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 321 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. In 2003, the Zero Tolerance Policy on drugs and alcohol was established to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment.

Some examples of Parker School successes include:

  • 100% of the class of 2018 was accepted into a four-year college or university
  • 17 students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program in the last seven years, including five Finalists
  • 37 speech and debate students, the largest in school history, qualified for the 2018 Hawai’i State Speech and Debate Championship Tournament on O’ahu
  • 5 students recognized among the top 1% nationally by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards over the last four years, plus 19 additional students earned regional recognition
  • two U.S. Presidential Scholars in 2013 and 2014 (Parker had four semi-finalists in four years, three of whom advanced as finalists and two who were named U.S. Presidential Scholars)
  • four years in a row Parker Athletics earned first place honors by 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 seven years in a row

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 site of 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 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

HEADMASTERS:

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