Dear Parker Community:
It is with great pleasure that we announce that on Friday, January 21, the Board of Trustees voted to appoint Brian Harrigan as Parker’s next Head of School beginning in July 2022. Brian has accepted the position, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our community.
We believe that Brian will be a highly competent and confident steward of Parker’s program; his quick intelligence, strong interpersonal skills, and intentional, values-driven leadership style are a strong match for us. He deeply believes in student-centered education and has demonstrated a commitment to upholding the potential of every student in more traditional school districts. He is excited to bring this passion to Parker, where that value is integral to our core mission and everyday school structures.
Brian first learned about Parker over a decade ago when he visited the school to learn more about our Senior Projects. Parker’s program rang true to him then, and he brought Senior Projects to each school he has worked at since. Committed to a positive school culture, Brian is known as a transparent leader with strong listening skills. He cares deeply about hearing from all constituencies and tending to democratic voice within the institution. He has advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion work in his prior schools, and his references routinely describe him as dynamic, trustworthy, supportive, collaborative, perceptive, genuine, and well-respected. His deep respect for people and for learning showed through when he visited us on campus; these qualities were highlighted often by his current and former colleagues.
As a community, we were lucky to have three excellent finalists for this position—and of the three, Brian is the best fit for Parker at this time. Brian’s experience with Massachusetts public schools will be an asset for us as we navigate the years ahead. His business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit will serve Parker well as we approach our fourth decade. Continuing to deepen our long-term institutional sustainability is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that’s well matched to Brian’s skills and temperament. He loves this kind of external work, and his prior experience has a lot to offer Parker as we plan for the future.
Brian’s appointment marks a tremendous and bittersweet moment in Parker’s history. He will succeed Todd Sumner, who has faithfully served Parker for eleven highly successful years. Todd’s impact on our community is immeasurable and enduring; we are grateful that his stewardship has led us to this exciting new chapter. As a community, we will have the opportunity (later this spring) to recognize, celebrate, and thank Todd for his service and many contributions.
The Board would like to extend our gratitude to the entire Parker community for all the ways students, staff, faculty, and families participated in this process over the past several months. We owe our deepest thanks to the nine members of the Search Committee—Marena Cole, Henry Schrader, Theo Puterbaugh, Pam Gordon, Mara Edgar, Kayla McClellan, Amy Jolly, Glenn Penna, and Deb Merriam. This team did a tremendous amount of work in a very short span of time, and they were thoughtful, good-humored, and dedicated throughout the many phases of the work (including on snow days, holidays, and weekends!). We are so appreciative of their commitment to this important work and their facilitation of a process that yielded such wonderful results.
In the weeks ahead, we will work to form transition plans with Brian. We know he is excited to meet our community and begin to work with us, and we will keep you informed of opportunities to meet Brian in the months ahead. Upon his acceptance, Brian shared the following sentiments: "I am honored and thrilled to be joining Parker as the next Head of School. Parker is a model for what school should be. I am so impressed by the students, families and staff who make Parker so special. Thank you for welcoming me. I can't wait to get started!"
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Brian.
Chair, Board of Trustees