Parker community at large. Reflecting on his own experience at Parker in the 1960s and 70s, Jeff encourages advocating for a School community that reflects the world we live in. These goals enrich the Parker values and mission of educating the “whole child.” “We look at Parker as whole-child education. I look at it in the opposite direction too,” says Karen. “Parker is a community that allows whole children to enter and expand the Parker experience. You cannot advocate whole-child education without a whole environment. To create a whole environment, we have to level the playing field. We have to give all qualified students the same opportunities.” Board of Trustees member Jennifer Levitt is also a founding member of the Head of School Scholarship Fund. Fueled by her own daughter’s experience at Parker, Jennifer says it was very meaningful to give the same opportunities to another student and their family. “Our daughter started at Parker in Grade 6 and will be graduating in June. It’s been at the top of our minds the extent to which her experiences at Parker have shaped who she is. We were so fortunate that her School environment was one in which she was safe, valued, challenged, and had the room to explore and discover who she is,” says Jennifer. “It’s such a meaningful way to give back and give another child who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience what our daughter has. Every child deserves that. With this fund we can, in some small way, give a family that same gift.” What makes this fund even more special is the students’ involvement in procuring it. Each student must complete a supplemental application, in addition to their application for admittance to Parker, in order to compete for the scholarship. This includes a personal essay in which students explain why they feel they should be chosen for the award. Current scholars and their parents cite how influential this portion of the application was for them and how it has improved their child’s selfconfidence, on top of the financial assistance families receive that goes directly towards tuition.

For privacy, scholar award recipient and parent identities have been kept anonymous. “I am very proud of my child for being selected as a Head of School Scholarship recipient, as she played an important role in getting this scholarship,” says one parent. “She took the time to write a thoughtful essay and it’s nice to see her being recognized with a financial award to help cover some of her educational expenses. She truly felt the love from Parker when she was notified that she was selected as a recipient.” The students who received the first round of scholarships also feel a great responsibility to their own education and recognize the importance of being their own advocates. “When I found out I was accepted to Parker, I was so happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to go to a great school,” says one Grade 9 Head of School scholar. “I love that I have a chance to have a good education and learn from great teachers. When I learned I received the Head of School Scholarship, I was proud of myself as I could contribute to the cost of my education.” A Head of School scholar in Grade 6 found their own place at Parker amongst the small class sizes, more challenging curriculum, experienced faculty, and, of course, amazing friends. “All of the teachers at Parker are very kind and helpful, and they make me feel smart and special. I was excited about going back to school but, at the same time, I wondered about the challenges of the curriculum at Parker and about keeping up with the school assignments and project deadlines. Also, meeting new people and making new friends. But I’ve achieved all of this and more. I have so many wonderful friends!” says the Middle Schooler. These experiences may not have been possible without the help of the Head of School Scholarship Fund. For individual scholars, it can be a lifechanging experience. For the Parker community, it is no less life-changing. As the namesake of the scholarship program, Head of School Kevin Yaley is responsible for choosing the final scholars from the applicant pool and recognizes the importance of such a decision.

“The Head of School Scholarship Program has a powerful impact on a student’s educational journey and can have profound and lasting effects on not just the individual student but the entire Parker community as a whole. The Silbermans’ commitment to ensuring all students have a chance at a Parker education is extraordinary,” says Kevin.

Never before has the School had a scholarship program like this which provides funds in addition to a family’s financial assistance award.

Kevin, Jeff, Karen, and Jennifer are calling on Parker families to invest in the education of these deserving students and the strengthening of the Parker community as a whole. “By giving to this particular scholarship, donors are not only changing the lives of the recipient, but they’ll also change the lives of their own students in the greater Parker community,” says Jeff. In addition to helping qualified students reach their academic goals, donors who support the scholarship fund in any amount will be recognized at double their gift level. For example, a donor who gives $5,000 to the program will be recognized for a $10,000 contribution, thanks to the Silbermans’ matching gift. The goal is to raise an additional $1.5 million from the Parker community for a total investment of $3 million, which will allow the School to continue to add scholars to this program each school year. n

Learn More

Hear from Jeff ’75 and Karen Silberman and current scholars about the impact of this transformational program. VISIT FRANCISPARKER.ORG/HOSSCHOLARS

WINTER/SPRING 2019 Parker Magazine 45

Class Notes updates

1. Dione Brooks Taylor ’73 and Pamela Macomber Gerber ’72 enjoyed lunch and reminisced about their beloved classmate and friend Andrea Scott Cox ’73, who recently passed away.

The film was picked up by Gravitas Ventures in January 2019 and is available on iTunes and Amazon.

4. Carrie Vilaplana ’97 joined The Private Bank at Union Bank as vice president, private wealth advisor in October 2018.

8. Mike Kranzler ’05 represented Team USA in London at the 2018 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in October, competing in the 3k and 15k events. 9. Carina Otero ’07 and Trevor Moore ’09 spoke to Parker internship students about ethical decision making in the workplace in February 2019.

2. Raquel Borras ’93 accepted a position as Division Brand Relations manager at Main Street Home Loans—a Division by NFM Lending—in January 2019.

5. Kirby Brady ’02 was honored by the Urban League of San Diego County for advancing diversity and equity in the community in December 2018. 6. Jacqueline Grace Lopez ’03 landed the lead role in the CW’s Jane the Virgin spin-off pilot, “Jane the Novela.”

10. Marwan Harb ’11 was promoted to Account Executive at Okta, Inc. in February 2019. 11. Kristen Stipanov ’12 moved to Bishop, CA to join Eastern Sierra Land Trust as communications coordinator in January 2019.

3. Michael Piper-Younie ’96 executive produced and starred in the movie, “I’d Like to be Alone Now.”

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7. Derek Hobson ’04, Melissa Vassiliadis ’04, Elise Crispen ’07, and guest Isaac Pollock spoke to Parker internship students about teamwork and self-identity in the workplace in January 2019.


12. Thomas Marshall ’14 released his first novel, “No More Dead Kids,” in February 2019. The book, a young adult novel about the power of compassion and the need to end mass school shootings, was published by Black Rose Writing and is available wherever books are sold.

15. Myles Kenny ’15, pictured here with sister Alexandra ’17, is in his first year at Tulane Law School in New Orleans, LA.

16. Mary Tobin ’16, Anoushka Bose ’16, and Ben Sachrison ’16 joined Parker teacher Mary Ong-Dean for lunch over the holidays.

18. Lizzy Bendrick ’07 married Sam Alexander on January 12, 2019 at Mission San Diego de Alcala. Nicole Pedroarena-Leal ’07, CJ Grigoriadis ’07, and Nick Noonan ’07 served as attendants.

13. Alexandra Kenny ’14, pictured here with Carol Obermeier, Jasmine Taylor, and Terri Devine, was crowned Queen of the 2019 Krewe of Endymion Coronation Ball in New Orleans, LA. The event was held in January at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

14. Annika Muerer ’15 accepted a position as event coordinator for USA Football in February 2019.

17. Caroline Wohl ’16, in her third year at the University of Southern California studying public relations, accepted a brand partnerships and ad sales internship at in January 2019.

19. Amani Walker ’07 married Morgan Saunders on December 29, 2018 at The Immaculata on the University of San Diego’s main campus. Amani’s sisters, Zuri Walker ’10 and Asha Walker ’12, and friends CJ Grigoriadis ’07 and Manny Sardinha ’08 served as attendants.

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Class Notes births

20. Vanessa Delmotte ’01 and husband Joe welcomed daughter Olivia on December 7, 2018.

21. Allison Barry Hobson ’04 and Derek Hobson ’04 welcomed son Asher Lee Hobson on February 18, 2019.

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in memoriAm

22. Ted Gildred ’50 passed away on January 3, 2019, leaving a legacy in the Parker community and beyond. Ted was a leading real estate developer whose work included the 1,200 acre Lomas Santa Fe development in Solana Beach, founder of Torrey Pines Bank, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina from 1986 to 1989, and an accomplished aviator. He was honored with Parker’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and served as Commencement Speaker the same year. He and his wife Heidi established the Gildred Math Building on the Linda Vista Campus in 2008. Ted is survived by his wife, Heidi; his children, Theodore Edmonds Gildred III ’84, Jennifer Gildred Piper ’84, Edward Gildred ’87, John Gildred, Tory Gildred Hober ’98, Stephen Gildred ’06, and Kimberly Dunn O’Neill; his sisters, Lynne Gildred and Helen Gildred; and four grandchildren.

23. George Hoskings Smith ’81 passed away on December 1, 2018. George was a Parker lifer, an inductee into the Parker Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the 1981 basketball team, and a treasured member of the drama department. He is survived by his mother, Janet Hoskings Smith ’51, sisters Jennifer Smith Songer ’79, Amy Smith Hall ’84, and Emily Smith ’86, one niece and three nephews.

Parker alumni are invited to share their news in Class Notes. We welcome wedding and birth announcements, career updates and professional milestones, personal news, photos with fellow Parker people, and obituaries. Send your note and/or photo to Please specify if your news is to be published only in the magazine, or only on the alumni website or both.


Thanks to Jeff ’75 and Karen Silberman’s $1.5 million matching investment, donors who support the Head of School Scholarship Program in the 2018-19 school year will be recognized at double their gift level. Help increase Parker’s ability to provide transformative educational experiences to all qualified students. Join us today:



Is this your preferred address? If you did not receive this magazine at your current address (or parents of alumni, if your son or daughter no longer maintains a permanent residence at your home), please notify the Alumni Office ( or 858 / 874-3372) to update our records.

Szekely Auditorium on the Mission Hills Campus featuring the barbed quatrefoil window that inspired the School’s logo.

From the Archives Parker’s Signature Logo—it’s one of the first things you see when you step through the doors of the Gail Pisula Lobby on the Mission Hills Campus: the barbed quatrefoil window set prominently in the Spanish Mission-style building at the far end of the courtyard. The window that adorns the Szekely Auditorium has become a symbol of Francis Parker School, recognizing its rich history and promises of a bright future. Today, the quatrefoil design is a signature of Parker and its community. Embroidered on School uniforms, embedded in Parker stationery, perched atop the Student Life Center on the Linda Vista Campus, the window can be seen every day at both Campuses, serving as a reminder of what the Parker community is: individual, inspiring, innovative, engaging, and transformative. Those qualities were captured in 2012 when the School redesigned the logo in celebration of its centennial. The window was refined, the grilles removed, and a new tagline was created that embodied the spirit of the Parker community. Inspired by the window itself, the tagline emphasizes the academic rigor and varied opportunities Parker provides its students, while encouraging those students to pursue their passions, live purposefully, and dream “as far as the mind can see…” To read more, visit:


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