The School ranked highest among San Diego independent schools 

By Matthew Piechalak | 

Parker has been ranked among the top STEM schools in the country, according to Newsweek’s “Top STEM High Schools 2020” report released earlier this month. 

The School landed at No. 195 out of 500 schools ranked and grabbed the highest spot among independent schools in San Diego. The State of California had 82 schools ranked on the list, including top-ranked Stanford Online High School.  

“This is such great news,” says Dr. Monica Gillespie, Parker Head of Upper School. “At Parker, STEM is part of our DNA with expert faculty who inspire our students and generations to keep asking questions and creating solutions. Combine dynamic and expert faculty with talented and curious students and the result is discovery, design, and action.” 

Newsweek partnered with to rank America’s best STEM schools. 

Children are natural STEM students,” Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper states in her introduction to the report. “They love to explore the properties of sand and water, to build towers (and knock them down), to count their Halloween candy or track sports statistics. We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way.” 

Parker Middle and Upper School teacher Ryan Griggs founded the School’s Robotics program in 2007. Ryan is the Robotics director and head faculty mentor for Parker’s FIRST Robotics Team 2485, better known as the W.A.R. Lords (We Are Robot Lords). 

Earlier this year, the team won the FIRST 2019 Regional Chairman’s Award. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to “inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology,” according to

“This ranking is a testament to the commitment by our School during the past decade to inspire students to evermore ardently pursue STEM,” Ryan says. “Our shift to a physics-first curriculum, investments in robotics and programming, dynamic and evolving science and math offerings, development of design spaces, have all helped bolster the education we offer.” 

The entire list will be published in an upcoming edition of Newsweek Magazine.