Anxious to return to her hometown, Stacey Patsko jumped at the chance to move back to San Diego. In August, Stacey accepted the position as Parker’s Upper School dean of students, leaving her position as dean of students and middle school athletic director at the Texas Military Institute Episcopal in San Antonio, Texas.
As dean of students, Stacey is a member of the Upper School student life team working closely with the associate head of Upper School, associated student body, grade level deans, advisors, and others in academics to support student learning at Parker.
“As part of the student life team, I get to be a part of the decision making of how to provide the best learning environment for our students,” says Stacey. “More than the physical places on Campus, I help shape our character education program in the Upper School.”
For the 2018-19 school year, the Upper School character education program focuses on a specific theme each trimester. This year’s themes are teamwork, defining self/identity, and ethical decision making. The program provides students with the soft skills they need beyond school and helps students navigate their teenage years—a time Stacey believes is the most exciting time to be a teacher.
“I always knew I wanted to go into education,” says Stacey. “In a way, you have a say in how the next generation is shaped. Everyone remembers their high school experience. Being able to draw from my own experiences and memories as a teen to help my students navigate through life is very meaningful.”
Guiding students through the toughest times and lifting them up to reach their potential is second nature for Stacey as she was a college girls basketball coach for more than 26 years—even serving as assistant head coach at the University of California, San Diego.
I hope Parker students live their best lives in high school. Continue to set high goals for yourself and remember to have fun and enjoy the lifelong friendships you’ll make along the way.
“It was different coming to Campus and not being called ‘Coach’—that has been a part of my identity for a long time,” says Stacey. “While I miss the idea of coaching, my body is much happier in the classroom than on the court.”
For the new year, Stacey says she is excited to be a part of the great ideas the student life team has come up with to help students grapple with finding who they are while keeping a healthy balance between the demands of school and social life.
“I hope Parker students live their best lives in high school,” says Stacey. “Continue to set high goals for yourself and remember to have fun and enjoy the lifelong friendships you’ll make along the way.”