Parker Magazine Summer 2017

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Summer 2017











Parker’s Strategic Vision: Preserving and Growing What Matters Most


n the fall of 2018, we will access the Linda Vista Campus through a landmark entry point that opens to a central plaza unifying the east and west sides of our Campus. As a part of the Heart of Campus project, students will enjoy a two-story Student Life Center that includes three collaborative work spaces, indoor and outdoor commons, indoor café, an outdoor dining terrace overlooking Mission Valley and a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen. Most important perhaps will be the addition of a two-level underground parking garage located directly beneath the Student Life Center, increasing available on-site parking spaces from 279 to 517, with dedicated parking for students, faculty, staff, parents and guests. Among the projectʼs many benefits is the opportunity for modest student numbers’ growth on the Linda Vista Campus beginning that fall. Not only will this growth fortify current programs, it will also afford qualified students the opportunity to receive a Parker education. As we plan for these exciting changes, we remain committed to ensuring that we preserve and grow those elements of the Parker experience that matter most.

Studio M Photography

Head of School Kevin Yaley presents a certificate to a Grade 5 student during the Lower School Promotion ceremony in June 2017.

To that end, last March, Parker commissioned Ian Symmonds and Associates to deliver a web-based survey to better inform us on why families both choose Parker and decide to remain at the School. This survey paralleled another conducted in 2012 during the formulation of our Strategic Plan, positioning us to have a baseline understanding of what factors prove persuasive for prospective and current parents.

evenness (it is worth noting that Ian Symmonds and his crew possess a deep understanding of both Parker and a range of prominent independent schools nationwide):

Both surveys sought to elicit statistically significant responses in three distinct areas: Academics and Curriculum; Personal Development; and School Environment. Responses are weighted on a 1.0 to 5.0 scale, with a maximum value of 5.0 indicating the highest possible score.

has enjoyed considerable stability in school leadership with few distractions to the school culture the past five years. Clearly, consistency in performance drives a parallel consistency in survey results.

The results of the survey reflect a remarkable consistency in the responses from 2012 to 2017. Ian Symmonds and Associates drew the following conclusions about this

• Parker

continues to attract a consistent number of families and students over the past five years, reflecting little significant deviation in the decisionmaking profile.

• Parker

• Parker continues to follow and communicate progress on its strategic plan over the past five years. This protocol promotes good will and consistency in results.



In reviewing the survey findings, what is undeniable is the affirmation from our families to those factors that distinguish a Parker education and remain at the heart of our mission: ensuring academic excellence, building strength of character and preparing young people to grasp the importance of global citizenship. Further, as we look to the future of the School, we are committed to preserving and enhancing all that matters most, including individual student attention, small class size, a caring and nurturing learning environment, and the quality of, and access to faculty. For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are bringing on additional full-time faculty in the following disciplines: science, mathematics, social studies, physical education and world language, as well as an additional college counselor to ensure that class size and counseling caseloads remain in line with peer schools. We can do no less, by my lights. Exciting times lie ahead. Our commitment to excellence in all areas remains strong. To support that commitment at every point going forward is a responsibility that your Head of School embraces. All the best,

Kevin Yaley Head of School



Academics & Curriculum How important are the following factors for your family in choosing Francis Parker School? 2017


Quality of Faculty



Academic Rigor



Breadth of Curriculum



Access to Faculty



Reputation for College Acceptance



Personal Development How important are the following factors for your family in choosing Francis Parker School? 2017


Character Development



Extracurricular Activities



Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion



Local and Global Experiential Learning



Community Service



School Environment How important are the following factors for your family in choosing Francis Parker School? 2017


Individual Attention



Small Class Size



Caring and Nurturing Environment



Safety of the School Environment



Quality of Academic Facilities



PARKER MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017 FRANCIS PARKER SCHOOL Kevin Yaley, Head of School EDITOR Lori Foote ’94 COPY EDITOR Barb Fokos Nicole Gesualdo Tim Katzman CONTRIBUTORS Melissa Beltz Hayley Connors Dean Patterson Courtney Ranaudo Tiffany Yu PHOTOGRAPHY Earnie Grafton Rob Hansen ʼ86 Nancee Lewis Photography Studio M Photography OUR MISSION 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 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. Parker Magazine is published three times each year by the Communications Office as a School community magazine. Communications Office Francis Parker School 6501 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111

DEPARTMENTS 04 PARKER HIGHLIGHTS The latest news from the School 10 COMMENCEMENT & PROMOTIONS Celebrate the Classes of 2017, 2024 and 2021


32 POSTCARDS FROM THE “PARIS OF THE EAST” A slice of life in Shanghai 36 REVITALIZING THE LANCER Unveiling the new Lancer logo 37 ART CHALLENGE ACCEPTED Art students create a professional project in an academic space 42 PARKERPALOOZA 35th annual Gala breaks records


48 ALUMNI CLASS NOTES Learn the latest from alumni FEATURES 14 DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNING Energizing young minds with dual language learning 20 IN FOUR COUNTRIES, STUDENTS DISCOVER ONE WORLD Learning the lasting lessons of Discovery Week 28 WE NOW INTERRUPT OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING Students find new inquiry and new inspiration during Interim Week


2017-2018 FRANCIS PARKER SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES Jeff Silberman ʼ75, Chair Will Beamer ʼ89 Diana Casey Randall Clark Susan Davey Kristie Diamond Rich Effress Shakha Gillin, M.D. Robert Gleason

Robert Howard Randy Jones Ted Kim Susan Lester Jennifer Levitt Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D. Patsy Marino Kelly Price Noble Kate Deely Smith

Meghan Spieker Mary Taylor Jeff Von Behren ʼ90 David Wellis Sarah White Caroline Rentto Wohl ʼ86 Kevin Yaley, Head of School



INTRODUCING MONICA GILLESPIE, HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL Monica Gillespie, Ph.D. joins Francis Parker School as Head of Upper School beginning this July.


Dr. Gillespie has most recently served as Head of School at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina. She earned her bachelorʼs degree in English and history from the University of Virginia, where she was a member of the Womens Varsity Soccer team, and received both her masterʼs in education and doctorate in educational leadership from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.


She began her career in independent schools teaching and coaching at Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut and later at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia. Dr. Gillespie has served on the National Association of Episcopal Schools Governing Board (2010 to 2016) and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (2006 to 2012), where she served as President of the Board of Directors (2007 to 2008).

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE Over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, the School assumed the task of reviewing the 2013 Strategic Plan: first, to celebrate the successes achieved; second, to modify and strengthen each of the eight original pillars as appropriate. The updated version of the Plan has consolidated all aspects of the 2013 version, focusing on seven core goals: (1) inspire academic excellence and excellence in teaching; program and curriculum; (2) enrich the student experience; (3) reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity; (4) expand our public purpose; (5) celebrate Parker’s identity; (6) foster a culture of philanthropy; (7) ensure financial sustainability. The Plan will be presented to the community in fall 2017.


Front row from left: Kim Kelley, Sharon Jassy, PA President Donna Sheridan, Marilyn Tobin, Anne McManus, Tara Del Gaizo Back row from left: Erin Dunn, Susan Davis, Peggy Duncan, Patty Williams, Christie Thoene, Madeline Nawrocki, Ceri Keith ’86

The Parents Association (PA) plays an important role in enhancing the community experience while supporting the mission and vision of the School. We are excited to announce the 2017-2018 PA Board of Directors.


In May 2017, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the five-year extension of Kevin Yaley’s contract as Head of School through 2022. After serving as Assistant Head of School, Yaley was appointed Head in fall 2010. In response to the extension, Yaley said, “I am both honored and humbled by the faith the Board and the Parker community continues to place in me. I have been fortunate to help guide our School through a number of important transitions and improvements the past seven years; yet in so many ways, it has always been a team approach. The importance of sustaining a collaborative effort is experienced every day at Parker, by students, faculty and staff, Parker families, alumni and our Board of Trustees.”

Back to School


HEART OF CAMPUS UPDATE Heart of Campus project construction continues on the Linda Vista Campus. The project, scheduled to be completed in fall 2018, will add an underground parking structure, student life center, dining facility, campus plaza and amphitheater. Watch along as crews complete the “big dig” for the underground parking structure online at


SUMMER COMMUNICATIONS Special editions of the Parker Family Connection email newsletter are emailed three times during the summer months to keep parents informed of important information and relevant School updates.

BACK TO SCHOOL INFORMATION Back to School information is updated regularly in the parent portal. Parents can visit the Back to School resource board for information needed for the upcoming school year including:

SUMMER READING - Students in Grades 3 through 12 have required reading assignments during the summer months. Visit your student’s daily schedule in the parent portal for assignment information.

BOOK ORDERING - The book ordering process for Parker’s robotics team W.A.R. (We Are Robots) Lords 2485 returned from the 2017 FIRST Regional Robotics Competition in Las Vegas with not one but two awards: the Chairman’s Award and the Safety Award. The Chairman’s Award is the highest award at FIRST, which celebrates the team that has inspired levels of respect and honor for the science and technology industry and has done an exceptional job of encouraging the younger generations to become interested in STEM education.

“I am incredibly proud of our team. Earning these two awards speaks volumes of how far our program has come in 10 years.” —Ryan Griggs, Director of Parker Robotics Visit to view the team’s Chairman’s Award entry video.

Middle and Upper School students has changed. Visit your student’s daily schedule in the parent portal for required book information. Books should be purchased before the start of the school year.

DRESS CODE UPDATE - Revisions have been made to the School Dress Code. Parents and students should review the current policy before the start of the school year.

ATHLETICS PHYSICALS - Pre-participation physical examination forms must be dated on or after June 15 and no later than September 5, 2017 for all athletes participating in a competitive sport for the 2017-2018 school year.

Visit the Back to School resource board in the parent portal for more information. SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE





Upper School Social Justice students held the 7th Annual Sochella Music Festival on May 18, raising awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The event, which features music performances from Upper School students, raised more than $5,600. A generous donor matched funds to bring the total amount raised to $7,000, which was donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer camp program. As part of the event, social justice student Emma Considine ʼ17 and Celeste Byers, a local artist and activist, produced this year’s mural, “Transcending Borders.” The mural was a collaboration of the social studies and arts departments and is based on two topics covered in the class: international borders and the environment. The mural, pictured above, can be seen at Mosley South Point on the Linda Vista Campus.

STUDENTS NAMED TOP YOUTH VOLUNTEERS Meghana Reddy ʼ17 and Kenan Pala, Class of 2022, were named two of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers for 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national program which recognizes students for their impressive acts of volunteerism. Meghana was recognized for the work of her nonprofit, Limbs of Love, which creates 3D printed artificial hands for children and adults who cannot afford prostheses. Kenan was recognized for his work launching the “Food4Homeless” program, which has provided more than $5,000 to homeless shelters in San Diego and fed more than 2,000 homeless people at local soup kitchens.

TWO STUDENTS EARN PERFECT ACT SCORES Liam Fay and Zach Hall, both Class of 2018, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a perfect score. The test covers English, mathematics, reading and science. Scores provide colleges with evidence of a student’s readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.


In February, Meghana and Kenan were chosen as California’s top Prudential finalists and earned an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the nationwide awards ceremony. As national honorees, they each earned awards of $5,000, gold medals and trophies as well as $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation to be directed to a charitable organization of their choice. During their tour of Washington, D.C., Meghana and Kenan had the opportunity to meet Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

HIGH HONORS FROM ANNUAL FORUM MUSIC FESTIVAL For the first time in Parker history, all participating Parker musical ensembles, including chorus, chamber orchestra, classical guitar, concert band and advanced string ensemble, received a gold rating for their performances at the annual Forum Music Festival, which took place at Fullerton College in Orange County. In addition to the ensembles’ overall gold ratings, some Parker students were recognized for their individual achievements and received Outstanding Musicianship Awards. These students included: •

Isabella Walther-Meade, Class of 2021 - MS Chorus

First Guitar Section, Grade 8 - Classical Guitar

Dylan McCulloch, Class of 2021 Grades 7 and 8 Concert Band Cello Section, MS Chamber Orchestra

Wes Spieker, Class of 2021 Grade 8 Chamber Orchestra

Chisato Kamakura, Class of 2022 - Grades 7 and 8 Advanced String Ensemble

Performances at this year’s Forum Music Festival were made possible by Parker’s hardworking faculty, including Mr. Phil Lean, Chorus; Mr. Michael Gonzales, Classical Guitar; Mr. Jim Witt, Concert Band; Mrs. Lisa Roudebush, Chamber Orchestra; and Dr. Sarah Gongaware, Advanced String Ensemble.



In a letter to Parker on April 23, 2017, Christopher Andrews ʼ43 wrote, “My copy of the Parker Magazine is in hand, and it makes me more cheerful about the future than many of the things in my mailbox. I’m a survivor of the Class of 1943, and it is always reassuring to find that Parker is still helping its fortunate student body to cope with the mismatches of our increasingly complex world.” He continued, “Parker has always been a positive factor for the future, and it does my heart good to see how the school has continued to grow and diversify, as it prepares new generations to take their place in a complex world.”

At the end of each academic year, the School recognizes faculty and staff who demonstrate excellence at Parker. Listed below are this year’s award winners.

ON THE COVER Our Summer Magazine cover photo subject is Lexi Castillo, Class of 2018. Lexi inspired Middle School teacher Rob Hansen ’87 with stories of her hospital internship during Interim Week. Mr. Hansen, along with Parker’s Communications Office, chose to recreate the scene for the Magazine. Our thanks to Parker parent Dr. Jeff Smith, Dr. Timothy Watt and the Marketing and Communications Department at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Dethloff Family Fund for Excellence in Teaching

USD Professional Teaching Certificate Graduates

Rob Campbell Letty Robinson Lyford Rome

Eugenie Armangau Katie Dawson Bob Gillingham Jason Leonard Betsy Lillie Stephanie Oberle Nina Ochoa Robin Rendon David Ries DJ Walcott

Mulliken FamilyLane Foundation for Excellence in Teaching Jarrad Phillips Phil Trotter Kim Wimpey

Parker Spirit of Excellence Award Bernice Alota Rafael Alvarez Joan Anderson Eugenie Armangau Robin Blick Mark Bodle Mike Cain Joseph Castillo Barry Cheskaty Juan Cisneros Christi Cole Julia Cuadra Niki Dehner Terri Devine Cindy DiPiero Kym Farkas Lori Foote Victoria Helms Jamie Herold Jeremy Howard John Hulsey Kristi Keith Sarah Latimer Chris McGrath

Jose Santiago Gretchen Taylor Joy Urtnowski Victor Virgen Jr. Chuck Wineholt




GROUND On March 27, Parker welcomed founding Heart of Campus donors for the groundbreaking ceremony. Head of School Kevin Yaley thanked former and current Board of Trustee members, especially William Jones and Kathy Purdon for their vision in designing, reviewing and supporting the Linda Vista Campus Master Plan through to its unanimous City approval in November 2016.

their votes of confidence, enthusiastic support and laser-focus on achieving this dream for the School. Lead investors, those present and those who could not attend were also recognized by Mr. Yaley for being leaders, visionaries and advocates. “Your impact will be felt by Parker students today and for generations

HEART of CAMPUS Nancee Lewis Photography

to come. All of you epitomize our enduring motto, ‘as far as the mind can see.ʼ Together, we are now in position to deliver the next exciting chapter of Francis Parker School.” The Heart of Campus is set to open in fall 2018. For more information, visit

Mr. Yaley reflected on his visit with Parker parent Chuck Miyahira to share the dream for Parker. “At a time when the Heart of Campus was in its nascent stage of planning, I spoke with Mr. Miyahira about our goal of unlocking an even brighter future for Parker students.” Putting his faith in the hands of Parker leadership, Mr. Miyahira and his wife Christi made the inaugural gift to what would become a successful $6.35 million campaign built on the generosity of parents, grandparents and alumni. Mr. Yaley also thanked Board Chair Jeff Silberman ʼ75, Chair of the Campaign Steering Committee Robert Gleason and the Committee volunteers for 8


Chuck and Christi Miyahira, Sandy and Kathy Purdon, Karen and Jeff Silberman, Susan Lester, Robert Gleason and Kevin Yaley

JoAnna and Dominic Munafo, Chuck and Christi Miyahira

Robert Gleason

Jim Bartell, Jing Bourgeois, Jim Freeman, Graeme Gabriel, Kerri Gutekunst, Randy Jones, Bob Rogers

Emil Wohl and Caroline Rentto Wohl ʼ86

Current and past Board of Trustee members

Sandy and Kathy Purdon, Rich Effress, Susan Davey



Class of 2017 The


“We are the generation that has the chance to save the world. We’re the ones who can break down barriers that limit people’s definition of ’us.’”

– Ben Clark ’17, Class Valedictorian

On June 3, Parker celebrated the graduation of the 117 members of the Class of 2017. More than 1,800 family, friends, faculty and students cheered as students received their diplomas under the shade sails on Lancer Lawn. Head of School Kevin Yaley addressed the Class emphasizing themes of togetherness, belief and hope for their bright futures. He also reminded the Class of the timeless proverb: “To go fast, go alone. But to go far, go together.” Class Valedictorian Ben Clark ’17 spoke of the unique qualities and tight bonds of the graduating class, remarking on the lasting impact Parker has had on each graduate, by helping to shape their many accomplishments. Class commencement speaker Olia Javidi ’17, a Parker “lifer,” reflected on her journey from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, and acknowledged the overarching theme of kindness that she experienced throughout the Parker community.

Studio M Photography

Members of the Class of 2017 make their way toward Lancer Lawn where they would take their final steps as Parker students.




Keynote speaker Paul DePodesta, Chief Strategy Officer for the Cleveland Browns and Parker parent, shared highlights from his experience in the professional sports industry and his thoughts about the power of gratitude.

“As you move forward from here, do your best to find the ‘why’ in whatever it is you’re doing. My guess is that you’ll find that ‘why’ of any worthwhile activity, at its core, is virtually always about serving others.” – Paul DePodesta, Parker Parent

American University

San Diego State University

Amherst College

Santa Clara University

Bard College

Scripps College

Barnard College

Stanford University

Bates College

Swarthmore College

Boston College

Trinity College

Boston University

Tufts University

Brown University

Tulane University

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

United States Military Academy

California State University, San Marcos Catholic University of America

University of California, Berkeley University of California, Irvine

Chapman University

University of California, Los Angeles

Claremont McKenna College

University of California, Santa Barbara

Colorado College

University of California, Santa Cruz

Columbia University Cornell University

University of Colorado, Boulder

DigiPen Institute of Technology

University of Miami

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Georgetown University Global College at Long Island University

University of Michigan University of Nevada, Las Vegas University of Notre Dame University of Oregon

Gonzaga University

University of Puget Sound

Harvard University

University of Redlands

Lewis & Clark College

University of San Diego

Loyola Marymount University

University of Southern California

Middlebury College

University of Washington

Muhlenberg College

University of Wisconsin

New York University

Washington University in Saint Louis

Northeastern University Northwestern University Occidental College Point Loma Nazarene University Pomona College

Whitman College Yale College

List as of June 1, 2017

Purdue University Reed College Paul Esch, Grade 12 Dean, leads the Class of 2017 towards the commencement stage.

Saint John’s University, New York SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE


Class of 2024 Studio M Photography


Proud families and teachers caught a glimpse of Parker’s future on June 9 as Grade 5 students were promoted from the Lower School.

Grade 5 students were all smiles the day of their promotion and could barely contain their excitement as they posed for a group picture in the Gooding Family Courtyard. As the ceremony began, students said the Pledge of Allegiance before taking the leap into Middle School.



Class of 2021

Studio M Photography

Grade 8


Proceeding down a red carpet, Grade 8 students were promoted from the Middle School on June 8 in a morning ceremony at the Field House.

Students in Grade 8 spent their final moments as Middle Schoolers snapping selfies and reminiscing before heading to the Field House for their promotion ceremony. Students weren’t shy as they strutted down the red carpet and took the next step towards Upper School.



Lower School Lifelong Learners

Energizing Young Minds with Dual Language Learning BY LORI FOOTE ’94 | PHOTOS BY EARNIE GRAFTON



PARKER’S LOWER SCHOOL WORLD LANGUAGE PROGRAM OFFERS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. From Junior Kindergarten through Grade 3, students spend part of the school day learning either Spanish or Mandarin. These lessons keep young children engaged while they become acclimated to the world’s two mostspoken languages: Spanish and Mandarin. More than 900 million people speak Mandarin and more than 400 million speak Spanish, according to 2010 estimates, which are likely to have grown substantially over the past seven years. It might seem challenging to take on two additional languages during a time of life when a child’s English skills are still developing. To adults who have tried to learn even one other language, it might sound insurmountable. Yet Parker’s academic program is grounded in research that reveals that children of young ages are ideally suited to absorbing the vocabulary and structure of multiple languages simultaneously. Class time is filled with entertaining activities that package new words and new forms of speaking in fun and engaging ways. “We have high expectations for all our students, but we also want the program to be fun and engaging,” said Spanish teacher Jamie Herold. Herold works alongside her fellow language teachers, including those who teach Mandarin, and together they have created this program from scratch. Collaboration allows for a better—and uniquely Parker—learning experience. Being engaged by Spanish and Mandarin on alternating days not only provides regular exposure to both languages, but also positions students to interact with each language separately while experiencing authentic connections between the two.

“The experience leads to an outcome of our students loving language. They become lifetime language learners who will travel the world using their language skills to interact with different cultures and truly become global citizens.” — Jamie Herold, Spanish Teacher

The program is called “cross-directional” because of its dual plane: students learn within one language while also identifying similarities and differences between the two. Where traditional language instruction may begin with grammar, Parker’s program focuses on speaking and experiencing each language and culture studied, drawing in the young audience and showing students how words and sentences fit within the context of daily life. Project-based assignments, extended written language development and the incorporation of technology provide opportunities for variance within the program. SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE


Top: Grade 1 students sing as they start their day in Spanish class. Second row from left: A student leads the Spanish class in reading and reciting the days of the week and months of the year; A Grade 1 student responds to the teacher’s explanation of feelings and emotions; Spanish teacher Seùora Jamie Herold leads the class in an interactive study of expressing feelings in Spanish.



As students move toward Grade 3, they delve deeper into each language while cultivating a broader worldview. “The learning experience leads to an outcome of our students loving language,” Herold said. “They become lifetime language-learners who will travel the world using their language skills to interact with different cultures and truly become global citizens.” Developing students who are positioned to absorb new languages excites Parker language teachers who assume the primary role in building a language-learning foundation, which is crucial for the future. Beginning in Grade 4, students who were exposed to both Spanish and Mandarin during their primary years select one language to continue with in Grades 4 and 5, progressing toward the collegepreparatory language study that takes place in Middle School. Parents are keenly aware of the advantages that the dual-language program provides their children. “These compact, consistent doses of language expose our child’s brain to wire new neural paths as they try to make sense of different languages,”

said Fernanda Lee, whose daughter, Katerina, is in Grade 3. “The brain is flushed with these everyday impulses that exercise the brain in a way that no other stimuli can, and consequently, helps them in other subjects at school. “[Our daughter has] built confidence through persevering in learning something that can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first,” she added. The connection between language and culture is an important part of Parker’s approach to world languages at all levels of instruction. From the very first years at the School, students build a curiosity about other cultures, which leads to an authentic interest in participating in a global society—in ways that go beyond simply speaking, reciting, writing and listening. n

Top left: Mrs. Mary Wu leads the Mandarin class in a game of bingo, teaching them colors, numbers and Mandarin characters in a fun and engaging activity. Top right: An animated student responds to what her teacher has asked in Mandarin class.

“By learning new languages, our kids have developed an open mind to other cultures and new ways of thinking. It’s made them more compassionate and understanding of the diversity in our ever-changing world. That is so important if we want our kids to make a positive contribution to the planet.” — Tommy and Usa Korn, Parker parents




Earnie Grafton

On May 23, Grade 4 students scurried around the tables that lined Parker’s Mission Hills Campus courtyard. Chattering as they worked, the students placed colorful, handmade goods beside placards that read, “We are OPEN.” Red plastic cash registers were filled with enough singles and coins to make change for the impending onslaught of shoppers. The students were anxious yet prepared for the Grade 4 Business Sale. First up: Grades 1 and 5. Kids arrived with cash in hand, intent on purchasing goods produced by their fellow Lower School classmates. On one table— dubbed the “Spectacular Slime” table—sat colorful jars of stretchy putty, decorated with googly eyes and pouty lips. Situated on another, the “Power Plants” table, were small seedlings that had been planted in origami newspaper cartons. So it continued down the line, product after colorful and



innovative product, all handmade by students—for students. “This is the most encompassing project in which they are involved,” said Grade 4 teacher Christine Watson. “The project brings up so many things—what they can do, what they can be. It gets us on all these neat, real-life conversations.” The Business Unit curriculum was brought to Parker by now retired Grade 4 teacher Annie Voight. Though Voight says the program has evolved throughout the years, one constant has been the value it adds to the curriculum. “The Business Unit was created as an interdisciplinary program that adds to the Grade 4 curriculum,” Voight said. The program touches

on a number of different subject matters important both inside and outside the classroom, including problem solving, creativity, leadership, focus, accountability, cooperation and communication. The program guides students through the real-life process of grasping the basics of successful entrepreneurs. Students collaborate in small teams to come up with a vision for their product. They conduct market research, visiting classrooms to ask students at different grade levels about what’s trending. They then design a prototype and draft a business plan to pitch to “investors” who will decide whether or not to fund the project.

The investors are Dr. Bob Gillingham, Head of Lower School, and a group of Grade 5 students. Each group of Grade 4 students works to persuade investors to allocate seed money toward their fledgling products; during this process, they receive feedback on how their products might be improved to appeal to the general student body. Once their product is approved, each group is given $50 to cover production costs. Students must retain receipts and document all spending. After the sale, each group pays back the initial $50 investment before donating the balance to a charity of their choice. The Business Unit has benefited from the introduction of the Scripps Design Lab at the Mission Hills Campus, equipped not only with conventional classroom materials, but also with

Earnie Grafton

Clockwise: Grade 4 students show off their “Glitter Stress Relief” product; Senior Kindergarten students purchase products from the Business Sale; A Grade 4 student explains his “Power Plants” product; Bottles of “Spectacular Slime” are decorated and ready to be sold.

hardware and tools that come in handy when building product prototypes. “With the Scripps Design Lab, there is increased cooperation and working in teams,” said Laurie Brae, Lower School Librarian. Brae, along with other teachers, was an integral part of the Business Unit this year. During production, she was on hand while students built their products in the Design Lab, where they fell naturally into production lines. Parents can also take part in the Business Unit; those with relevant professional experience are invited to be a part of a business panel and spend time in the classroom, sharing their involvement in the business world and which qualities guided them toward success.

For Parker’s Grade 4 students, success isn’t measured only by profits so much as how much students give back when the unit is complete. Each class chooses a charity to which they donate their profits by writing persuasive essays detailing why their charity is the best choice. They work together to select one charity from the recommendations. This year, Parker’s three Grade 4 classes chose to donate their profits to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Helen Woodward Animal Center and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In total, students raised almost $1,600 for their charities. n



Middle School Global Citizens

At about 12,500 feet in altitude, Middle Schoolers stopped to take in the scenery on their second day of the Lares Trek. Pictured in the foreground: William Kwak, Class of 2021. 20


In Four Countries,


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Discovery Week program, which immerses Grade 8 students in another country and its culture. For seven to 10 days, students in the 2017 program traveled with program leaders to Canada, China, Costa Rica and Peru to live with host families, engage in environmental projects and experience day-to-day life in another part of our world. A full year of global-awareness education leads up to this moment. All Grade 8 classes adopt a global approach, from world languages and history to science and the universal language of math. Each destination shapes the curriculum of students who travel to that particular place and then share what they have learned with their peers in class presentations. As Discovery Week approaches, anticipation mixes with excitement as students pack for journeys away from their families. Most Parker students eagerly anticipate this trip from the moment they choose their language of study—which determines the country they visit—but it isn’t until they are on the ground that they fully grasp what a life-changing event this is. Many U.S. students—especially in cities as globalized as San Diego—have access to intercultural opportunities. But living at home with families in another nation adds a perspective that even frequent tourists never experience. “Being immersed in a culture different from my own and getting to experience all of the facets of daily life for others in another country was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Henry Gray, Class of 2020, who traveled to China. “The homestays and the classes at the Chinese school reminded me a lot of days back in the U.S., but had subtle yet distinct differences that can’t fully be appreciated without the chance to see it firsthand.”



“Actually being in another place is imperative if you want someone to learn about other places in the world. We formed our own opinions about the world, not just about what people told us. We made connections with people living thousands of miles away from us, and realized that isn’t actually that far. We learned we aren’t actually that different, instead of simply taking someone else’s word for it.” — Caleb Haberman, Class of 2020

Henry’s classmate Will Murray spent the week in Costa Rica in a house smaller than his own without conveniences such as hot water on demand, and returned home with important life lessons from his host family about what truly matters. “[The host family] was always warm and welcoming, no matter what,” Will recalled. “It was a very humbling experience that made me realize that material items aren’t as much a necessity as we make them out to be.” He added that “it isn’t the ʻthings’ that make people happy, but the



As part of their Machu Picchu visit, Parker students are challenged mentally and physically on their four-day Lares Trek through the Peruvian Highlands.

Travelers to Montreal attend language immersion classes and delve into the city’s history with tours and site visits, followed by homestays in Quebec City.



experiences and the people they fill their life with.” This observation illustrates why Discovery Week is such a profound and effective way to discover the ties that bind the global family. Students are surprised by the commonalities they observe when living and interacting with young people their age. Assistant Head of Middle School Christi Cole, who built the program from the ground up, said that this is among the learning goals. “As Parker students begin to notice the human aspects that transcend

geography and political borders, they gain a new perspective on global citizenship and realize that regardless of one’s home country, we are all citizens of the world,” she said. Parker aims to encourage crosscultural understanding and getting to know people more than countries, with the ultimate goal of reducing or defusing potential conflict. “This is an important part of the program’s mission and a key takeaway for our Grade 8 students,” said Dan Lang, Head of Middle School. “You can have conflicts with governments and

countries, but face to face with people, it’s harder, because they are people, just like you.” While many Parker students have traveled internationally before Discovery Week, this is often their first time doing so without their parents. Discovery Week stretches their boundaries and challenges them mentally and physically. But the trips provide a sense of accomplishment and worldly wisdom in ways that few other learning experiences can. n



Parker students immerse themselves in the Spanish language and Costa Rican culture in the coastal towns of Samara Beach and Flamingo Beach.

Parker students experience boarding school life in the heart of Beijing and also go on home visits where they interact with Chinese students’ families.



DISCOVERY PROGRAM Montreal and Quebec City


DISCOVERY PROGRAM Flamingo Beach, Costa Rica

PARKER’S GLOBAL STUDIES VISION There is no them, it is just us

Each year, Parker Middle and Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in transformational travel programs that take them to destinations around the globe. Students engage in extended exchange programs with overseas communities, learning and engaging the native culture. Itineraries are shaped by the goals of sustainable cultural exchange, global engagement, educational travel and student leadership. At the Lower School, classes “adopt” an Upper School Global program to learn from and follow. Information about the country and its culture is woven into Lower School curriculum along with project-based activities including supply drives, which forge connections between the students. Upper School students participating in the Global Studies Program deliver the supplies on their respective trips and then return to present to the Lower School about their journey abroad.




DISCOVERY PROGRAM Samara Beach, Costa Rica

DISCOVERY PROGRAM Peruvian Highlands











After taking home a sweeping win at Southern California’s longestrunning Middle School Quizbowl Tournament, members of Francis Parker School’s Quizbowl team were quick to share their feat. “We went undefeated,” said an excited Quizbowl team member, Trevor DePodesta, Class of 2022, after the competition. “We won the qualifier, 9-0!” Trevor was one of six Parker Middle School students to compete in the Warhawk International V Quizbowl Competition, held April 30 at Madison High School in San Diego. His teammate and fellow Grade 7 classmate Ari Mazow was equally excited and said he couldn’t wait until next yearʼs competition, when Parker would seek another win. “This year was just the tip of the iceberg of our full potential,” Ari said. Parker took the Warhawk Competition by storm, placing first overall and besting second-place Christ Lutheran School of La Mesa 460-100 in the final round. Ari, along with fellow teammate Zachary Partnoy, Class of 2022, received special recognition for having the third and fifth highest scores, respectively, in the entire tournament. The decision to enter the competition was last-minute, after nine friends came together in April to form the Middle School Quizbowl Team with just two weeks to prepare. Team members gave up their normal lunchtime routines to hole up in Middle School Mandarin teacher Jason Leonard’s classroom. Using practice questions from the official National Academic Quiz Tournaments, they tested each other on topics ranging from science and classical literature to contemporary U.S. history and popular culture. Only six of the nine team members qualified for the competition, but




Quizbowl Champs BY MELISSA BELTZ the full group continued to work together in support of each other. “We’re all on the team together. We could only take six, but no one felt left out,” said Leonard, the team’s faculty advisor. He spent his lunch hour 2016-2017 Middle School Quiz Bowl Team: Back row from left overseeing the to right: Simon Britton, Trevor DePodesta, Aryo Kharrati, Jesse team’s progress, Smith, Aadam Awad, Ari Mazow; Front row from left to right: David Litman, Hayden Ghosh, Zachary Partnoy, all Class of 2022 from newlyformed entity to “I read a lot in my spare time,” said competition winners. Trevor. “I went to the library to check Even after the competition was out classics that I thought I might need finished, team members were back to know and I just kept reading.” in Leonard’s classroom at lunch to go Learning important lessons from over the final tournament results and topnotch teachers at Parker also gave begin devising a strategy for next year. students a leg up on the competition. “I’m excited for next year,” Ari said. The Ari said he knew a difficult question team plans to participate in as many about a classic French novel because Quizbowl competitions as possible he had recently read the book in class. during the 2017-2018 school year. Knowing the answers to conventional This means they could compete in as questions, however, isn’t enough to many as six competitions throughout take home the title. The team learned Southern California and beyond. this in April, when Trevor buzzed in The team is intent on expanding its to answer a question about a Netflix knowledge on the breadth of topics Original Series. It’s all about being a covered by Quizbowl competitions. “well-rounded” person, after all. n This suggests a lot of time spent in the Linda Vista Library in preparation.


Middle and Upper School students board the bus to begin their journey to the state-level National History Day Contest in May.

History plays no small role in shaping us. Parker students have found a way to return the favor. As participants in the National History Day Contest, students seize the chance to shape history, using research and reflection to determine their own framing of major historical events and trends. This is no small commitment—The contest cycle lasts one full year. Students choose a topic based on an annual theme—this year’s was “Taking a Stand in History”—and then conduct research, interpret findings, and draw conclusions about their topic’s broader significance. The contest’s own history at Parker is a testament to its appeal. The 20172018 school year marks the 20th year the School has participated in this competition, which engages more than half a million middle and high school students around the world. “I first heard about History Day from my friends in eighth grade,” said Emily Park, Class of 2019. “I liked the competitive and fun atmosphere. I didn’t realize then how much I’d learn about research, writing and building. I have enjoyed every minute of it!”

This was Emily’s third History Day competition. She created an exhibit to showcase her topic, “Fly On ’til Our Mission is Done: the WASPs Take a Stand for Equal Status,” about the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Emily was one of five Parker students who made it through the county and state-level competitions in early 2017 to move on to Nationals, held June 11 to 15 in Washington, D.C. Adam Nussbaum, Class of 2019, also reached the nationals with his documentary film, “Plessy v. Ferguson: Tipping the Scale,” about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the doctrine of “separate but equal.” Adam partnered with Ben Clark ’17 to complete the documentary, which was screened at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. during nationals week. It is this camaraderie and collaboration that Global History teacher Cherie Redelings said is one of the most rewarding aspects of National History Day. “Students connect with classmates who enjoy exploring and discussing history, human activities and related endeavors. It’s nice to have a group of

friends who share interests like that,” she said. In addition to friendships, students gain an understanding of what it takes to carry out thorough research. Students utilize libraries, local and national archives and conduct oral interviews to gather information on their topics. In the past, Parker students have interviewed such prominent figures as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Peter Arnett and John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This year, Emily interviewed two members of the WASPs, both of whom are now in their 90s. As Parker prepares to celebrate its 20th year participating in the National History Day Contest, students are already preparing for another year of competition. Just days after Parker’s representatives returned home from nationals, National History Day released next year’s theme: “Conflict & Compromise in History.” Parker’s history buffs, including Emily, already look forward to more. “I definitely plan to keep doing History Day,” she noted. n



Upper School Leading Academics

we now interRupt




Lexi Castillo, Class of 2018, listens in on a conversation between Dr. Jeff Smith and Dr. Timothy Watt during her Interim Week internship at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Photo by Rob Hansen ʼ86 SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE



leave your regular job and parachute into a new professional role for just one week—trading cardiologist for foreign service officer, account executive for urban planner—what would you try? That kind of brief, invigorating break from usual life would not be unlike what Upper School students at Parker experience during Interim Week. For five days, they can choose their own adventure, selecting an enrichment experience that takes them outside the traditional classroom curriculum. Interim Week courses derive their unique nature—and depth of content— from the expertise and connections of the Parker community. Students might discover a new interest, refresh their thinking or see a way in which their regular-semester studies play out in the real world.

One opportunity offered during Interim Week is the Internship Program which matches juniors and seniors with job shadowing experiences. The program allows students to test the waters of real-world experiences in business, government and other professional careers. Students enjoy internships with software developers, architects, doctors, theater directors and environmental scientists, to name a few. Lexi Castillo, Class of 2018, has dreamt of becoming a doctor since she was a young girl. Through Parker’s Internship Program, she was able to experience a hospital internship. A normal experience for pre-med students, the chance to shadow a surgeon is rare for high schoolers. Matched with Parker parent Dr. Jeff Smith and Dr. Timothy Watt at Sharp Memorial Hospital, she asked that “nothing be held back.” During the course of the week, she was front and center for everything from the emergency room to neurosurgery.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind after this internship that I want to become a doctor. To me I don’t think there is any other job that is nearly as rewarding,” said Lexi. Another course allowed students to try their hand at entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Executive Training Program immersed students in brainstorming business ideas, identifying target markets, developing strategies and, perhaps most important, overcoming common obstacles to launching a company. Parker students delved into these issues with entrepreneurship experts, including program leader Tina Klein, Ph.D., Executive Director of Launchpad at UCSD’s Rady School of Management, and keynote speaker Bryan Pate, CEO of startup ElliptiGo. “I have never had so many good questions from any group—and that includes MBA students and business people,” Pate said. Klein commented

Above from left: Mr. Chris Harrington leads a group of students on a hike during the “Writing, Nature, Solitude” class; Eleanor Hansen, Class of 2019, proudly displays her stained glass creations from the class “A Glimpse Through Stained Glass.” 30


that Parker students were unusually unbound by convention, assimilating information that was entirely new and using it to create viable concepts for new products.

students who sought an experience that paired challenge with fun.

The great outdoors was the classroom setting for the course titled Writing, Nature, Solitude. Students hit the trails of San Diego’s backcountry with their notebooks and creative energy in hand.

Interim Week took Parker students to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where they learned from the experiences of Osprey pilots and had the chance to step into a flight simulator. The true value of the course lay in understanding the values that enable an individual to guide, develop and lead others.

With the benefit of quiet time to meditate, students read and reflected on the language of great nature writers, including Henry David Thoreau and Edward Abbey.

Ryan Sanborn, Class of 2019, enjoyed the opportunity “to look deeper into what makes a person an effective leader. The experience helped me become a better leader myself.”

“My appreciation for nature and hiking has increased,” said Natalie Schmidt ʼ15. “In the future, there will be plenty more hikes, camping, blisters and throwing apple cores off cliffs.”

Some students who wanted to spend the week cultivating their creative sides, found their course match in A Glimpse Through Stained Glass.

Meanwhile, the course in leadership offered the perfect opportunity for

Participants learned two methods of stained glass window construction— lead came and copper foil—and got

to make their own stained glass. By week’s end, they had beautiful pieces to display in their windows at home. “My favorite part was being able to create a beautiful work of art,” said Emily Wang, Class of 2019. “It took lots of patience and concentration every day, yet I enjoyed working on my project and going to class each morning.” Interim Week offers students not only an opportunity to experiment with a new area of learning, but also a chance to achieve their first milestone in it, whether it’s a first glass creation or a first successful simulator flight. The week is a testament to how an experience outside the familiar slate of Upper School courses and outside one’s comfort zone might provide a completely new source of inspiration. n

Rob Hansen ʼ86 Above: Students try on Osprey pilot gear at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar; Lexi Castillo, Class of 2018, with Dr. Jeff Smith during a week-long internship at Sharp Memorial Hospital.



From top: Adam Gordon ’17, Erin Wright ’17 and Mr. Mark Femia explore the gardens of Shanghai; Adam and Erin discuss topics in class at the YK Pao School; Erin and Adam explore the city of Shanghai at night.



Postcards from the “Paris of the East” A SLICE OF SCHOOL LIFE IN SHANGHAI

BY DEAN PATTERSON Global citizenship matters more to this generation than any before. Global citizens develop a keen understanding of other cultures and belief systems, and can think critically about how their thoughts, words and actions might affect those around them. Studying abroad is the perfect way to cultivate this mindset. This year, two Parker students, Erin Wright ’17 and Adam Gordon ’17, along with drama teacher Mark Femia, took advantage of one of Parker’s international opportunities in April, spending two weeks in and around Shanghai, China as part of the YK Pao School Student Exchange program. YK Pao is one of China’s premier international schools. Its 1,100 students represent 15 nationalities and benefit from a fully bilingual Chinese-English program. The Middle and Upper School campus is located in Thames Town, a quiet residential neighborhood outside Shanghai in the Songjiang District, and the Lower School campus is in Shanghai’s city center. For two weeks, Adam, Erin and Mr. Femia practiced their Mandarin, explored the YK Pao campus, the city of Shanghai and experienced firsthand the features of big-city life in China.

Other experiences included a taste of some features of a Chinese education that aren’t common in the United States, such as characterbuilding exercises and classes in Chinese literature, philosophy and art. The exchange builds on Parker’s approach of developing individuals who are respectful, lifelong students of the world’s history, cultures and values. “Parker’s exchange with YK Pao School is a direct outgrowth of our School’s global educational perspective,” said coordinator Tim Katzman, Director of Summer and Extended Day Programs. He said the next goal is to both broaden and deepen participation, involving more students and teachers and extend the two-week program to perhaps a trimester in length. Erin and Adam’s reactions indicate that a longer experience would be desirable. “There was not one thing that I didn’t like about the trip,” Erin said. “The food was delicious, the campus was beautiful and everyone was so welcoming and friendly. There simply were not enough days to do all that we wanted to do!” Mr. Femia spent time with the Chinese school’s faculty and observed and took part in classes. The students lived in YK Pao dorms, experienced a weekend homestay, taught English to Chinese with mental and physical disabilities and interacted directly with the larger Shanghai community. “If I can reach out to the community across the world, then I can certainly do that here in San Diego,” Erin said. The YK Pao experience definitely made me more passionate about engaging in community service.” Upper School memories at Parker are known to last a lifetime. Experiences like Erin and Adam’s demonstrate that Parker memories made overseas are no exception. n

“What I enjoyed as much as anything,” explained Adam, who has been studying Mandarin for seven years, “was an extensive tour of the city made easy by smart phones. Many people in Shanghai have an app that allows them to unlock public bikes placed throughout the city. To move about, we used these easy-to-find bikes that we unlocked with the app. What a great way to see Shanghai and experience a culture up close and personal.”



THEATER in our School

Theater In Our School Month is celebrated each March by schools, theaters and public venues across the country, raising awareness of the importance of school theater programs. It is a collaborative effort of the Educational Theater Association, the International Thespian Society and the American Alliance for Theater and Education. This past March, drama teacher Elise Marinkovich invited students to reflect on the importance of theater. Below are excerpts from a few of the student submissions.

HELENA VARGAS CLASS OF 2022 Without theater, I wouldn’t be who I am today. It has inspired me to stand up for what I believe. Being on stage gives me confidence. I have learned responsibility from taking on a part in a play and memorizing lines. Theater has made me a better person.

JACK MORRILL CLASS OF 2019 Theater has shaped so much of who I am. I have become a more determined individual and have developed confidence on and off the stage. I have discovered that the skills I learned in acting class can help me accomplish and face anything in life. If it were not for theater, I would not be the person I am today.


Members of the cast of Parker Drama Club’s 2016-2017 production of Into the Woods. Photo by David Haberman.



HERSHEETA SURI ’17 Before theater, I felt like just a normal kid going to school and trying to learn; but after, I felt the stage lights hit my skin, uniqueness showered my existence. I felt that I finally had a larger purpose, not only on stage but in life. Stepping off stage, I found comfort in asking questions, speaking in front of my class, and defending my thoughts in any discussion. Words flew out of my mouth as they came to mind, leaving the imprint of an honest opinion. I had become my most distinct quality: an open book. I have no secrets; I am not afraid to say what I believe is right, and I answer freely any question that is asked of me. I am so grateful theater has given me this gift to be completely confident in my identity so that I might share it without fear.

ELENI STAVROS CLASS OF 2021 I’ve heard people say that the world is full of possibilities. Theater is my world of possibilities. It doesn’t matter if I’m short, tall, skinny, fat, gay, bisexual, old or young. I’m part of a family that loves me. I’m part of a family that I can laugh with on the best days and the worst days. I’m part of a family that respects me for who I am. I’m proud of my family. I’m proud to be in theater.

MADDY CONSIDINE CLASS OF 2021 Theater is more to me than something I do just for fun; it is my first love. To me, it’s home. It is my escape, my passion. I’m grateful for all the lessons theater has taught me and I look forward to learning new ones.

Parker students received four awards and six nominations at the 2017 National Youth Arts Awards AWARDS: Lead Actor in a Musical: Jack Morrill as Baker in Into the Woods; Supporting Actress in a Musical: Gabi Leibowitz as the Witch in Into the Woods; Ensemble: Into the Woods; Direction: Elise Marinkovich for Into the Woods NOMINATIONS: Actress in a Musical: Kaelyn Kappes as Margaret White in Carrie: The Musical; Outstanding Production: Into the Woods; Lead

Actress in a Musical: Hershey Suri as Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods; Supporting Actor in a Musical: Miles Blue as Lucinda/Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods; Supporting Actress in a Musical: Caleb Haberman as Little Red/Rapunzel in Into the Woods; Supporting Actress in a Musical: Emma Steiner as Cinderella/ Granny in Into the Woods


AUSTIN MARTIN ’13 SOCIAL CHANGEMAKER HIP-HOP CONNOISSEUR BY COURTNEY RANAUDO Austin Martin ’13 is putting his own spin on Shakespeare’s most famous piece of advice: “To thine own self be true.” For Austin, that means doing justice to a complex, multifaceted personal identity. He comes from a family with strong ties to Detroit, where his parents triumphed in a resource-challenged education system by going on to graduate from college. He grew up in San Diego and attended Parker, a decision that his parents made based on their first-hand understanding of the importance of a top-tier education. The result is an unusual intersection of identities: “I’ve always loved hip-hop music—the lyrics resonated with me from a young age—but I also recognized my privilege growing up in a place like San Diego,” Austin reflects. Because of Parker’s strong focus on community service, Austin joined (and started) a multitude of socially-oriented student organizations. “There was space [at Parker] to discover what you’re really passionate about—and resources available to help your club meet its goals,” he said. The summer of high school graduation, Austin found a way to merge his deep love for hip-hop with his mission to make a positive social impact. He founded a nonprofit startup called Rhymes with Reason, which uses techniques and lyrics in rap music to help enrich minority and low-income students’ vocabularies. “It started off as a weird hobby,” Austin said. “I wanted to see how many SAT vocabulary words you could find in contemporary hip-hop music—I found

that 70 out of the top 100 SAT words appeared in music I was listening to every day. I knew something powerful could come out of that.” Three summers ago, Austin had the chance to run a pilot version of the program in Detroit, the city where so much of his family’s story was written. There, he witnessed Rhymes with Reason’s incredible potential. “We were teaching this group of minority students who were really struggling,” Austin recalls. “Within an hour, they had learned 15 new SAT words—and they couldn’t get enough. They didn’t want their session to end, and were asking to do more research afterward. To grab these students’ attention in such a big way, I realized: I have a responsibility to take this program as far as I possibly can.” Having recently graduated from Brown University, Austin is diving into Rhymes with Reason full-time. This fall, he’s releasing the first “teacher’s starter pack,” a web-based app and workbook that will be accessible to private, public and charter school educators. To learn more, visit n



REVITALIZING THE LANCER The School is excited to unveil the new Lancer logo and mascot. The logo was revitalized and the mascot was added this year in an effort to engage our current student body and honor our athletic history and traditions. Feedback from students, faculty, coaches, alumni and parents was collected and considered during the design process. Visit to watch a video of the mascot’s introduction to the community at the 2017 Sports Banquet in May. LOOK FOR THE LANCER MASCOT AT SCHOOL EVENTS AND GAMES NEXT YEAR! Nancee Lewis Photography 36



Cut out the Lancer below and bring it along with you as you enjoy your summer break, taking pictures of you as you show your Lancer pride. Tag your photos on social media with #Parker1912 or email them to


Earnie Grafton

Most of us go to the library focused on taking things out—whether it’s books, copies of reference materials, or multimedia—but 14 Upper School students spent the past year putting something in. It’s a true work of art. Walk into the Linda Vista Library these days and you will be greeted by a larger-than-life mobile, that not only beautifies the bright and airy atrium

space, but also solved a complex design problem. For this picturesque and purposeful creation, the Parker community has the Advanced 2D Art and Design Class to thank. “I was very excited to be a part of a large project on Campus,” said Kira Hirsch, Class of 2019 and one of eight Upper School students to lead the project. “It was very cool to work on an art piece that would not only add artistic character to the library, but

Above: The atrium scale model created by Parker art students.

would also serve as a functional sound barrier.” The Library provides both a study space and social hub for students on Campus. During flex periods, the space often accommodates more 100 chattering students. “We wanted to provide a social space and a study space,” said Linda Vista Librarian Ricca Gaus. She and her fellow colleagues designated the SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE


The sound-proofing art project named “Cascade” can be seen in the front and back atriums of the Linda Vista Campus Library. Photo by Earnie Grafton 38


upstairs as a quiet space for studying and the downstairs as the social area. The beautifully designed building featured two atriums in the front and back that let natural light shine through magnificent windows. Although stunning, too much sound traveled from the first floor to the second, much to the dismay of students who use that space to study. In 2016, Dan Lang, Head of Middle School, and Mike Cain, Director of Risk and Asset Management, approached Gaus and the Upper School Arts Department with an idea to construct a hanging mobile in the front and back atriums that could absorb sound without detracting from the architectural design of the space. With the help of a generous matching grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, the Linda Vista Library Soundproofing Project began to take shape. Art teachers Melanie Taylor and Jaclyn Enck selected about a dozen students from their Advanced 2D Art and Design classes and formed a design team. From there, students learned what it takes to execute a professional design project from start to finish. “It was a really special opportunity for them—to actually participate in a professional design project in high school is very unusual,” said Taylor. It was an opportunity students relished. “It was incredibly rewarding,” said Kira, one of the senior designers on the project. The 13 other student-designers included Brendan Kelety ’17; Jeyan Kirtay, Class of 2019; Marco Imbimbo ’17; Gracie Winn, Class of 2019; Yasmeen Abu Khalaf ’17; Isabele Levesque ’17; Camryn Miyahira ’17; and Julie Laporte, Class of 2018; and creative consultants Sofia Heredia ’17; Emma Considine ’17; Elizabeth Thompson ’17; and Greer Sprague ’17.

Marco Imbimbo ʼ17 discusses color options with Kira Hirsch, Class of 2019.

The project began in September 2016 and continued through the final installation the following April. Students began with a design brief, outlining the scope, timing and budget of the project. This brief was shared with construction vendors, with whom students worked closely throughout the project to ensure the design was safe and up to standard. The functional art piece had to be designed within the parameters of building and safety codes, including fire and earthquake standards. The mobiles could not swing, spin or sway, nor could they hang within reach of hands. After brainstorming ideas, the design team decided to bring in some of the scenery outside the library by designing a mobile based on falling leaves. The color scheme grew from there, incorporating not only the blooming trees outside, but also the glass stones and wood accents inside the Library. The team built rough models to help determine the ideal shape of the objects that hang from the mobiles. Kira said this was one of the most difficult parts of the entire process: “There were so many options!”

After narrowing down the design, students built scale models of the two mobiles and provided exact measurements to San Diego-based Lamvin Acoustical and Soundproofing to laser cut each baffle. Seaside Specialty Construction of Orange County installed the mobile over Spring Break. The project, which students named, “Cascade,” was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the end of April. All members of the design team felt a sense of accomplishment. “I learned an art project is a big deal, though not an impossible undertaking. Just a few art students helped to design something so cool!” said Brendan. Associate Director of Development and Stewardship Amanda Kalal, who helped secure the grant that funded the design project, described it as a true “collaboration between students and faculty,” and acknowledged the impressive accomplishment of the student-led design team. “I don’t think they realize yet how big of a project they’ve undertaken and completed,” said Kalal. “I think they’ll understand when they come back in a few years as alumni.” n



Spring Sports PROFILE

MVP Brooke Trossen ’17

Nancee Lewis Photography

MVP Nick Allen ’17


Standout shortstop Nick Allen ’17 was Parker’s Baseball MVP and Male Athlete of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year. A University of Southern California commit, Nick was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft on June 13 and signed a professional contract with them in early July. He helped lead the Lancers to a Coastal League title with an 11-1 record and to the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 Championship game at the University of San Diego played on June 2.



Brooke Trossen ’17 was Parker’s Female Athlete of the Year and the team MVP for both Girls Cross Country and Track and Field for the 2016-2017 school year. Brooke is an exceptional athlete who went undefeated in the 1600-meter race during the 2017 Track and Field season. It was her second season competing in the sport. In Girls Cross Country, Brooke helped lead her team to win three straight CIF San Diego Section Championships and four State CIF appearances during her four years as a varsity runner. The team finished 2nd at State in 2016 and Brooke was 3rd in State as an individual runner.


For the second time in School history, the Sailing team competed in the High School National Championships in Boston where it finished 7th in the country. The team qualified for nationals after placing 3rd in the Gold Pacific Coast Championships, hosted by Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association.


The varsity Boys Volleyball team won its first-ever CIF San Diego Section Division 1 Championship in Parker history with an exciting four-game victory over Carlsbad High School. Harvard-bound Adam Gordon ʼ17 led the team with 22 kills and was recently chosen to the All-County First Team.


The varsity Boys Tennis team saw an influx of young talented players for the 2017 season. Nick Miller, Class of 2018, led the team to a Coastal League Co-Championship. He and his partner, Ethan Nguyen, Class of 2020, also won the Coastal League doubles title.


The varsity Boys Lacrosse team, led by Ben Baranski ʼ17, went undefeated in the 2017 season and won the Pacific League Championship.


The varsity Girls Sand Volleyball team came in 2nd in the CIF San Diego Section Division II Championships this spring. The Lancers were led by Parker’s number 1 doubles team: Aeriel Sundt, Class of 2018, and Beatrix Thomas, Class of 2018.


Brooke Seay, Class of 2019, qualified in June to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. Earlier in the year, she won the ANNIKA Invitational after nailing a 30-foot birdie putt.



Music is known for its power to bring people together around a cause, from folk songs’ connection to the civil rights movement to John Lennon’s advocacy for peace to LiveAid raising awareness of world hunger. Parker’s 35th Annual Gala carried on that tradition, using a music-festival theme to raise more than $1 million for student financial assistance and faculty professional development. Whereas history’s great musicians made records, the Parker community broke them. Chaired by Erik Keskinen, Parkerpalooza raised more than any other Gala in Parker history. On April 29, the Linda Vista Campus was transformed by food trucks, yard games, the indie rock band Scars on 45 and a lip-sync battle. The annual gala is memorable for a very good reason: The funds it raises help to ensure that many deserving students have access to a Parker education and

that the School’s dedicated faculty and staff can benefit from ongoing professional development. Nearly 20 percent of Parker students receive some sort of financial support, a pipeline that the gala plays a crucial role in helping to safeguard. Parker alumnus Deon Randall was this year’s gala speaker, inspiring guests to offer their support by sharing his own story: Randall graduated from Parker in 2010 and credits the support of his family and financial assistance for making his Parker experience possible. Randall went on to play football at Yale University where he became the alltime receiving leader in 2014. n

“I can honestly say that every second I was at Parker, I felt inspired. Not just by the curricula material itself, but how it was presented by faculty. I felt inspired by the accountability my coaches required of me as a player on their team. I felt inspired by the intellectual passion of my classmates.” — Deon Randall ’10, Gala Speaker

Nancee Lewis Photography

TE DA E LA TH GA 018 VE TH 5, 2 SA 36 AY M

PARKER GRANDPARENTS VISIT THE SALK INSTITUTE On May 16, Parker grandparents visited the Salk Institute in La Jolla for a guided architectural tour and discussion with parent of alumni Dr. Geoffrey Wahl, who spoke to the group about developments in breast cancer research and therapies.



2 IMAGE GUIDE 1 | Grandparents learned about the revolutionary research happening at the Salk Institute. 2 | Small groups toured and learned about architect Louis Kahn’s intricate design details from Salk docents. 3 | Grandparents heard from parent of alumni Dr. Geoffrey Wahl and learned about his own groundbreaking breast cancer research.


4 | The group enjoyed the view from the travertine marble pools. Pictured left to right: Joanna Hirst, Naomi Goldenberg, Jxoni Braunstein, Deni Carpenter, Ken Carpenter, Shirley Kelly, Dave Haberman, Karen Haberman, Molly Eckenrod, Tom Lettington and Patti Albano Nancee Lewis Photography



On May 24, Parker parents, alumni and Upper School students gathered for an evening of panel discussions and professional networking. The event was sponsored by First Republic Bank and co-hosted by the Alumni Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees, Parents Association and its D.A.D.S. Committee, as well as Robert Gleason and the Catamaran Resort and Spa.




4 IMAGE GUIDE 1 | Mark Cafferty, Kirby Brady ʼ02 and Tony White 2 | Vanitha Kumar, Chris White, Ashutosh Aggarwal and Jim Waring 3 | Eric Pooch ’95, Christie Hill, The Honorable Yvonne E. Campos, Juan Neria ’93 4 | Elizabeth Reed ’89; Kaelyn Kappes ’17; Maria Burritt, Class of 2020; Dawn Stahl; Susie Suggs, Class of 2020 5 | Athena Zander ’16, Christie Thoene, Matt Thoene, Caroline Walker ’01


Nancee Lewis Photography





Nancee Lewis Photography

When Paul Barsky moved to San Diego in 2010 to accept the role of Parker’s Head of Upper School, he had one goal in mind: to create a vibrant learning atmosphere for Parker students. As he prepared for his new position as Head of School at The Pilgrim School in Los Angeles, he reflected fondly on his tenure here at Parker. “I have seen so much growth in the academic programs for our students,” Barsky said. “From the excellent Global Studies Program run by Mr. Tom Crowley to the many opportunities offered by our community engagement office to the personalized student support team—all of these programs complement each other and put our students first. I cannot attribute this to anything but the great faculty and staff with whom I have had the privilege to work at Parker. In essence, I was a member of a high-functioning team that wholeheartedly believes in the mission of our School.” 46


“Paul has been a vital part of the School’s overall growth during the past seven years,” said Assistant Head of Upper School Marc Thiebach. “He genuinely cared for every student and faculty member, encouraging, supporting and applauding their great work.” Carrie Dilmore, Upper School Teacher and Grade 9 Dean, agreed. “Paul has left his mark on the Francis Parker School community. From creating a new daily schedule that has decreased student stress to bringing in a one-toone laptop program, our students are achieving at extraordinary levels in these ever-changing times.” Barsky’s favorite part of his job at Parker was the opportunity to see student-led programs thrive, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. teach-in and Diversity Day at the Upper School. Programs like these have added a special dynamic to the student experience, which will position them

to become active global citizens. “Our students are smart, funny, respectful, articulate; they appropriately push the envelope, they are flexible with their learning and they make me smile every time I see them,” said Barsky. “I consider Paul a leader, a mentor and a friend,” added Thiebach. “Being Head of the Upper School always seems like the most difficult and challenging position on a JK-12 independent school campus, for any number of reasons. Paul brought his best each and every day, and he should be leaving here proud of what he accomplished and confident in the work that awaits him at The Pilgrim School.” “Paul supported us time and time again, even when we were struggling with the challenges of our jobs,” Dilmore said. “His leadership made a meaningful difference in my life.” n



Bill Steel

Nancee Lewis Photography

After spending more than a quarter of a century at Parker, Upper School Spanish teacher Bill Steel has decided it’s time to hang up his sombrero. “The favorite part of my job has always been taking inspiration and joy from the confidence, hopefulness and energy of young people,” Steel said, adding that after 28 years, students continue to be “just as energetic and entertaining” as ever. “I get a big kick out of them and that’s the part of my job that’s going to be the hardest to walk away from.” Steel has not changed much either. Throughout his tenure, he has kept his modest haircut and a neatly trimmed mustache, and the same dignified brown briefcase he carried to work every day. Aside from a few gray hairs, Steel looks much the same as he did when he began teaching in 1990. Prior to Parker, Steel was a model

and appeared in a number of TV commercials. He began his teaching career at the community college level and spent his nights singing and playing his guitar in nightclubs. He began teaching at Parker after turning down an offer in the Poway school district. “It made sense for me to choose Parker and I have never regretted it,” said Steel, whose decision was made in part because his father and brother had attended the Francis Parker School in Chicago.

the ends of the earth for.” In retirement, Steel plans to escape the San Diego heat and retreat to his cottage in Michigan, though he says he’ll return in the fall when the temperature in San Diego begins to drop. Weather aside, Steel plans to return to Parker to catch as many drama, musical productions and talent shows as he can, as these have been among his favorite Parker traditions. n

Students and colleagues who know Señor Steel say he is a true renaissance man with a witty sense of humor that makes every day a joy. “Bill is an exceptional teacher, a sagacious mentor, inspirational artist and a hilarious comic,” said Mr. Tom Crowley, Upper School teacher and Director of Global Studies. “He’s decorous, gracious, humble and unflinchingly professional. But most of all a great, great friend—one I’d go to SUMMER 2017 PARKER MAGAZINE


ALUMNI CLASS NOTES 6 | Matt Morrison ’05 was selected as

UPDATES 1 | Three alumnae from the Class

of 2009 were matched to medical residency programs in March 2017. Jacqueline Denysiak, M.D. ’09 (pictured) started her first year of family medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente Riverside after completing a one-year post-doctorate at UC San Diego Medical Center. Tina Ramineni, M.D. ’09 started her first year of internal medicine residency at Cedar Sinai Medical Center and Sydney Thayer, M.D. ’09 started her first year of medical school at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

2 | Tal Vigderson ’82 practices

entertainment law in Los Angeles representing writers, actors, directors and producers. He has also produced several feature films, the latest of which, “Marjorie Prime,” premiered at Sundance this year. He and his wife Kelly Allen have a two-year-old son, Nicholas Henry.

3 | UC Berkeley sophomore

Jonah Davis ’15 plays outfield for the Cal Golden Bears baseball team. He is pictured with teacher and Grade 10 Dean Nancy Anderson-Bruno before a game against UCLA.

4 | Cal Poly sophomore

Khaleel Jenkins ’15 was named starting quarterback for the Cal Poly 2017 season.

5 | USC sophomore

Christian Sourapas ’15 won the mens 200m sprint at the USC vs. UCLA Outdoor Dual 2017 in a personal-best 20.63 seconds.

Parker’s Head Football Coach starting fall 2017.


7 | Lizzy Bendrick ’07 accepted

12 | Skylar Lawrence ’03 and

a position in Outdoor Programs & Outreach for the San Diego market at REI in May 2017.

8 | Louisa Frahm ’08 accepted a

leadership position as Search Engine Optimization Manager at TMZ in May 2017. She will use her skill set in their (TMZʼs) dynamic breaking news environment to build a news SEO strategy from the bottom up.

9 | Specializing in writing, viral

and social media marketing, UXD and brand management, Analise Electra Smith-Hinkley ’06 joined PR for Writers as Senior Account Executive. Analise also successfully completed the full San Diego Rock ’n Roll Marathon with sister Isabel (Smith-Hinkley) Seneca ’08 on June 4, 2017.

10 | Ari Stiegler ’10 is Founder and

CEO of, a revolutionary online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses. was featured on the Huffington Post in May 2017 and in June 2017.

WEDDINGS 11 | John Selby ’07 married Nina

Hagemann on May 28, 2017 at Casa Del Prado in Balboa Park. John and Nina met on the dance floor at West Coast Tavern and live in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego. John is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Nina is a Junior Loan Processor at Benchmark Mortgage. Pictured left to right: Kelly Gleeson, Leela Harpur ’07, Nina Hagemann, John Selby ’07, Jenna Selby ’09, Lorraine Harpur and Kristin Gleeson Hunking



husband A.J. ’05 welcomed son Julius Scott Lawrence into the world on February 10, 2017. First-time Grandma and retired Middle School Science teacher Barb Ritchie couldn’t be more proud.

RETIRED FACULTY 13 | Retired Grade 6 teacher

Mary Brown joined students for the 14th annual Ikidarod on April 21, 2017, which she piloted in 2006 in memory of Parker alumnus and parent Alex Szekely ’75. This year’s event was featured on KUSI News.

14 | Retired faculty met for lunch at Studio Diner on May 19, 2017. Pictured left to right: Corrine Towers, Judy Coker, Joan Dorgan, Susie LaDow, Holly Panton, Nelly Dean, Susan Marrone-Moerder, Jan Rogers, Debbi Butler, Julie Feori, Annie Voight, Patrick Mitchell, Meg Peckham, Barb Strugar

Keep us informed of whatʼs happening in your life. Share your news about family, work, milestones and lifeʼs adventures and weʼll keep the Parker community in the loop via the alumni website and the Parker Magazine. Send your update and photo to alumni@ Please specify if your news is to be published only in the magazine or only in the alumni section of the Parker website or both. Submissions may be edited for space and style.











parker REUNION

On April 13, alumni from all class years returned to the Linda Vista Campus for a fun back-to-school day followed by an after school reception with parents of alumni and current and retired faculty. The next day, the Classes of 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002 celebrated their milestone reunions at class gatherings across San Diego. Thank you to our volunteer Reunion Committees for making the weekend a success!

Nancee Lewis Photography


Nancee Lewis Photography


Nancee Lewis Photography


Nancee Lewis Photography


Nancee Lewis Photography





IMAGE GUIDE 1 | Brooke Resh Sateesh ’97, Akshay Sateesh 2 | Bill Harpur, Marc Thiebach, Joan Selby, Judy Harpur 3 | Melissa Moore Leasure ’87, Char Ramey Hutchins ’87 4 | Nicholas Dutton ’09, Chris Harrington, John Selby ’07 5 | Seana Rothman ’11, Celeste Williams, Lucas Barra ’08


6 | Front row: Karen Foster, Julie Mansfield Osman ’77, Marcy Maher Kline ’77, Mary Brown, Jan Rogers Back: Mark Oemcke ’77, Michael Crone ’77, Byron Harlan ’77, Kent Newton ’77, Tom Rutherford ’77 7 | Fritz Gleghorn, Lisa Hayworth Johnson ’82, Victor Pesqueira ’82, Sue Rutherford Scatolini ’82, Pat Styles ’82, Ken Ritter, Joel Smith ’82, Andrew Eros ’82, Devra Engel Doiron ’82 8 | Front row: Tracy Morris ’87, Melissa Moore Leasure ’87, Julie Barnes ’87, Tracy Underwood; Middle row: Ed Gildred ’87, Scott Addleson ’87, Scott Hylbert ’87, Cori Goldberg ’87, Tracy Hughes ’87, David Moynes ’87, Mary Beth McNitt Blasnek ’87, Lisa Ghironi Powell ’87, Char Ramey Hutchins ’87, Danyte Mockus-Valenzuela ’87, Holly Bauer ’87, John Lee ’87, Brian Keyser ’87, Susan Marrone-Moerder, Rob Hansen ’87 Back row: Abigail Anders ’87, Scott Anders, Craig Stockwell ’87, Philip Estes ’87, Chris Winther ’87, Matt Suitor ’87


9 | Heidi Marnhout ’92, Christina Arias-Liles ’92, Annalisa Steinbach Zorn ’92, Dustin Lillie ’92, Emily Dawe ’92, Mauricio Martinez ’92, Juli Cheskaty ’92 10 | Standing: Chris Carroll, Michaelann McKittrick Carroll ’97, Kirsten Solberg ’97, Peter Preuss, Erin Pates Preuss ’97, Josh Lipsker ’97, John Barkley ’97, James Gorsich ’97, Chris Harrington, Can Tran ’97, Laura Ramey Lukens ’97, Greg Bostrom ’97 Front Row: Sofia Shelley, Theresa Sgobba ’97, Stephen Shelley



11 | Front row: Sarina Cox Lynn ’00, Jeffrey Lynn ’02, Colleen Powers, Sarah Dawe ’02, Sarah Ziering Katz ’02, Susan Rosenfeld ’02, Kristy Gillingham Keith ’02, Jen Menkov Fisher ’02, Seamus Keith; Middle row: Ian Bradley ’02, Eric Peterson ’02, Rachael Mann, Stella Hernandez Zyman ’02, Kirby Brady ’02, Ashley McElravy West ’02, Paul West; Back Row: Kimmy Phillipp, Garrett Hale ’02, Lauren Panton Wold ’02, Dave Varagic ’02, Chuck Wineholt, Todd Nelson




Throughout the year, the Alumni Office holds daytime activities and evening receptions around the country with Parker faculty in attendance. This year the School traveled from Los Angeles to New York City visiting Parker alumni along the way. Below are photos from FPS events this year.









IMAGE GUIDE FPS in Los Angeles – March 16, 2017 at Studio Grill on the Universal Studios Lot hosted by Darris Sherman ’90, VP of Digital Platforms at NBC Universal 1 | Front row: Katherine McCall ’69 , LaVon Wageman ’09, Torri Johnson ’14, Louisa Frahm ’08, Kimberly Svatos ’14, Nancy Anderson-Bruno; Back row: Darris Sherman ’90, Paul Esch, Carrie Dilmore, Ryan Griggs, Dylan Randall ’09, Rahim Spencer ’08, Rosalyn Kahn ’81 2 | Dana Rhinerson ’05, LaVon Wageman ’09, Alex Duk ’01


FPS in San Francisco – March 23, 2017 at the new LinkedIn headquarters hosted by Liana Ching ’06 and Kramer Sharp ’05. 3 | Rai Wilson, Kramer Sharp ’05 4 | Brigitte Ehman ’10, Elizabeth Lincoln ’10, Caitlin Ferson ’09, Cary Mosley ’04, Sydney Thomas ’06, Christy Delehanty, Shelby Ferson ’09, Kevin Yaley 5 | Erica Buie ’06, Erik Adolfsson, Hal Cavanagh ’05, Liana Ching ’06 FPS in Washington, D.C. – April 5, 2017 at Right Proper Brewing Company


6 | Xandra Scott ’09, K.C. Jaski ’09, Erika Pierson ’08, Grace Barrett ’16, Nancy Anderson-Bruno, Eric Kanegaye ’15 FPS in New York City – April 6, 2017 at LinkedIn headquarters in the Empire State Building hosted by Kira Pollard-Lipkis ’05 7 | Front row: Lexi Nicholas ’08, Rachel Niddrie ’08, Kira Pollard-Lipkis ’05, Sean Waters ’14, Athena Zander ’16, Jay Tibbitts ’15, Madeleine Casey ’15, Gerardo de la Concha ’11, Megan Lynch ’91 Back row: Stanley Gambucci ’13, Alex Wineholt ’11, Ross Nicol ’12, Josh Leibowitz ’12, Michael Shotton ’02, Michael Schreiner ’11, Jeff Lauer ’07, Alex Adler ’11, Nicholas Romaya ’12, Nancy Anderson-Bruno, Alex Nicita ’16 8 | Rachel Niddrie ’08, Stanley Gambucci ’13, Alex Wineholt ’11, Lexi Nicholas ’08


FPS in Boston – April 8, 2017 at Omni Parker House 9 | Prithvi Tikhe ’14, Alison Carey ’16, Rachel Bruno ’16, John Carruthers ’16 10 | Front row: Coral Rudie ’07, Prithvi Tikhe ’14, Rachel Bruno ’16, Alison Carey ’16, Claire Thiemann ’07, Nancy Anderson-Bruno, Amir Banihashem, Monet Banihashem ’03, Marc Thiebach; Back row: Fred Pettijohn, John Carruthers ’16, Joseph Benoit ’12, Gonzalo Gallardo ’12, Brandon Wolfe




Highlights and achievements of the student body, community, classroom and the Class of 2017



THE STUDENT BODY | 2016-2017 enrollment


427 | Lower School (JK to 5) 312 | 511 |




Middle School (6 to 8)





Upper School (9 to 12)

Multi-Racial 10%


Prefer Not to Answer 10%


Middle Eastern 1% This year, Parker committed more than

$4.7 million in financial assistance to


of the student body

Latino/Hispanic 8% American Indian .2% Black 4% White 57.4%


NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM 14 seniors earned the title of Commended Scholar 2 seniors were named finalists 3 seniors were named semi-finalists 2 seniors were named National Hispanic Scholars




Pacific Islander .4% Asian-American 9%

2017 SENIOR GPAs (weighted) Highest Achieved: 4.96 75th Percentile: 4.36 25th Percentile: 3.54



AP exams taken Accepted by


different colleges & universities



million ENDOWMENT to advance the mission of the School

China Peru Montreal & Quebec City Costa Rica Cuba Croatia India South Africa The Philippines Fiji



parent giving participation

over $1 million

raised by the Parents Association Gala

TITLES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS BASEBALL Coastal League Champions GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY Coastal League Champions; CIF San Diego Div. 5 Champions; CIF Div. 5 State Runner-Ups BOYS VOLLEYBALL CIF San Diego Div. 1 Champions BOYS TENNIS Coastal League Co-Champions BOYS LACROSSE Pacific League Champions BOYS CROSS COUNTRY Coastal League Champions GIRLS BASKETBALL Pacific League Champions GIRLS GOLF Coastal League Champions BROOKE SEAY ’19 (Girls Golf) U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier 2017 NICK ALLEN ’17 (Baseball) Oakland A’s 3rd round draft pick

PERFORMING ARTS | music & drama For the first time, all participating Parker Musical ensembles (Chorus, Chamber Orchestra, Classical Guitar, Concert Band and Advanced String Ensemble) received a gold rating at the annual Forum Music Festival.

2016-2017 DRAMA PRODUCTIONS Into the Woods Elf Jr. Carrie the Musical Almost Maine The Little Mermaid



years of participation

ROBOTICS | W.A.R. (We Are Robots) Lords FIRST REGIONAL ROBOTICS COMPETITION Championship Hard Hat Safety Award Championship Gracious Professionalism Award Regional Chairman’s Award Regional Safety Award



From the

ARCHIVES The Maypole Dance has been part of Parker tradition since the early 1900s. It is a joyous celebration, welcoming spring to the Mission Hills Campus. The Dance is performed by pairs of students, each holding the end of a ribbon and skipping around the pole that stands in the center of the courtyard. Students dance in and around each other as the brightly-colored ribbons weave together around the pole. Throughout Parker’s history, the Dance has at times been held during the last Lower School performance of the year and during Grade 5 Promotion. This year, students, family and friends enjoyed the Maypole Dance at a standalone morning performance in May. In the School’s early years, boys and girls jointly participated in all music and dance numbers, including the Maypole. This year, the School returned to that tradition and opened the performance to any and all interested Grade 5 students. 56


Top: The 1921 Maypole Dance performance at Parker’s Mission Hills Campus; Above: Student performers of the 2017 Maypole Dance.

thank you!

YOU MADE IT HAPPEN You came, you saw, you gave. Thank you parents, alumni, grandparents and students for your generosity throughout the year.

YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN THIS YEAR Our mission drives all that we do. The Parker experience centers on creating a diverse community of independent thinkers prepared to make a meaningful difference in the world. Your support ensures that Parker students reach “as far as the mind can see.” Plan your 2017-2018 giving and be a part of advancing our mission. FRANCISPARKER.ORG/GIVING

6501 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92111



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. Thank you!

Studio M Photography


The Francis Parker School Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus/a who embodies the ideals of intellect, initiative and social responsibility which are the very essence of a Parker education. This individual is one who has demonstrated remarkable leadership in his/her field of endeavor, attained local and/or national recognition and has made an outstanding contribution to the School, community or country. Visit for more information or to make a nomination.