Our Board

david b. kirk, ph.d.  | President

Dr. Kirk joined the Parker School Board in 2016 with 30 years of experience in the software and technology industry.  For 12 of these years, Dr. Kirk served as chief scientist for NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing.  In this role, he led the development of graphics technology for gaming, professional, and consumer entertainment platforms.  Dr. Kirk currently serves as an NVIDIA fellow and individual contributor.  In 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumni award from the California Institute of Technology and was elected into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2006 for his role in bringing high-performance graphics to personal computers. Dr. Kirk is the inventor of more than 60 patents and patent applications relating to graphics design and has published more than 50 articles on graphics technology.  He also authored the popular textbook “Programming Massively Parallel Processors” along with co-author Wen-mei W. Hwu.  Dr. Kirk holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from California Institute of Technology.  He says, “I am very excited to be part of the Parker School community.  The excellent quality of the education and the warm feelings of community make Parker School attendance a powerful life-enhancing experience for the students.”  He and his wife Caroline Landry enjoy outdoor activities including skiing, bicycling, surfing, swimming, and paddle boarding.  His two children are thrilled to attend Parker School.


Mimi Kerley  |  Vice President

Born and raised in Waimea, Ms. Kerley joined Parker’s Board of Directors in 2016 and is a graduate of Parker School, Class of ‘91. After a year in France, she attended the University of Colorado, Boulder and graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in information systems and international business. Ms. Kerley worked in Europe and the U.S. as a technology consultant with Cambridge Technology Partners and as a freelancer analyzing, testing, and designing websites and computer software. In 2002, living in San Francisco, she joined a small business as a partner, Limina Application Office, which specialized in the front-end design of complex software (mostly biotech) and transactional websites. In 2013, after the birth of her daughter (second child), Ms. Kerley left the partnership to focus on raising her children and contributing to the Waimea community. She is currently serving as the President of the Board at Kahilu Theatre while also engaged in other community projects. She has two children, both of whom attend Parker School. Ms. Kerley shares, “I’m a proud Parker School graduate! This gave me the support and confidence I needed to successfully navigate the world beyond the confines of my high school ‘ohana.”


Carolyn Stewart  |  Secretary

Carolyn Stewart has 26 years experience working in coastal and marine resources management. While she is currently on hiatus from this work, Ms. Stewart remains vice president and principal consultant with Marine and Coastal Solutions (MCS) International, Inc. She currently works as Director of Communications for an independent college counseling company serving clients all over the world. Ms. Stewart has lived in Hawai‘i since 1990 and Waimea since 1996. She has been a member of the Parker Board since 2012 and also serves on the boards of Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization and Malama Kai Foundation, for which she is the founder and president. She is the mother of two Parker graduates. “Parker School has played an important role in shaping my children into kind, articulate and globally-aware young adults,” says Ms. Stewart. “The quality of the teachers and staff, small class sizes, extra-curricular offerings, and embracing sense of ‘ohana make Parker School a one-of-a-kind learning environment!”


Max Ostner  |  treasurer

Born in Tennessee, Mr. Ostner is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound. New to Parker School’s Board of Directors in 2018, Mr. Ostner is a private investor and has two boys, both of whom attend Parker School. He also serves on the board of directors at two other nonprofit organizations, including Gig Harbor Academy and Fox Island Community Association. Mr. Ostner shares, “Parker’s small school environment and well-rounded opportunities drew us to the school.  Both of our kids are thriving academically, emotionally, and socially at Parker School and truly enjoy going to school every day.”


David D. Higgins  | Director

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Higgins received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard College followed by his law degree from Boston University School of Law. He represented the United States in rowing in the 1968 Olympics. Prior to law school, he served as navigation officer on a US Navy frigate. After practicing corporate law for a large Boston firm in the 1970s, he and his wife, a physician, and their two young children spent five years at sea living on board a gaff schooner in the Pacific. Their extended voyage began in Maine and ended in Okinawa and included a year in New Zealand. In 1984, Mr. Higgins and his family moved to O’ahu where he and his wife founded Marimed Foundation, a public charity that provided primary healthcare services in Micronesia in the 80s and 90s and that is currently Hawai’i’s largest provider of residential treatment services to special needs adolescents. In 1986, the charity designed and built a 340-ton, square-rigged sailing vessel to support its program work, and Mr. Higgins served as the ship’s senior captain and then relief captain until 2002 when he returned to the practice of law. In 1996, they moved to Hawai’i Island. From 2006 to 2014 Mr. Higgins was Of Counsel to Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing. He and his wife “Lonny,” a board-certified OB/GYN with a private practice in Waimea, are the proud parents of three adult children and three grandchildren, two of whom currently attend Parker School.


Gerrit M. Keator  |  DIRECTOR

Gerrit Keator has served as Leadership Gifts Officer and Principal Gifts Officer at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts since 2000. He graduated from Andover and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Yale University. Mr. Keator served in the United States Air Force prior to joining the faculty at Greenwich Country Day School in Connecticut. He taught English and was Assistant Headmaster and Dean of Faculty at ‘Iolani School on O’ahu.  Mr. Keator went on to serve as the Headmaster of Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia and Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut. He currently serves on the board of International College in Beirut, Lebanon where from 1989-2000 he served as the President of the College and is now President Emeritus. Over the years he coached football and girls’ and boys’ ice hockey and lacrosse. The Keators, originally from Connecticut, moved from Vermont to Waimea in 2015. Mr. Keator said, “Marnie and I were immediately struck by the ‘ohana atmosphere of Parker School. The size of the school contributes to this as well as having the K-12 grades on one campus. Parker is a relatively small school with a big family spirit. As well, the strength of the academic program throughout the grade levels is clearly evident when one visits classes on any given day”.  Their three sons and eight grandchildren live in Massachusetts and Utah.



Mr. Mitchell is the manager of corporate development at Parker Ranch Inc. and oversees emerging business development, alternative land use, and renewable energy opportunities. Prior to joining Parker Ranch, Mr. Mitchell worked at Apple Inc. and Janus Capital Group. Originally from Colorado, he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University with a multidisciplinary degree in astronomy, psychology, and systems theory, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Mr. Mitchell currently is a Pacific Century Fellow, serves on the Board of Directors at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, the Executive Committee of the Hawai’i Leeward Planning Conference, and is a fellow of the Consortium for Graduate Study of Management, The Toigo Foundation, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow. He and his wife Dr. Janet Mitchell OD, are astronomy and science enthusiasts and enjoy traveling. With a passion for education and learning, Mr. Mitchell says, “I am excited to be a part of the special sense of place and building the unique learning community that Parker School fosters among its students, faculty, and staff, and parents. I am inspired by Parker School’s focus on creating opportunities to engage in experiential learning and making real-world connections with the curriculum, making education impactful for its students and building their capacity to create meaningful change in the world.”



John Richards has been a member of the Parker Board since 2010 and has served on the finance committee and as Board President.  Mr. Richards currently chairs the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee and is a member of the Environmental Council and the Hawai‘i Veterans Memorial Scholarship Fund. Formerly the operations and visitor manager for Kahua Ranch for 12 years, Mr. Richards currently is a partner in Waimea Water Services. The sixth generation of his family to live in Hawai‘i, he received a bachelor of science degree in Animal Science from Washington State University before serving in the U.S. Army, with deployments in Macedonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. He is also a machinist and welder. His two children attend Parker School. Mr. Richards enjoys motorcycles and SCUBA diving. About his involvement on the Parker Board, he says, “Parker School is a great place—outstanding academics with one of the most learning-friendly environments imaginable. I have the honor to be on the board in this exciting time of growth and get to help make great even better.”




Originally from New York, Frances Simperman has lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her adult life. For the past thirteen years, she has lived on the Big Island six months out of each year. Ms. Simperman received a BA in special education from Seattle University and certification as a cytologist from the University of Washington School of Cytology. Currently retired, Ms. Simperman worked as the Director of Cytology for the pathology department at Northgate Hospital before founding the Typesetter Corporation, a commercial printer in Bellevue Washington. In its thirty-five years of operation, the business received numerous accolades, including being named one of the One Hundred Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in the Northwest for three years running and winning numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze Printing Awards. Ms. Simperman was nominated Nelly Cashman “Business Woman of the Year” and was president of the Bellevue chapter of Soroptimist International for three years and a member for twenty years. She is currently a member of the Elsie Pauly Corette Scholarship Fund at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and a board member of the Simperman Foundation in Seattle. A board member since 2014, Ms. Simperman says, “I am very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Parker School Board and their commitment to excellence in the education and development of the children of the Island of Hawai‘i.” Now retired, Ms. Simperman enjoys having time to pursue sewing, reading, swimming and walking. She also enjoys the opportunity to be actively engaged in both her mainland and island communities.


Board of DirectorS Emeriti

Saundra Gulley, served 2007-2018 (Board Chair 2015-2018)

Kenneth J. Fischer, O.D., served 1995-2018 (Board Chair 2001-2009)