Parker Perspectives Alumni Magazine 2023

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PARKER Perspectives Perspectives

Living Parker’s Values



A Look into the Archive


We dove into the archive to explore how Lancers have moved, played, and competed over the last 111 years. With a long and storied history of recreation and sports on our two campuses, we are so excited to see where Parker Forward—the next phase of wellness at the School—takes us next.

1916 - Parker football game in Mission Valley 1999 - Girls Soccer going for a goal 1980s - Field day at the Lower School 1979 - Middle School PE shotput practice 1989 - Cheerleaders line up for a performance 2008 - Fran Styles teaches archery to students 1918 - The Girls Tennis team plays a match at the Mission Hills Campus

The Class of 2023




Living Parker’s Values


Parker Perspectives Annual Alumni Bulletin 2023

Francis Parker School

Kevin Yaley, Ph.D., Head of School

Francis Parker School

Office of External Relations

Shara Freeman Hoefel


Mary Cook

Contributing Writers

Lori Biggs ’94, Rachel Galante, Mary Cook, Kate Richards, Melissa Russell

Copy Editors

Roxanne Holmes, Annemarie Kaya, Jill Kelly


Bauman Photographers, Dale Edwards, Rachel Galante, Rob Hansen ’87, Courtney Ranaudo, Studio M Photographers

Graphic Designer

Lori Biggs ’94

Non-Discrimination Statement

Francis Parker School values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds. All employment decisions are made without regard to unlawful considerations of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, creed, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.

Inclusive Language Statement

Francis Parker School is committed to the use of inclusive language. This pledge extends to our communications. We practice the use of writing styles and language that are free from bias and sensitive to peoples’ abilities, disabilities, ethnic and racial designations, cultural differences, and gender identities.

About this Publication

Parker Perspectives is published annually by the School’s Alumni and Marketing and Communications departments as an alumni community magazine. Address correspondence to

On the Cover

For our first cover, we are featuring a Lancer who has made an singular impact on Parker’s past and present, Coach Dave Glassey. Coach Glassey is retiring after 47 years at Parker and has made an indelible impact on countless Parker alumni. Photo by Parker Alumnus and current faculty member Rob Hansen ’87.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Nominate an exceptional Parker Alum!

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated remarkable leadership in their field of endeavor; attained local and/or national recognition; and has made an outstanding contribution to the country, community, or School. If you know of a Parker Alumnus/a who embodies the ideals of intellect, initiative, and social responsibility, nominate them to be considered during the next selection process.

Parker Distinguished Alumni Awardees

Jeff Silberman ’75

Ethel Mintzer Lichtman ’40

Ted Gildred Jr. ’50

Louisa Hanson Marshall ’26 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 1 11 Alumni Choose Parker
a few of the Parker Alumni families with students joining Parker for the 2023-2024 school year. 9 Arts at Parker
how artists at Parker continue to inspire our School community.
youngest alumni, the graduates of the Class of
members. 6
us celebrate the
careers of six retiring faculty
the stories of alumni who are living Parker’s values in their personal and professional lives. 14 Columns 16 Legendary Lancers
the six Lancers set to join Parker’s Athletic Hall of Fame this fall. 18 Class Notes What have your classmates been up to? Check in with alumni from across the years. 12 Parker Athletics Year in Review
the exciting year in Parker Athletics. 20 Alumni Events
current with upcoming alumni events and enjoy photos from events this past year.

Message from the Head of School

Dear Parker alumni, families, and friends, I count the end of the school year as both my favorite and least favorite time of the year.

I love sending off a new class of alumni into the world to see what great things they will do, but I also dislike saying goodbye to another group of truly special individuals. I love cheering on our young alumni and their accomplishments, but I dislike knowing that we will not see their faces on campus each day.

And now that another school year has ended, and commencement has come and gone, it’s time to welcome the Class of 2023 as official Parker Alumni.

The Class of 2023 joins a group of driven, aweinspiring, and accomplished individuals who have moved on from Parker to make a meaningful difference in the world. We cannot wait to see what our youngest alumni do next.

And as for what’s next on campus, we have officially broken ground on the Parker Forward project! After a lengthy permit process, we are hard at work fortifying the underground parking

structure so we can begin construction on the new Douglas Aquatic Center, the Vassiliadis Athletic Center, and the expanded Silberman Student Life Center.

I cannot talk about Parker Forward without applauding our alumni—your support has been critical to the success of expanding health and wellness resources for generations of students. During our Alumni Giving Days of Impact in May, over 150 alumni donated, helping us raise $161,775 in support of the project. You made Parker what it is today, and your continued support ensures more opportunities for play, competition, and community for decades to come.

Finally, I want to introduce all of you to our new annual alumni magazine. Parker Perspectives will bring community updates, class notes, and core memories to your mailbox. In this issue, we will celebrate the retirement of some of our faculty and staff, explore how six Parker alumni are living out the School’s values, share class notes, and much more.

From the Alumni Office

Warm greetings from Parker’s Alumni Office!

I have spent the last year settling into my new role as Parker’s Director of Alumni Relations and have had the privilege of connecting with many of you. As a newcomer to the Parker community, it has been abundantly clear to me what makes Parker such a special place. Parker’s character has been shaped by you, the extraordinary community of alumni who have brought its classrooms, playgrounds, art studios, and athletic facilities to life over the past 111 years. Of course your journey was steered by the caring and wise hands of faculty, staff, parents, and family members, past and present, who were guides not only to a great education, but to a life well-lived. Together, this community is what defines Parker’s values of putting students first, achieving academic excellence, developing a global perspective, building strength of character, celebrating inclusion, and always striving to be better. I have met many of you, and you are living these values. You are what makes Parker uniquely Parker.

Today, it is my pleasure to share the inaugural issue of Parker Perspectives: Francis Parker School’s Alumni Bulletin with you. In this annual magazine, I hope you find something that reconnects you with a school friend, reminds you of a teacher who made

Stay Connected

a lasting impression, and excites you for Parker’s future and the next generation of Lancers.

In this issue we highlight alumni who have new students starting at Parker in the upcoming school year. They all are looking to give their children the special Parker experience you know well—an exceptional education, friendships that last a lifetime, and the drive and skills to make a meaningful difference in the world. Cheers to you, Parker Alumni.

We hope you look forward to receiving Parker Perspectives year after year. I hope to see you at campus events and the Parker Forward ribboncutting ceremony in 2024!

Be well,

Parker Magazine

Read the latest issue of Parker Magazine. The 2023 issue highlights the School’s strategic direction framework, The Pursuit of Excellence, and walks readers through how the plan came to be and the five major themes that act as guideposts to direct the School’s work for years to come.

Mary Cook

Director of Alumni Relations

Phone: 858 / 874-3383


The Parker Alumni community is as strong as you make it! Stay in touch with classmates and faculty by attending an upcoming event, follow the Parker Alumni Group on LinkedIn, and share a class note when you have news in your personal or professional life. The Alumni Office is always available to help you reconnect. Reach out at any time and follow Parker on social media.

@FrancisParkerSchool @francisparkersc @parkerlancers

Page 2 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Francis Parker School

the CLASS OF Introducing

The 131 members of Parker’s Class of 2023 have had one of the most unique high school experiences. Their freshman year of high school was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and significantly changed their experience for the three years that followed. You’d think that the hardship and disruption of the pandemic would be a theme woven throughout their thoughts as they reflect on their time at Parker, but the speeches given at commencement and their reflections on their time in high school barely mention the topic. Instead, they refer to their inspiring teachers, their engaging experiences, and the world of opportunity that Parker provided them.

The Parker community celebrated the graduating class at commencement on June 3, 2023, welcoming the graduates as the newest alumni class. Head of Upper School Ben Temple; Head of School Kevin Yaley, Ph.D.; and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria shared meaningful words with the graduates as did valedictorian Andrew Zhou ’23 and student speaker Shea McGrath ’23.

Visit to watch the recording of the event and read on to enjoy photos and reflections from the graduates. 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 3
Above: Graduates from the Class of 2023 take a photo after the ceremony with teacher Jared D’Onofrio. Above: Keynote speaker San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Above: Valedictorian Andrew Zhou ’23 Above: Student speaker Shea McGrath ’23

of teachers

Page 4 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Francis Parker School The Class of 2023
The amazing community
have shaped me as a person and have really let me grow into myself and not only pursue my academic interests but also to grow into a caring and passionate person.
- Annika Clark ’23
Courtesy of a few admirable teachers, I understand the value of being ready to sacrifice everything for the principles behind one’s work.
- Jack Douglas ’23
Having a supportive community of peers and mentors has made me so much more confident and better prepared me for my upcoming journeys.
- James Carlson ’23
Above: Ava Custer ’23, Eliana Ashley ’23, and Johanna Chavez ’23 Above: Sedona Fernandez ’23 and Girls Soccer Coach Zuri Walker ’10 Above: Mari Ilfeld ’23 and salutatorian Sree Kandhadai ’23 Above: Boys Basketball Coach Mason Biddle, Jackson Giek ’23, Logan Watts ’23, and Quincy Williams ’23 Above: Sabrina Maas ’23 and Eva Badillo ’23 Above: Members of the Class of 2023 cheer after valedictorian Andrew Zhou’s touching speech.

Working 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 5 And they’re off! The 131 members of the Class of 2023 will attend 75 different colleges and universities in 24 states and two countries.
Stay in Touch! Parker’s Alumni Office is here for you. Check your email for the Parker Alumni Connection quarterly email to read the latest news from Parker and learn about upcoming alumni events. Visit the alumni website at and email us anytime at and London, England NJ
Being at Parker has pushed me to become a self advocate, to find my individuality and to have great ambitions and dreams. They have given me the confidence to do anything.
- Mara Moody ’23
with classmates I have known since the age of four, my time at Parker has made me deeply empathetic. I may not know my college classmates, friends, or future coworkers from the age of four, but I will always seek to connect with them as deeply as I did with my classmates at Parker.
- Hannah Luna ’23
Above: Evan Clark ’23 Above: Christopher Williams ’23 and Nyla Brown ’23 Above: Mahathi Gorantla ’23, Emma Andersen ’23, and Ethan Kassar ’23
See where they're headed. Scan the QR code below: (as of June 30, 2023)
Above: Natalia Wornovitzky ’23, Claire Harutunian ’23, and Bea Cole ’23


Caring and supportive faculty and staff are one of the many things that make Parker a special place. This year, we are sad to say goodbye to six retiring faculty and staff members who have changed Parker for the better. An enormous thank you to Dave Glassey, Chris Harrington, Jim Witt, Gwen Giek, Maggie West, and David Ries for their unwavering dedication to the School and our students. Join us as we celebrate their lively and storied careers on our campuses and wish them luck on their next adventures.

Calling all Parker Retirees -

Celebrate the first day of school… by not being at school! Share your retirement stories and reconnect with friends and former colleagues over brunch. Best of all, Parker’s picking up the check, and the event is just for you.

Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 am San Diego, CA

Location will be shared with attendees upon RSVP

Retiree hosts: Susan Moerder, Rose Hanscom, Annie Voight

RSVP required by August 25


Questions? Email Director of Alumni Relations Mary Cook at


“This was my first teaching job,” Parker legend Dave Glassey says. “I started in ’71, right out of college.” For 47 years, Dave’s unwavering commitment to the School has been a staple of nearly every Parker student’s experience.

From starting the physical education program at the Lower School to coaching multiple sports, serving as Dean of Lower School, Head of Lower School, and teaching life skills, Dave has done it all. He shaped the Parker baseball program into what it is today— coaching the team for 38 years with a career record of over 600 wins and nine CIF championship trophies.

“The School gave me a whole lot more than I gave the School,” Dave emphasizes. He will never forget Parker’s support when his first wife passed away— the service was held at the Lower School Campus, and Headmaster Douglas Crone sent buses around San Diego to pick up close friends and family. “The School, as a community, really embraced me,” he remembers.

Dave counts his two years as the varsity basketball coach among some of his favorite memories. A small school of 200 students at the time, the Parker team made it to the championship held at the huge San Diego Sports Arena. “Dr. Crone brought the whole school—both Lower and Upper School—to the afternoon game,” Dave says with a laugh, “So it looked like we had fans.”

Dave’s retirement plans include cycling as much as possible—including planning a trip to ride through the Bordeaux region of France, advising local baseball teams and programs, and spending time with his granddaughter.

Although he has many exciting times ahead, “I’m going to miss the connection with the community,” Dave admits, although he’s kept up with many students over the years and plans to continue the tradition. After his monumental impact on the School, it’s safe to say that the Parker community will also greatly miss Dave.


“The rush that comes when you get your cup of coffee, sit down, and wait for your class to arrive, that’s the thing I’ll miss more than anything else,” says Chris Harrington, long-time Upper School English teacher. “The only real anxiety I have about retiring is what it’s going to be like to not come into a classroom every day and interact with students,” he explains.

After 32 years at the School, Chris is leaving the classroom and heading into retirement. While teaching has been his favorite position at Parker, he’s also served as department chair, Assistant Head of Upper School, and even as a college counselor and coach during his tenure at the Linda Vista Campus. While he’s long made his mark in the classroom,

Page 6 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin
Parker School
Above: Chris Harrington (right) and U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
Above: Retiring faculty and staff pose by the Centennial Fountain at the Linda Vista Campus. Left to right: Gwen Giek, David Ries, Dave Glassey, Jim Witt, Chris Harrington, and Maggie West. Above: Dave Glassey (center) coaches the Parker Baseball team.

Chris was also instrumental in establishing Poetry Week in 2017. Now a School tradition, Poetry Week required Chris to acquire entirely new skill sets for coordinating and promoting the event—an experience he calls fulfilling. “Seeing it all come together and become a meaningful all-school event is something I feel really good about,” he says. “I’m happy it’s still continuing on.”

“Like every English teacher, I’ve got novels in my head,” Chris replies with a laugh when asked about his retirement plans. Alongside writing, he hopes to travel with his wife, stay involved in education through tutoring, and keep an open mind for the future. “I think it’s very possible that in a year, I might be doing something that I can’t really imagine right now,” he muses.

As he heads into the exciting unknown, Chris reminds his students of the wisdom found in Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” One line in particular—“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world”— shaped the classroom experience for many Parker alumni. “Reconnect with your real, natural self and find a way to express that,” Chris says. “Don’t let anyone take your barbaric yawp away, it’s yours.”


If Gwen Giek had to sum up her 18-year career at Parker in one word, her word would be “happy.” “There’s a great camaraderie for teachers at Parker,” she says. “There’s really good people here, so I’ll miss that.”

Gwen started her journey at Parker shortly after moving to San Diego. An expert tennis player, she knew she wanted to transition from teaching the sport at local resorts to coaching students. Her first year at the School, she juggled multiple roles as the Middle School and Girls Varsity Tennis Coach, a physical education instructor, and a Spanish teacher, cementing herself as a versatile educator instrumental to the Parker experience.

Over the years Gwen bounced between coaching and teaching, even serving as Head of Middle School PE and the department chair for Spanish. And for the last bit of her Parker journey, she’s taught Middle and Upper School Spanish and Grade 6 Mindfulness.

After moving to Arizona for a few years and starting a family, Gwen and her husband’s powerful impression of the School was partially the reason they moved back. The couple wanted their own children to grow up to be like the well-rounded Parker students that Gwen had taught.


Jim Witt, Middle and Upper School music teacher and department chair, already had a dozen years of music instruction under his belt before he came to Parker. He spent many years setting up music programs at local private schools, teaching as an adjunct professor for the community college district, and playing bass with bands. Moving into a fulltime teaching position at Parker felt like a natural transition.

Jim has called the Linda Vista Campus his “home away from home” for the past 25 years. And when asked what he will miss about Parker, he answers, “lunch,” with a laugh before turning more serious. “I will miss the energy of the students and watching them mature, grow, get better, and take on more challenging music,” he says.

When Jim joined the School, Parker only had a Middle School band. One of Jim’s proudest moments over his career was starting the Upper School band from scratch. The band started with just three students and grew and flourished under Jim’s direction. He was committed to leading the band until his retirement this year.

An avid traveler, Jim also counts his six Parker Global Trips as some of his favorite moments. He recently returned from Argentina with the Upper School. In retirement, he and his wife plan on traveling extensively in Europe and Africa and look forward to adding new destinations to their travel list as they explore. “We want to get out and see the world,” Jim emphasizes.

Along with traveling, Jim can’t wait to find more opportunities to play music—something he hasn’t been able to do often over the last few decades.

Jim has one final reminder. He advises his students to “Keep asking more of yourself in terms of getting better and developing as an instrumentalist and as a musician.”

“I believe in Parker, and that’s why I have two ’lifers,’” Gwen states about her children Maddy ’21, and Jackson ’23.

In retirement, Gwen is looking forward to spending time with her parents in Phoenix and visiting Maddy and Jackson up the California coast where they will both be in college in Santa Barbara. She and her husband are also the new owners of a Sprinter van with their first camping trip planned to the San Juan Islands in September.

As Gwen bids farewell to the School, she has a few words of encouragement for students. “Try not to worry so much…” she emphasizes. “Parker will get you where you need to be and you will be wellprepared for your next step.”

Almost unbelievably, Maggie is the first registered school nurse in Parker’s 111 years of history. She loved teaming up with former school psychiatrist Dr. Bridgett Besinger to grow the health and wellness department. “We started on the same day, so we combined our backgrounds to develop a protocol that would emphasize wellness at the School,” Maggie explains. And now, with a real culture of wellness built into students’ daily lives, Maggie and Bridgett’s work will be felt for generations of Parker students to come.

“Each and every day, the kids make me laugh and smile,” Maggie remembers. “I will really miss the dayto-day interaction.” Despite the challenges of growing a new position and tackling the pandemic, she states that her time at Parker has been her favorite job ever. Moving into retirement, Maggie plans on taking extra long walks with her dog, Lucy, upping her Zumba classes, and traveling with her husband—New Zealand and Australia are next on their list. Maggie also has six grandchildren and is a member of two book groups that will fill much of her time.

As her farewell, Nurse Maggie reminds us all to “Make good choices and be proactive with your physical and mental health and wellness.”


“I’m going to miss walking into the classroom each day and that energy,” says Grade 5 teacher David Ries. “It sounds corny, but in that classroom environment, you’re like family.”

And after 30 years as an educator—the last neardecade spent at the Lower School—David is an expert on the undeniable energy of a classroom excited to learn. After teaching in Colorado schools for two decades, David took a position as an associate teacher for Grade 4 at Parker. A year later, he transitioned into his permanent position as a Grade 5 teacher at the Mission Hills Campus.

“I feel fortunate to have spent these years at Parker,” he emphasizes. “Sometimes, when we are so close to it, we don’t realize how special a place Parker is, but it’s been a great place to come to work.”


Maggie West—affectionately known as “Nurse Maggie”—came to Parker as a well-seasoned professional. She joined the School in August 2012 after spending nearly 20 years as a school nurse in the Scottsdale Unified School District and also as a health educator at Scottsdale Healthcare Hospital in Arizona.

She has spent the last 11 years managing the healthcare needs of the students, faculty, and staff, and the School’s COVID-19 response. “I didn’t think I’d end my career on a pandemic,” she laughs. “The most challenging and rewarding part of my time at Parker was collaborating with Director of Security, Environmental Health and Safety Mike Cain and the community medical board to manage COVID.”

One of his favorite experiences during his time at Parker was a trip with Grade 8 to Antibes, France, as part of Middle School Discovery Week. Spending time with many of his previous students was a blast. A few of his other favorite moments include bonding with students and fellow teachers on the annual Grade 5 outdoor education trip to Pali Mountain and partnering with the Grade 5 team and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging team to develop History Con, a project that has students pursue meaningful historical inquiry through role-playing and fun.

“I’m looking forward to discovering what’s next,” David says about his upcoming retirement. He’s excited to have more time for mountain biking, learning French, and reading. He and his husband will split their time between the beach and the mountains—traveling from San Diego to Colorado to see the changing foliage in the fall and snowboard in the winter.

“We always talk about mojo in the classroom and being positive,” he reminisces while thinking about final advice for his students. “Things aren’t always perfect, but what can you do? You can get your attitude going in the right direction.”

Above: Jim Witt leads the Parker Band during a 2023 performance. Above: Nurse Maggie West at the Linda Vista Campus. Above: David Ries in his classroom at the Lower School. 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 7
Above: Gwen Giek teaches a Spanish class in the Upper School.

Healthy & Well

Parker launches a key initiative to support the whole child—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally.

This article was originally published in the 2023 Parker Magazine. While students’ mental health has long been on Parker’s radar, the stress of the pandemic brought it even further into the spotlight. Thankfully, the School’s leadership team has been hard at work establishing and growing an adequate support system of mental health professionals and other resources.

Once a “nice to have” at academic institutions, mental health support is now a “must have,” and Parker has risen to the occasion by restructuring and growing its student support network over the past few years.

As part of the Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies strategic theme, the School deepened its commitment to supporting the whole child—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. This aspect of the strategic direction provides Parker students the emotional support they need to concentrate and apply themselves in an academically challenging environment, and assures that age-appropriate support and programming are available to every student.


The School’s first step in supporting student mental health was hiring a head of student support. Dr. Bridgett Besinger joined Parker as the counselor and program manager for JK-Grade 12 and served in that capacity for a decade. She retired in 2022.

As time went on, it became clear that in order to stay true to Parker’s value of putting students first, the School needed to bolster and broaden the structure of its student support services. One person managing a caseload across all divisions and shepherding the administrative side of the program was proving to be a monumental feat, even for someone as dedicated as Dr. Besinger.

“We wanted to separate the responsibilities of overseeing the program and being a direct counselor to the kids,” explains Dan Lang, Assistant Head of School for JK-12 Strategic Initiatives. “That meant looking at the staffing structure and asking, ’if we start with students first, what do we really need here?’”

In alignment with the new Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies strategic direction, Parker’s leadership team concluded that students would be best supported through an individual counselor for each division in combination with someone to oversee the entire program—growth that would require a large investment of resources to achieve.

“We decided if we really wanted to build a wellness program, we had to first hire professionals who were experts in their area. That was the biggest investment,” Head of School Kevin Yaley, Ph.D. reflects. “We invested heavily in people, in terms of time, and we found ways to include this work in the daily schedules of the kids.”

True to the strategic direction, the School now offers a mental health counselor at each academic division—Lower, Middle, and Upper School—and the entire program is overseen by a separate staff member. The Parker leadership team looked far and wide for the right person to fill Dr. Besinger’s shoes when she retired, someone who could handle the administrative aspect of both the wellness and the academic resource sides of student support while optimizing the entire program.

“We are super lucky because we found that person,” Dan says, speaking of Dr. Megan Storey Hallam, the new Head of Student Support and Wellness who joined the School in 2022. A great fit for Parker’s needs, Megan had previously created a similar position at two other schools. On arrival, she performed a complete evaluation of the student support program, finding ways to increase its effectiveness and ensure access for all students.

“I’ve been really excited to do the work in other schools, and Parker has so many amazing resources,” Megan testifies. “There is so much collaboration at Parker that no part of our work feels like it’s happening by itself. It’s really thoughtful and reflective. We’re thinking of the whole child.”

With Megan’s hiring, the restructuring process is complete. Now in alignment with the Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies strategic direction, the program can focus on fine-tuning its offerings and supporting Parker students across all aspects of their socialemotional growth.


It’s no secret that student mental health diagnoses have risen, exacerbated by the challenges and difficulties of the pandemic. Thankfully, the stigma around mental health has decreased in recent years. “Students are more likely to self- advocate as well as be open to support,” says Megan.

Even in light of this cultural shift, supporting student wellness still requires a collaborative effort between the School and Parker parents. “It’s always going to be a collaboration because the School is not in a position to make a diagnosis,” Megan reminds the community. “We are always going to be working with families as part of a larger team.”

Similarly, if it becomes apparent that a student requires further support, the team maintains many external partnerships. “We can connect parents to different community liaisons, psychologists, or evaluators,” Megan explains. “We see connecting parents to external support as part of our role because that can be really challenging to navigate as a parent.”

While there are limitations to what Parker can provide for students in terms of mental health and wellness support, the team is available to answer questions and work with parents to guide them on the next best steps.


Now firmly in place, Parker’s student support and wellness department will focus on deepening the program’s impact on the everyday classroom experience.

“I see the program evolving so that it’s not a separate piece that students only come to when they need support,” Megan elaborates. “Rather, the team will grow to work closely with faculty at all times and the community at large to really build a culture of wellness at Parker.”

Similarly, the program is committed to continuing to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health while simultaneously increasing student-wide understanding. Mental health counselor offices are located in high-traffic areas of each division on both campuses to normalize visiting them. Teachers are educated on how to address issues within their

“There is so much collaboration at Parker that no part of our work feels like it’s happening by itself. It’s really thoughtful and reflective. We’re thinking of the whole child.”

– Head of Student Support and Wellness

Dr. Megan Storey Hallam

classrooms and how to identify when to bring in support. And the student support team regularly attends faculty meetings to answer questions and provide advice.

“We are going to continue to make sure we have the people, resources, and programming in place to ensure that our students feel well,” Megan emphasizes.

The School is fully dedicated to supporting the whole child—mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally—in a collaborative way to allow students to truly thrive.

Read more about Parker’s strategic direction in the 2023 Parker Magazine online at:

Page 8 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Francis Parker School

Grade 6, 7, and 8 students rocked out during the Middle School Rock Project performances in the spring. Students jammed out on electric guitars, bass guitars,

ARTS AT PARKER 2022-2023

Parker welcomed U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to the Linda Vista Campus in March 2023 for the School’s annual Poetry Week celebration. Started in 2018, Poetry Week is an annual event at Parker that seeks to inspire the community with poetry workshops, guest speakers, and live readings from students, faculty, and staff. This year, Limón held a poetry reading during the school day for students, hosted a workshop, and read her work during an evening event open to the greater San Diego community.

Senior Kindergarten students worked on outlining their letter illustrations during art class in March at the Mission Hills Campus.

Spring Arts Night at the Linda Vista Campus was a hit! Middle and Upper School students displayed dozens of paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, wood-working projects, and more in the Rose Art Gallery. To add to the festivities, there were performances from the Upper School dance students, the choir, and the Middle School and Upper School orchestra performances of music from Disney’s “Coco” and “West Side Story”. 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 9
Lower School students displayed paintings, sculptures, quilting, and other art in the Szekely Auditorium during the Lower School Art Show in May. The Upper School Drama Club performed the play “Moon Over Buffalo” in the winter. Emma Andersen ’23 and Austen Temple, Class of 2025, strike a dramatic pose in this comedic scene. drum sets, and other instruments in J. Crivello Hall—and looked the part too. Pictured: Lexi Walcott, Class of 2029.

Parker students have the opportunity to participate in the Middle School ceramics club “Clava Luto,” the Upper School ceramics club “The Dead Potters Society,” and the School’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society, all run by advisor and visual arts faculty member Jess LaRotonda. This year, five National Art Honor Society and Ceramic Club students received regional and/ or national recognition from the prestigious Scholastic Visual Arts Competition and/or the National K-12 Ceramic Art Show. Congratulations to Chiana Kelly ’23; Samee Kwak, Class of 2025; Joana Jiang, Class of 2024; Teresa Cornuelle, Class of 2027 (pictured); and Scarlett Meza ’23, for their impressive work.

Introducing “Discovery,” the new Social Justice mural at the Linda Vista Campus. “Discovery” centers around a Kumeyaay star map and invites the viewer to discover the past’s true history to re-contextualize our present. Scarlett Meza ’23 led the project and production with the help of James Carlson ’23, art teacher Paul Mericle, and the 2023 Social Justice Class.

An Alumna Gives Back

Kirsten Solberg ’97 joined the Parker Board of Trustees in 2022

Kirsten Solberg, Class of 1997, was honored when she was asked to join the Board of Trustees at Parker. She was thrilled to be able to give back to the School in a meaningful way. “I’m carrying on my family’s tradition of being a loyal Parker family,” she explains. “My parents were very involved with the School, and my brother, David ’01, was a Parker lifer.”

It’s safe to say that Kirsten is a Lancer through and through, and her many happy memories at the School only bolster her affection for Parker. One of her favorite memories includes her Discovery Week trip to England in Grade 8. “It was my first international trip, and I credit it for giving me the travel bug that I still have today,” she says. Other memorable experiences include helping the Varsity Girls Soccer team win the CIF championship her sophomore year after starting the season on junior varsity and celebrating with friends and teachers on graduation day.

After Parker, Kirsten moved cross-country to attend Princeton University, where she majored in history, intent on attending law school. A two-year stint as a legal assistant at a law firm in Washington, D.C. after college cemented her plans, and she attended law school at the University of Virginia. “I loved my time at both Princeton and UVA and credit Parker with preparing me for the rigor of both schools,” says Kirsten. After law school, she returned to San Diego and now works on the in-house legal team at J.F. Shea Co., Inc.

Before she joined the Board last year, Kirsten supported Parker as an Alumni Giving Day Advocate, a member of the Alumni Reunion Committee, and a five-year member of the Alumni Relations Committee. On the Board, she serves on the Audit Committee that oversees the School’s financial and compliance reporting processes.

Her favorite aspects of serving on the Board have been “learning about all that goes into making a school like Parker be the very best at what it does” and “helping Parker continue to grow.” Similarly, getting to know the other board members, who bring such a diverse set of expertise and experience to the table, has been rewarding in itself.

When looking toward the future, Kirsten is most excited to see the next phase of Parker’s development—Parker Forward—come to life at the Linda Vista Campus. “It’s truly incredible to see how the Campus has changed and grown since I was a student,” she explains. “The next generation of students will have the benefit of even more amazing facilities.”

Thank you to Kirsten for applying her first-hand Parker experience to the Board of Trustees as they oversee the School’s strategic mission and create an environment that lives up to Parker’s core values.

“We are very fortunate to have Kirsten on our Board. Her helpful perspective as an alumna gives her an important voice as we examine the strategic issues, values, and planning that go into making Parker a top independent school. And, in the typical fashion of a Parker graduate, Kirsten is not afraid of rolling up her sleeves, digging in, and asking the tough questions that need to be asked.”

— Board Chair Diana Casey

Above: Parker trustee Kirsten Solberg ’97
Arts at Parker Page 10 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Francis Parker School
Above: Adam Svet ’97 and Kirsten Solberg ’97 from the 1997 Parker yearbook. Voted by their classmates as “Most likely to be seen on the cover of Glamour or GQ.”


We welcome the following alumni families with students joining Parker for the 2023-2024 school year.

Bryn Heitzman Salt ’94

Husband Benjamin; Bridget, Class of 2029; Blythe, Incoming Class of 2030

Bryn says: “I wanted my children to have the same amazing education that I did.”

Rob Hansen ’87

Wife Kathy; Luke, Incoming Class of 2029

Rob says: “We chose Parker for the experience, the education, and, as I work here, to ’do our day together,’ which I think I will treasure.”

Elizabeth Kaufman Leroux ’99

Husband Eric; Estelle, Class of 2035; Griffin, Incoming Class of 2037; Marcus, 15 months

Elizabeth says: “Parker was a fantastic school that helped students expand and realize their potential when I was there 30 years ago, and it is even better today. We appreciate the school’s dedication to creating students who are well-rounded, kind, curious, and thoughtful.”

Colin Walshok ’95

Wife Janice; Marco, Class of 2030; Ara, Incoming Class of 2032

Colin says: “We chose Parker because we want our daughter to be surrounded by other kids who will help her grow, develop, and push her intellectual boundaries. We want her to be in a supportive academic environment that allows her to conquer her fears and pursue greatness and promotes leadership.”

David Weatherford ’07

Wife Melissa; Amalia, Incoming Class of 2037

David says: “My time at Parker was one of the most formative periods of my life. I had the privilege of learning from teachers who were passionate about their subjects and made the classroom an exciting place to be. Parker also afforded me the opportunity to explore interests outside of academics, and it’s where I discovered many of my passions that are still with me today. Parker shaped who I am today in so many ways, and we are excited for our daughter to have the same opportunity. We feel that investing in our daughter’s education is one of the best things we can do for her, and an education at Parker is truly special.”

Allyson Minteer Burakoff ’02

Husband Oscar; Lia, Class of 2031; Natalie, Class of 2034; Ella, Incoming Class of 2037; Siena, Incoming Class of 2037.

Allyson says: “I want my kids to be challenged academically and to become well-rounded citizens who also give back to the community. I cannot think of a better place for them than Parker, given those goals.”

Ricardo da Rosa ’89

Wife Hanna; Ryan, Incoming Class of 2037

Ricardo says: “I will never forget the many friends I made at Parker, many of whom I still spend time with today.”

Jamie Wittert Neagle ’99

Husband George; Samuel, Incoming Class of 2036; Benjamin

Jamie says: “My favorite Parker memory was getting to use art as my ’medium’ for various academic assignments—that was where I excelled. For example, I ’wrote’ my senior essay as a series of paintings. Parker always nurtured my strengths, which allowed me to connect to school and shaped me into the confident, well-rounded woman I am today. Parker left a lasting impression on me.”

Tom Carter ’95

Wife Caitlin; Claire, 13; Patsy, Incoming Class of 2030

Tom says: “We chose Parker for the academic opportunities and individualized experience.”

Elisa Vilchis Savoia ’91

Husband Christopher; Nico, Class of 2024; Matteo, Incoming Class of 2030; Emma ’21

Elisa says: “I had a great experience at Parker. It looked a lot different back then. I was never afraid to be me. I learned so much and read more books in a short amount of time than I ever have again. The teachers left a true mark—so much so that I have been teaching for over 25 years. People like Mr. and Mrs. Ramert, Ms. O., Mrs. Hickey, Mr. Klausner, Mr. Leaf, Mrs. Peckham, and so many more. They shaped who I am in so many ways. I want that same experience for my children.” 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 11
1 2 3 4 5 8 7 10 6
1. David Weatherford ’07 and family 2. Elizabeth Kaufman Leroux ’99 and family 3. Tom Carter ’95 and family 4. Allyson Minteer Burakoff ’02 and family 5. Colin Walshok ’95 family 6. Jamie Wittert Neagle ’99 and family 7. Ricardo da Rosa ’89 and family 8. Elisa Vilchis Savoia ’91 and family 9. Bryn Heitzman Salt ’94 and family 10. Rob Hansen ’87 and family

Fall Season

Boys Beach Volleyball: Closing out an exciting 7-2 season, the Boys Beach Volleyball team walked away with 3rd in Gold Division and 2nd in Silver Division in the Individual Pair Championships. They won the Southern League Championship for the first time, and came in 5th place in San Diego County.

Football: Parker Football ended the season with a 5-6 record making it to the CIF second round playoffs. Christopher Williams ’23 received the 2022 Special Teams Player of the Year from Prep Pigskin Report after completing a record-breaking performance scoring all 52 points in the win against Polytechnic School.

Girls Volleyball: The Girls Volleyball team made a statement this season making it to the D1 Finals and the 2022 CIF State Championship. They were led by a new head coach, Rodrigo Suelotto, who was named Coach of the Year by the San Diego Sports Association and given the 2022-2023 Coaching Excellence Award at Parker’s Athletics Awards Night.

Cheer: Parker Cheer had a great season bringing school spirit to School sporting events. They took home three big awards from NCA Cheer Camp including Superior Distinction, a National Championship bid, and the overall team Spirit Award.

Girls Golf: Parker Girls Golf had an incredible season, each week improving their scores. They gained a record of 13-2-1, making it to the CIF Playoffs. Lauren Holst, Class of 2025, continued to day two of the 2022 CIF San Diego Section Championship Tournament.

Boys Water Polo: Boys Water Polo held a 12-9 record this season, finishing 2nd in the City-Eastern League. The athletes played hard throughout the season, making it all the way to the San Diego Section Division 1 CIF Playoffs.

Winter Season

Sailing: The Sailing team saw a great season with many individual successes, including participating in the prestigious Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association competition.

Cross Country: The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams had an extremely successful season, solidifying their dominance in the San Diego Section. Both teams competed at the CIF State Cross Country Championships, finishing sixth and eighth in the state for Division V. York Bourgeois, Class of 2024, was named the 2022 Coastal League Runner of the Year.

Surf: The Parker Surf team competed in the Scholastic Surf Series against other San Diego Schools. The team had a great fall and winter season, making it to the State Championship. Jackson Giek ’23 made it to the finals and Asher Sheres, Class of 2026, made it to the semi-finals.

Boys Basketball: The Boys Basketball team competed hard every time they hit the court and because of that, they retained their Division I status. They had an overall record of 11-8 and made it to the CIF San Diego Section first round of playoffs. They were led by their new head coach Mason Biddle.

Dance: The Parker Dance team brought spirit and energy to sporting and spirit events throughout the season. The team had many amazing performances this year at both the football and basketball games with quick changes and multiple numbers.

Girls Tennis: Parker Girls Tennis started their season with a strong group of returning players and new freshmen. The team ended their season with a record of 12-4 making it all the way to the CIF Finals and finished their season 3rd in the Coastal League.

Girls Basketball: The Parker Girls Basketball team put up a good fight this season, finishing with a 17-9 record and making it to the CIF 2nd round playoffs. The team is on the precipice of a historic run, and with their starters returning next season it will likely be one of the most exciting in school history.

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parker athletics

Boys Rugby: The Boys Rugby team dominated the league and had an amazing season. They had an undefeated regular season and advanced to the championship game. They won 15 tournaments and only had one loss.

Spring Season

Baseball: Boys Baseball had a young team this year but still had a great season. The team had one of the top pitching staffs in the league this year. They made it to the elimination round of the Division II CIF Playoffs.

Softball: Softball had a historic season. They advanced to the CIF Division V Semifinals for the first time in nearly 10 years. The team fought hard in the double elimination tournament, revenging two former losses against Lincoln High School and coming close to beating the top-seeded team.

Boys Soccer: The Boys Soccer team was led by five seniors making it to the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Playoffs. The team will have 12 returning players in the upcoming season and will join the toughest Coastal League in history with seven teams competing in it.

Girls Beach Volleyball: Girls Beach Volleyball kicked off their inaugural season as a CIFsanctioned sport, adding yet another opportunity for female athletes to compete at Parker. They played a great season for their first year competing in CIF.

Boys Tennis: Boys Tennis had a strong season, at one point going on a four-win streak. They were seeded 3rd in the playoffs and advanced all the way to San Diego Section CIF Division II Finals.

2022-2023 season

Boys Golf: Boys Golf had a great season with strong individual performances that saw several players making it to CIF Playoff Matches. Alex Elia, Class of 2024, made it to the last week of the competition.

Girls Soccer: Girls Soccer had an outstanding season led by head coach Zuri Walker ’10. The girls had a 14-6-1 record making it all the way to the CIF D2 Championship game. They have a strong team returning for the upcoming season.

Girls Water Polo: The Girls Water Polo team had a great season with a record of 19-7. The girls won the City League Championship and made it to the CIF Quarterfinals. They continue to raise the level of the Parker Girls Water Polo program.

Boys Lacrosse: Boys Lacrosse had an amazing season filled victories. The team had a .64 win percentage. They made it to CIF and became the San Diego Section Division II Champions for the second year in a row.

Track and Field: Track and Field had a great season for both the boys and girls teams. The talent on the girls team led them to a Coastal League Championship. Both teams competed in the San Diego Section CIF Finals at Mt. Carmel High School, and Boys Track and Field placed 2nd in the Division III Finals.

Girls Lacrosse: Girls Lacrosse played their first season in Division I this season. They had an overall record of 13-6, and the team ranked 3rd in the Coastal League and made it to the second round of CIF Division I Playoffs.

Boys Volleyball: Boys Volleyball continued to be one of the top teams in the county. They competed in the CIF Open Division after winning the Division I and Social Division III Championship titles last year. 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 13


Parker’s core values are the driving force behind our campus communities and what makes our student experience so unique. They are not just words on a page, they are embodied by our faculty, staff, and students every day. These values continue to guide our alumni as they complete further education, cultivate careers, and build remarkable lives.

Countless Parker Alumni live these values every day. Here are six of their incredible stories.


FIRST Devan Diwanji ’11

Devan Diwanji ’11 is well on his way to making a meaningful difference for students. Alongside two friends, Devan founded Brain Camp @ UCSF—a free week-long summer camp at the University of California San Francisco, geared toward local Bay Area high school students from diverse backgrounds with the goal of enhancing the diversity of the healthcare workforce.

The idea for Brain Camp was born after Devan worked as a counselor at a medical-focused camp that carried a hefty price tag for its student participants. He and his friends wanted to create a similar weeklong experience that would be absolutely free, removing any barriers to entry.

Brain Camp launched in 2017 with 13 students and a curriculum that included a mix of hands-on activities that reinforce lectures on neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, and other related topics. “The pilot camp was a resounding success, and our program has since grown with a longitudinal mentorship program, a junior counselor program, and expansion of our class size to 25 students per year,” Devan says. “We have served over 150+ local Bay Area high school students, and we are thrilled to see many of our students consider the health sciences as a career.”

Devan and his team ensure that the Brain Camp experience puts students first by providing appropriate structure and guidance to participants. “We acknowledge that our students come from varied backgrounds, and we pride ourselves on developing a curriculum that tailors to all educational backgrounds,” Devan states. “We promote an environment of inclusivity where questions are more than encouraged and the response ‘I don’t know’ is expected.”

To Devan, running Brain Camp @ UCSF is not about “making a difference in the world.” Instead, it’s about making a difference in the trajectory of a student’s life. “To make a difference in the world is to make a difference in lives. One life at a time,” Devan says.


Maddy Jennewein ’10

Maddy Jennewein ’10 took their academic career “as far as the mind can see” and translated their love of learning into a dream career.

After graduating from Parker, Maddy began their inspiring academic journey at Brown University, where they studied biology while dabbling in outside interests like sociology and Egyptology. After college, Maddy enrolled in the five-year Harvard virology program for graduate school, gaining hands-on experience in HIV vaccine development. And in the two years since their postdoctoral experience at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Maddy has realized their dream career of working to develop RNA vaccines.

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“I always knew I wanted to go into vaccine development,” Maddy says. “You say you have a dream in middle school or high school…but it seems wild to be so young in my career and actually doing exactly what I always wanted.”

Maddy credits their four years at Parker with helping spark their love of science. “Parker gave me flexibility with my learning to really push where I wanted to push. My mother actually talked [the School] into letting me into AP bio as a freshman,” they explain with a laugh. “Being given the freedom to really push and challenge myself in a way I hadn’t been able to before was really formative.”

Maddy’s journey has also mirrored Parker’s Academic Excellence core value in another important way— they have gone above and beyond to establish and cultivate learning environments where all students are seen, known, and valued. Actively involved in the trans advocacy group at Brown, they pushed for a gender-neutral housing system for freshman and trans-inclusive healthcare on campus. And at Harvard, Maddy ran the Queer Alliance for their graduate program.

“I see myself definitely staying in the world of vaccine development for at least the next 20 years…but I have some dreams about a second career of going to teach at a community college when I get sick of being in the lab,” Maddy says, showing that even after nine years of higher education, their love of learning remains strong.


“Technology doesn’t respect borders—what’s deployed in one country can very easily impact consumers in another country,” emphasizes Jamal Edwards ’12, who helps shape international-focused technology policy through his work at Microsoft.

Inspired by his English classes with Ms. Nancy Anderson at Parker, Jamal built the foundation for his future career by majoring in journalism at Duke University. “I was really captured by storytelling in undergrad,” he explains. “It was about going deep to understand the story behind why things happened.”

Understanding the “why” snowballed into Jamal asking the question, “What can I do about it?” He wondered how he could be a part of the rulemaking or policy process and shape the why and the how to ultimately bring about change. A master’s in International Policy from Stanford University proved to be the next best step and the technology sector the ideal place to create change.

“The tech sector is the fastest developing industry that impacts and implicates every aspect of everyday life,” says Jamal. “There was no more compelling place to start my career and do more action-oriented work.”

His work at Microsoft over the last seven years has included everything from shaping cybersecurity policy to protect the world’s digital infrastructure to working with the Secretary General of the United Nations as a policy advisor and speech writer to address the next generation of digital issues on an international level. Now, as senior manager for the Competition Policy and Market Regulation team, Jamal’s latest project has been working with 17 jurisdictions around the globe on the policy dimensions needed to clear the largest tech merger in history—Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard, maker of popular games like “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush.”

“We are in an unprecedented era of tech stewardship,” Jamal explains. While the state of current affairs in tech remains complicated, he loves what he does: “Having a front-row seat, rolling up my sleeves, and trying to tackle these very thorny policy issues has been incredibly gratifying.”


Ryan Austin ’18

Ryan Austin ’18 was 22 years old when he helped save a man’s life. An avid aviator since earning his pilot’s license while at Parker, Ryan taught private pilot students how to fly planes during his time in the aviation program at Embry Riddle University. And in July 2022, the unthinkable happened.

While flight instructing at a tiny, municipal airport in north central Florida, Ryan and his students witnessed another small aircraft take off, only for the pilot’s voice to come over the radio moments later. The words “catastrophic engine failure” crackled across the frequency.

After the small plane failed to make the turn back to the runway, it dropped off the radar and disappeared somewhere over the wild, surrounding swampland. With no one else at the airport, no air traffic control tower, and no response from the pilot, Ryan leaped into action. “I realized at that point that if I didn’t do anything, no one was ever going to find this guy,” Ryan says.

Ryan contacted local law enforcement—who remained skeptical that a plane had crashed near the town without any other witnesses—and finally persuaded them to deploy the trauma helicopter to the area for a search and rescue mission. He also directed other small planes coming into the airport to start circling and see if they could spot the plane.

When Ryan saw the helicopter hover over the swamp, he knew the downed pilot had been found. “He would not have been found without the helicopter,” Ryan explains. “When the pilot went into the swamp, his wings broke the trees, and then they fell back on top of him,” making the crash difficult to spot.

The pilot was airlifted to the hospital and survived despite his intensive injuries. “I’m just happy I was able to help. That’s what any pilot or aviation professional would do—step up when it’s necessary and help each other out,” Ryan says, his actions a true reflection of his strength of character.

The incident did not turn Ryan off from flying—he now works as a commercial pilot for Frontier Airlines, where he keeps 200+ passengers safe during each cross-country flight.


“I was drawn to venture capital because of the potential impact I could have on the world,” explains Sydney Thomas ’06.

After graduating from Parker, Sydney studied public policy at Duke University. During her business and finance classes, she began to wonder how she could help create more just and equitable systems that would increase access to wealth and healthcare for underrepresented communities. And after working in politics for five years and earning her MBA, she decided that working in venture capital would best maximize her ability to create change.

“I was so encouraged by the people I met and their interest in creating a better future through investing in companies that were creating the change that they wanted to see,” Sydney says about her time working at a VC-backed start-up. “Through working with them, I realized that this was exactly what I wanted to do.”

With seven years of impactful venture capital experience under her belt, Sydney took the leap and built something that she knew needed to exist—a venture capital fund that invests in technology that makes life better for the 99%.

“Technology can reduce wealth inequality by raising access to products, services, and information that have enabled a few folks to get significantly wealthy in the past,” she says, explaining the reasoning behind Symphonic Capital’s focus. “There is a lot of power in the scalability of technology that can then help a large sector of society access insights and information previously unavailable to them.”

Committed to creating an inclusive community however she can, Sydney also strives to bolster diversity and equity on a more personal level.

“When I first got into Venture Capital, one of the first things I did was create a Women of Color in the VC community,” she says. But her commitment to fostering change does not stop there: The entire Symphonic Capital team is made entirely of women of color.

When asked about the future, Sydney has one goal— demonstrating that the types of investments made by Symphonic Capital can be both successful and create significant positive change for as many people as possible.


Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade ’86

“Parker provided me with the opportunity and the freedom to explore the unexpected path,” says Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade ’86, mother to alumni Carlos Ezquerro ’16 and Andie Ezquerro ’17. Yolanda’s varied and influential career path shows that there truly is no limit to what Parker Alumni can dream, do, or try.

Yolanda describes herself as a “Calibaja regionbuilder, a changemaker, and a binational influencer who grew up on both sides of the US-Mexico border.”

Neil Morgan, the former editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune nicknamed her the “Voice of the Border” for her work as media liaison and interpreter for four Mexican presidents, Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates, and others as they worked through issues within the US-Mexico/Calibaja bilateral agenda.

“If I can effect change and channel our collective efforts into innovative cross-border projects in civic engagement and philanthropy, especially at such critical moments, I must rise to the occasion,” explains Yolanda about what inspires her.

Proof of her dedication can be found throughout her career—Yolanda was a founding member of the Club de Niños y Niñas de Tijuana and the Fundación Internacional de la Comunidad, and the San Diego Foundation. She is also a long-time host of the San Diego Latino Film Festival and has helped raise millions of dollars for regional organizations like San Ysidro Health and Fundación Fimbres.

Now, Yolanda runs This is About Humanity (TIAH), a humanitarian organization that supports vulnerable communities on either side of the border through initiatives like launching learning spaces in Tijuana shelters, supporting mental health for children and adolescents through grants, and running a food-relief kitchen that serves over 3,000 meals every day.

Even though she has already helped countless individuals on both sides of the border, she is motivated to do even more: “We have a duty and responsibility as individuals and as a society to give back—to our family, to our community, to the most vulnerable—and ensure a sustainable and flourishing Calibaja.” 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 15

Legendary Lancers


Zuri Walker ’10 GIRLS SOCCER

Coach Marc Thiebach commended four-year Varsity Girls Soccer player and Team Captain, Zuri Walker, for her “heart, determination, and leadership.” Coach Thiebach shared recently that Zuri “is a true Linda Vista community success story, following her older brother Amani (already an Athletic Hall of Fame inductee for Boys Soccer) to Parker as a highly touted eighth grader.”

Zuri was a four-year starter as a central midfielder, a four-year letter-winner, four-time All-Coastal South League Player, and CIF San Diego Sections Champion in 2007 and 2010. Her efforts contributed to a 2nd place finish in the league in 2010 and #2 seed in the CIF playoffs. She was named DIC IV Player of the Year and First Team All-League all four years.

After Parker, Zuri continued her soccer career at the University of California, Irvine. She is currently a beloved member of Parker’s Athletic Department as the Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach where she leads the next generation of Lancers.

“Zuri was a force to be reckoned with in the air and on the ground, ending her San Diego CIF career by scoring the championship game’s only goal on a determined individual effort to steer our shorthanded team to victory as the rain came down.

Zuri went on to a fine academic and soccer career at UC Irvine before coming home to Parker to join our coaching staff. It is no surprise she has now been elevated to Parker’s Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach— and last year’s league championship and run to the finals shows what a soccer talent she is.”

Shane Mahvi ’13 BOYS SOCCER

Shane Mahvi was a four-year Varsity Boys Soccer player whose talent and heart led to numerous accomplishments both on and off the field. Coach Seth Tunick says, “Shane was a fantastic player, a great mentor to his fellow teammates, and most importantly, an unbelievable person.”

A legendary high-scorer, Shane was named a twotime First Team All-Conference, Team MVP in 2012, and two-time high school varsity league top scorer. Shane set the Parker record for most goals scored in a year in 2013, averaging two goals a game. He was on the undefeated team in league play in 2011 and 2012, making CIF playoffs all four years, and finals in 2010 and 2011. He set the boys soccer record for goals scored in a career with 60 goals.

In addition to playing at Parker, as a student, Shane competed in the Albion SC Youth League, serving as Team Captain from 2009 to 2013, leading the team to the National State Cup in 2012. He went on to continue his soccer career at Seattle University as a defender for four seasons. At Seattle, he was named to the College Sports Madness Preseason Second Team All Conference and played in the Academic AllWestern Athletic Conference.

“Shane’s grit and hard work showed in every game he played as he became one of the most exciting goal scorers in the history of Parker Soccer.

His induction into Parker’s Hall of Fame is well deserved and a great reflection of the impact he had as both a player and a person.”

– Coach Seth Tunick

Michaela Dews ’14 GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Michaela Dews was an exceptional and inspiring four-year Varsity Girls Volleyball player, who Coach John Landicho praises as one in a long line of Parker girls volleyball players to achieve the highest levels of success wearing a Lancers jersey. For all four years, Michaela led the team to League and CIF Championships as well as a CIF California State Division IV Championship in the 2013 fall season. Michaela was Parker Volleyball’s MVP in 2013, MaxPreps Division IV Player of the Year, High School All-American Highest Honorable Mention, First Team All-State, All-Division and All-League in Grade 12. She was The San Diego Union-Tribune Academic Athlete in 2013 and 2014 and served as team captain in her senior year.

Michaela also competed for six seasons with Coast Volleyball Club where she earned three medals in the Junior National Championships—bronze at the 2010, gold at the 2012, and another bronze in 2013. She was an All-American player and went on to play at Harvard where she was Co-Captain her Junior year.

“Michaela epitomized the saying ’best effort, best attitude, best teammate’ on a daily basis, maintaining and exceeding the standard expected of those in the Parker Girls Volleyball program. Her success on the court was matched by her work in the classroom, earning her a scholarship to and eventual diploma from, Harvard University.

Michaela is a shining example of a dynamic young woman molded through Parker’s championship girls volleyball program, and a most worthy inductee into Parker’s Hall of Fame.”

– Coach John Landicho

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Parker’s Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes individual athletes from Parker whose contributions have made a significant impact on the Parker athletic program. This year we are honoring six Parker alumni athletes including Zuri Walker ’10, Shane Mahvi ’13, Michaela Dews ’14, Christian Sourapas ’15, Sasha Stephens ’15, and Nick Allen ’17.

Join us at the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 4 pm at Parker’s Linda Vista Campus. Look for more information from the Alumni Office this fall.

Christian Sourapas ’15 BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

In the words of Coach DJ Walcott, Christian Sourapas “was fast. He was fast in football, baseball, and really, really fast on the track. No one before or after has run as fast as Christian Sourapas at Parker. The 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay records attached to his name still stand almost a decade later.” This Parker phenom was a four-year Varsity Boys Track and Field athlete in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay events. Christian was First Team All-CIF San Diego Section and 2015 CIF San Diego 200m Champion and went to the State Meet in Track and Field.

Christian went on to run at the University of Oregon and University of Southern California. At Oregon, he was a member of the 4x100m relay team that ran the 2nd fastest time in school history and finished 10th at the NCAA Championships. At USC, Christian came in 3rd at the Pac-12 Championships, finished 32nd at the NCAA West Prelims, was featured on USC’s 4x100m relay team which took 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships, 10th at the NCAA Prelims, and 10th at the NCAA Championships in 2016.

“Christian is a Scholar-Athlete Award Winner and also holds the titles of CIF Champion, League Champion, State Finalist, a Special Invitation to Arcadia, Multiple Athlete of the Track Meet awards, and Team MVP.

The greatest attribute of Christian was his generous friendship and sportsmanship. He was the definition of a team player and that made him a Lancer Legend to his teammates well before his induction into Parker’s Hall of Fame.”

– Coach DJ Walcott

Sasha Stephens ’15 GIRLS SOCCER

Four-year Varsity Girls Soccer player Sasha Stephens had long displayed the determination that led to her achievement as Parker’s all-time leading scorer (105) and single-season goals (44).

Coach Marc Thiebach shared an insight into her drive: “Sasha started attending varsity soccer games during Middle School, seeing if our school and program lived up to her expectations. By the start of Grade 8 she assured me she could make the team and not to worry, ‘I’m coming to Parker coach!’ During her first preseason when selecting her uniform, she asked what the school scoring record was and upon hearing it was 100 goals, selected number 25 to remind her that she would need 25 goals per year to hit that mark. By the end of her time at Parker, she was the 2014 First Team All-CIF, team captain, and won the 2014 Coastal League title and the CIF Southern California Regional Championship.”

Sasha played four seasons at the University of Pennsylvania, starting all 16 games during her senior season. Sasha earned an Honorable Mention All-Ivy, was named Ivy League Player of the Week, and was a two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week.

“Sasha graduated as the School’s all-time leading scorer with 105 goals, four time first team selection for the Coastal League, and all CIF selection as a junior, when she scored our team’s winning goal in the program’s first and only regional championship.

Despite all of her athletic accolades, what we’re most proud of is that she turned her experience here at Parker into a successful academic and athletic run in the Ivy Leagues. Oh and by the way, if they had a Hall of Fame category for flag football, we’d be inducting her into that as well.”

– Coach Marc Thiebach

Nick Allen ’17 BASEBALL

Coach Dave Glassey fondly remembers Varsity Boys Baseball player Nick Allen’s deep commitment to his personal development, his team, and the sport: “Nick was one of the hardest-working players I ever coached.”

Nick played shortstop for four years on Parker’s Varsity Baseball team and finished with an astounding field percentage of .963. As a Junior, Nick averaged .469/.570/.816. As a Senior, he hit .297 with two home runs, ten doubles, and 23 stolen bases. In 124 games played, Nick batted .372 with 156 hits, 63 RBI, and 119 runs scored. He was named 2017 High School All-American.

After Parker, Nick was drafted by the Athletics in the 3rd round of the 2017 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He was added to Oakland’s roster on April 18, 2022, and made his Major League Baseball debut the following day as the second starting baseman. Nick collected his first career hit on April 22, 2022, and hit his first major league home run on June 21 of the same year. Athletics Nation named Nick the A’s Rookie of the Year in 2022.

In addition to these phenomenal achievements, Nick is a silver medal winner for Team USA Baseball in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Nick also served as the Olympic Team Captain, and batted 6-for-21 (.286) in six games with a home run, two doubles, one walk, and five strikeouts. Following the Olympics competition, Nick was named Best Defensive Player.

“Nick was always working to make himself the best player he could be. He was also helping other players on the team to improve because ‘team’ was very important to him. Success for Nick was how the team did, not how he did.”

– Coach Dave Glassey 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 17


Mark Laser ’77 (above with wife Dénise) has settled in Colorado after working in oil and gas control systems in the early part of his career and later leading international teams as a director in silicon chip design. Now retired for six years, Mark and Dénise enjoy outdoor activities in Colorado.

Robert Ilko ’82 is working with the San Diego Police Department as a Crisis Interventionist. He also has served as the Vice-Chair of the City of San Diego Citizens Advisory Board on Police-Community Relations for the past year and was previously Secretary for two years. He completed the FBI Citizens Academy at the San Diego Field Office in early 2022 and joined the Congregation Beth Israel Security Committee in 2020. He obtained Situational Awareness Specialist (SAS) Certificate in 2022 and is pursuing the Advanced Practitioner qualification.

Déborah Fortain ’04 (above) lives in Meharin, a village in the French part of the Basque country on the Pyrenean foothills and works as a freelance translator specializing in wine, food, and agriculture. Déborah volunteers her time to promote agroforestry that mitigates the effect of global warming on agriculture. She has two children, Elena (9) and Antton (6).

Jeff Silberman ’75 and wife Karen (above) were awarded the University of California San Diego Chancellor’s Medal in recognition of their work supporting promising students. The Silbermans were proud to advance the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program which supports high-achieving students who have demonstrated financial need by providing full tuition, fees, and housing. They also were also honored for their role in establishing the Rady School of Management’s Belonging Initiative, which aims to transform the landscape of business education by creating greater access for students of all backgrounds to pursue a business economics major. Jeff also served as Chair of the UCSD Foundation.

Lisa Rapallo ’93 (above) is enjoying traveling and a rewarding career in hospital social work services after stints in television and film production, nonprofit administration, and teaching. Lisa is recently engaged and has accepted a position with a community nonprofit in Anchorage, AK, assisting Alaska Natives to escape the multitude of factors that prevent them from living their best lives.

Anne Gillman Cronin ’06 (above) and her husband Kevin welcomed their son, Terence John Cronin, on September 19, 2022. Two-year old daughter Anna is already a great big sister. The Cronin family will move from Hawaii to work at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, in the fall.

Todd Pratum ’75 is working to raise funds to re-open

The Pratum Children’s Library (above) in Oakland, CA, which serves a mix of homeless children living in shelters, kids in foster group homes, and other children in Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. It contains 14,000 carefully curated books, custom shelving, cozy furniture, games, art supplies, puppets, science equipment, and much more. Thousands of books are given away each year, creating access to books and literacy for children in this “palace of learning.” The library is Todd’s defining achievement after 41 years in the book industry.

Cassidy Lichtman ’07 (above) was named to Adweek’s seventh edition of the annual list of Most Powerful Women in Sports and was awarded the 2022 Civic Leadership Award by EY. Recently, she helped launch Athletes Unlimited’s Volleyball, the first professional volleyball league on U.S. soil in over 30 years where she played in the first two seasons and now holds the title of Director of Volleyball. Cassidy also sits on the Board of USA Volleyball and is the founder of the nonprofit P/ATH.

Page 18 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Francis Parker School
Sarah Dawe ’02 and her husband Ryan Karlsgodt welcomed their son, Archer James Dawe Karlsgodt (above), in August of 2022.

Louisa Frahm ’08 (above) is SEO Director at ESPN. Prior to taking this position she enjoyed a series of exciting digital marketing roles at E! Entertainment, Yahoo!, TMZ, People Magazine, the LA Times, and Google. Her work at ESPN has lucratively combined her professional skill set with her lifelong love of sports. From California to Connecticut, she’s excited to contribute to the Disney universe of brands and take her career to the next level.

Rob Wohl ’19 (above) graduated from Santa Clara University this June with a double major in History and Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. At Santa Clara University he was a member of three honors societies and two honors programs. Rob recently presented at Johns Hopkins University’s 2023 Macksey Symposium in Baltimore on royalist political thought in post-revolutionary France. He was awarded the 2023 Hoefer Undergraduate Writing Prize, in the category of student-authored essay, for “Masking Evil: St. Domingan Émigrés in the Philadelphian Press, 1789-1793.” He credits Parker, specifically Phil Trotter and former faculty members Chuck Wineholt and Marc Thiebach, with encouraging his love of history and political science.

George Gildred ’48, (above) age 90, passed away peacefully at his home in Point Loma on June 9, 2023. A native San Diegan, he attended Francis Parker School in his early years and went on to earn a BA in political science from Stanford University. In addition to his service as an intelligence officer in the Navy, George served as President of the Gildred Development Company. Throughout his life, George was an effective and generous community leader, serving on the Boards of the Zoological Society of San Diego and UCSD Foundation, as Chair and President of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 1975, George was named Honorary Consul of the Republic of Chile in San Diego and served until his death. George received the UCSD Distinguished Service Medal in 1987 and was recognized as one of San Diego’s distinguished leaders when he received Rotary’s Mr. San Diego award in 2003.

Kenan Pala ’22 (above) is currently studying economics at Yale University and was named to the 2023 USATF U20 Mountain Running Team slated to compete in the second World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Stubai–Innsbruck, Austria.

Brian Keyser ’87 (above) graduated from Georgetown University with a Master of Science in Health and Public Interest. The program gives Brian the tools needed to pursue his long-held passion for reforming the healthcare system.

position as Assistant Account Executive on the corporate team at Edelman.

Emily Potts ’18 (above) earned her Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University, graduating Cum Laude with honors in May 2022. She is now a “Double Deac,” with a Master of Science in Biomedical Science from the University. Emily will remain in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and has accepted a full-time position as a scribe at Oak Street Health as she prepares to apply to medical school.

Danielle Gerger ’18 (above) joined the U.S. Peace Corps as a sustainable agriculture volunteer in Paraguay upon graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 2022. She is working with rural communities on best practices to adapt local agriculture to a changing climate while preserving cultural values. After her service, she plans on attending law school to study global human rights as they relate to the environment.

Robyn Bitner Owens ’82 (above) was born in San Diego and spent most of her life in Point Loma. She graduated from Francis Parker School (1982) and San Diego State University (1987) and went on to be Branch Manager at Lady Foot Locker and then at PortaMedic. A single parent and avid gardener and crafter, she also served as treasurer for Westminster Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her daughter Alexandra (Owens) Sigler, granddaughters Parker and Sydney Sigler, sister Courtney (Bitner) Maheras, and mother, JoAnn (Bitner). 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin Page 19
your news with the Parker Alumni community, including professional milestones, personal news, wedding and birth announcements, and obituaries. Email your updates to
Thomas Marshall ’14 (above) graduated from Columbia University in New York with an MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction on May 17, 2023. Anna Gamboa ’15 has started a new position at CBRE Investment Management as an Associate, Client Care in New York City. Andie Ezquerro ’17 (above) graduated with her master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Andie is headed to San Francisco where she accepted a full-time

Join Us at Upcoming Alumni Events

Reconnect with classmates, teachers, colleagues, and friends at Parker Alumni events throughout the year. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events and check your email for more information from the Alumni Office including more ways to stay connected. Email with questions.

Parker Retiree’s

“We’re not at school!” Brunch

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023

10 am

San Diego, CA

Alumni Prospective Parent Coffee

Monday, Sept. 11, 2023

8:30 am

Mission Hills Campus

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

4:30 pm

Linda Vista Campus

Parker Homecoming

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

5 to 9 pm

Linda Vista Campus

Alumni-Student Fall Games (Football, Basketball, Water Polo)

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

Morning to afternoon

Linda Vista Campus and off-site pool

Alumni Turkey Bowl All Class Reunion

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

4 to 6 pm

Off-site location

Alumni-Student Winter Games (Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball/Softball)

Friday, Dec. 22, 2023

Morning to afternoon

Linda Vista Campus

Alumni Platinum Reunion

Classes of 1945-1972

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024

2 to 4 pm

The Head of School Home

NEW! Rising Star Alumni and Outstanding Alumni Awards

Friday, Mar. 22, 2024


Linda Vista Campus

Senior to Alumni Keychain Ceremony

Thursday, May 30, 2024

5:30 to 7:30 pm

Linda Vista Campus

Plus, FPS Events coming to San Francisco and Chicago in 2024

A new annual awards series started by the School and voted on by the Exploratory Parker Alumni Council to recognize alumni who embody the ideals of intellect, initiative, and social responsibility—the essence of a Parker education.

Photos from Parker Alumni events in 2022-2023

Page 20 2023 Annual Alumni Bulletin
Francis Parker
Alumni-Student Volleyball Game FPS in NYC Class of 2002 Reunion Class of 1993 celebrates Chris Harrington Alumni at Homecoming 2022 Alumni Athletes at Dave Glassey s Yearbook Dedication Alumni-Student Soccer Game Alumni Keychain Ceremony at the Senior Dinner Platinum Reunion Last Decade Reunion Class of 1987 Reunion

Parker Moment

This May, Lauer Field buzzed with energy as Parker’s Upper School students competed against each other in the 2023 Parker Bowl. Previously known as the Powder Puff football game, this annual tradition has evolved over the decades at Parker but remains as festive and popular as ever. Parker Bowl is held in the spring after most sports seasons have ended, allowing more students to participate as players and officials. This spirited event is a celebration of Parker’s female athletes and a wonderful way to bring the classes together.

Who took the trophy this year? The Class of 2024 reigned supreme for the second year in a row, but in Parker Bowl tradition, the Classes of 2025, 2026, and 2027 are standing by, ready to take them on next year.

6501 LINDA VISTA ROAD SAN DIEGO, CA 92111 NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID FRANCIS PARKER SCHOOL FIRST NAME LAST NAME ADDRESS CITY, STATE ZIP JOIN TEAM parker forward Choose your position at or call us at 858/874-3374 Questions? Email us at DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT The Vassiliadis Family Million Dollar Challenge The Vassiliadis family will match every dollar raised up to $1 million in support of Parker Forward. A gift at any level is deeply appreciated. Give at or 858-874-3383 Want to learn more about Parker Forward? Email Your name here! BRANDON WILLIAMS-JONES 93 MAKE YOUR MARK ON PARKER'S FUTURE home of the lancers donor wall Alumni have the unique opportunity to add their name to these fabulous new facilities! With a gift of $1 000 (a special gift level just for alumni) your name will be added to the Home of the Lancers donor wall prominently featured on the main entrance of the Silberman Student Life Center. Act by July 31 2023, to add your name to the wall! JOIN TEAM PARKER FORWARD DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 31, 2023! Parker is proud to launch Parker Forward, a significant investment in student health and wellness, community, and play, including: y An expansion to the Silberman Student Life Center y A pool for competition and physical education in the Douglas Aquatic Center y A state-of-the-art 2-court gym in the Vassiliadis Student Life Center Is this your preferred address? If you did not receive this magazine at your current address (or parents of alumni, if your child no longer maintains a permanent residence at your home), please notify the Alumni Office ( or 858/874-3372) to update our records.

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