History

Parker School is a non-profit, college-preparatory independent day school fully accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Established in 1976 by community leaders, Parker School has been an important community resource for education, dedicated to serving a diverse student body for four decades.

Parker began as a ninth through twelfth-grade high school. Middle school grades seven and eight were added in 1977, and for a time, the entire middle school was located in the Annex building next to Kahilu Hall. A sixth grade came and went before being added permanently in 2004, and a lower school was established for kindergarten through fifth grade in 2005.

Today, Parker School is thriving and serves more than 300 kindergarten through twelfth-grade students. The school has sustained its commitment to maintaining tuition at a reasonable level and providing tuition assistance to students in need (currently nearly 50% of the student body). The guiding values at Parker are excellence, integrity, and compassion, and students enjoy: a rigorous academic program; hands-on experiential learning; an excellent arts program; leadership opportunities; exciting extra-curricular activities such as debate, athletics, drama, and dance; opportunities for hands-on community service; a nurturing atmosphere; and a true sense of ‘ohana, extended family. 

Some examples of Parker School successes include:

  • 100% of the class of 2020 was accepted into a four-year college or university
  • 19 students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program in the last nine years, including five Finalists, four semifinalists, and ten commended students.
  • 7 students recognized among the top 1% nationally by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the last six years, plus 75 additional regional awards earned 
  • 1st place sweepstakes trophy by our upper school speech and debate team at the University of Utah Beehive Classic Tournament in Salt Lake City in 2019 (against 40 schools from five states and 1,200 participants), becoming the first-ever Hawai’i debate team to place first at a major college-hosted mainland tournament
  • 1st place honors six years in a row by Parker Athletics in HMSA’s Kaimana Awards for achievements in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, healthy activities, and community service
  • students in grades K-12 raised over four tons of food for local food banks at Thanksgiving time for the last ten years 

Parker graduates go on to attend a wide range of four-year colleges or universities across the United States and abroad. Each year, more students are accepted into Ivy League and other top schools such as: Stanford; University of California, Berkeley; Harvard; Yale; Dartmouth; Duke; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Brown; Wesleyan; Bennington College; Sarah Lawrence College; Pomona; Cornell; Haverford College; New York University; and Tufts.

TIMELINE:

  • 1976 - Parker School founded
  • 1977 - Middle school grades added
  • 1995 - Parker School acquires land for the site of our future lower school campus
  • 2003 – Parker institutes its Zero Tolerance Policy on drugs and alcohol
  • 2004 - Parker School builds three new buildings to house the newly expanded middle school 
    • First Advanced Placement course added (AP Language & Composition)
    • Dramatiques after-school drama program founded for grades 6-12
  • 2006 - Parker School begins lower school program
  • 2007 - New lower school campus opens
  • 2009 - The first SmartBoards are installed in math and science classrooms; all classrooms outfitted the following year.
  • 2010 - Use permit acquired to complete a master plan that was created in 2008 (soccer field, future gym, future middle school buildings)
  • 2012 - Regulation-size soccer field complete
  • 2013 - One-to-one iPad initiative launched
  • 2015 - Kahilu Hall, also known as the “Upper Hall,” turns 100; See a detailed timeline of Kahilu Hall here
  • 2016 - Parker School celebrates 40th anniversary
  • 2020 - New Head of School, Stephen Dunn, navigates Parker through educating students during a worldwide pandemic

Headmasters/Heads of SchooL:

  • Janice Unger, Headmaster  1976-1977
  • Dr. Carlo Brizzolara, Headmaster  1977-1978
  • Burk Faraola, Headmaster  1978-1984
  • Dr. E.S. Van Gorder, Headmaster  1984-1987
  • Stan Shutes, Headmaster  1987 (interim, part of year)
  • Dr. Alan Saunders, Headmaster  1987-1990
  • Peiper Toyama, Headmaster  1990-2002
  • Dr. Carl Sturges, Headmaster  2002-2020
  • Stephen Dunn, Head of School 2020-present