by Head of Upper School Dr. Monica Gillespie


new year is here. This week, we celebrated the first day of school, an exciting day for everyone in our Parker community. Our talented faculty and staff have been preparing for the school year by spending time over the summer enriching themselves through conferences, workshops, classes, and travel. They have explored their many talents and interests that inspire their passion for teaching and supporting students. The energy on campus is palpable as colleagues share their ideas, perspectives, and teaching strategies. We are ready!

Without a doubt, every year of Upper School is important in the development of your children and contributes to their growth as students and members of the community. However, two grades have a special significance. The first day of school can feel emotional for parents of Grade 9 students as it is the first day of Upper School and the beginning of their journey in Parker’s top division. Watching them fling water balloons into towels during a lively relay on Lauer Field last Wednesday night at Orientation, I know from their laughter and joy (almost all night long as we camped out in the gym) that they have made new friends and are coming together as a class. 

I also understand that New Year’s Day for seniors can be poignant for parents as memories of children with brand new shoes and backpacks almost as big they were come flooding back. They do grow up quickly, but they are where they should be because of your love. They are hard-working and committed to their learning and to making a meaningful difference in the world. And, they are ready to lead. They have been ready since June! 

We are looking forward to supporting students as they explore their interests, expand their horizons, and navigate the many aspects of upper school life. They will be surrounded by educators who care deeply about providing engaging learning experiences and inspiring their students. 

Here’s to an inspiring New Year! 

Dr. Monica Gillespie
Head of Upper School