25th Celebration Ted S(izer) Talks Presenters
Toby Arnold, class of 2002
Toby Arnold graduated from Parker in 2002 and then from The Evergreen State College with a B.A. concentration in Maritime Studies and non-profit management. While living in Washington, he worked as a sailing instructor and youth educator for the North West Schooner Society, a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and managed a commercial shellfish farm. In 2007, Toby moved to the Virgin Islands where he worked as a sailboat captain and raced sailboats professionally. His time working on the water and teaching technical skills lead him to want to focus his career on teaching and leadership development.
In 2010 Toby then moved to Maine and became the program director for Rippleffect; a non-profit organization in Portland ME serving over 4,000 people a year. Rippleffect is dedicated to promoting human development and leadership through adventure, healthy communities and sustainable living. Throughout his time at Rippleffect, Toby has innovated, developed and implemented high school wilderness leadership courses that have been integrated into the school day for students in public schools around Maine. He has also developed alpine and sea kayak training programs for students interested in becoming wilderness guides. His love of adventure has led to paddling and climbing expeditions around the globe. Toby is a passionate educator, community builder, and adventurer, who is happiest when climbing in the mountains, and exploring the woods and waters with his family, friends and youth participants. Toby, his wife Shannon, and their two sons live in Windham, Maine.
Sara Bailey, Parker faculty 2010-2016Sara is the Adult Culture Lead with Astra Center for Innovative Education. In this role, she studies and writes about the many ways schools can build and maintain positive collegial relationships based on mutual respect, shared purpose, and trust and the benefits of this kind of adult culture for all members of the school community. Sara also gets to spend time visiting schools across the country, learning about what makes them excel and what gets in their way. Previously, Sara worked at Parker for six incredible years, teaching in Divisions 1 and 2 as an AH teacher, co-directing the Division 1 play, and working for two years as a mentor in the NTC program. She graduated from Boston College in 2008, earning a dual degree in Secondary Education and English. The through line in all of her learning and work has been prioritizing deep relationships with students, colleagues, and families; she believes that the most important work schools can be doing is getting to know all of the occupants of the building and helping further their continued development (including her own). Sara now lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, two sons, and cats.
Keaton Brandt, class of 2012
Keaton (he/him; Parker ‘12, Rensselaer ‘16) is a senior software engineer at Google, based in Seattle, Washington. He currently leads a project that aims to diversify Google’s pool of beta testers, with a particular focus on ensuring representation for people with disabilities and other accessibility needs. He has also contributed to Google Allo, Android Messages, RCS (the next generation of SMS text messaging), and Google Search. While in college Keaton co-founded 3am LLC, a freelance design firm that built branded digital experiences for musicians. 3am worked with Childish Gambino to create the Pharos music festival (for which Keaton served as a technical director) as well as the Deep Web Tour, which won the 2015 MTV Woodie award for best “Next Level Performance”. In his free time Keaton enjoys going on hikes with his dog Buttercup, as well occasionally trying to break into the standup comedy scene before realizing how hard it is and just going back to software development.
Em Kelley, class of 2013Em Kelley (they/he), a member of Parker’s 2013 graduating class, went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from Guilford College in North Carolina (’17). In January of this year, they completed their Master’s degree in Women’s Gender & Sexuality from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. For his Master’s project, he focused on “queering” the development of precollege programs in hopes of bettering future programs such as the one he helped bring to life at Brandeis; Queer Academics & Activism.
Kyle Reeves, class of 2007
Kyle graduated from Parker in 2007 with his senior project exploring the history of American volunteerism in China. After completing his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he defended his PhD in physical chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There he developed and applied computational method to understand the electronic response of liquid water to high-energy particle radiation. Following his PhD, Kyle accepted a postdoctoral research position in Paris, France where he began investigating battery materials. Kyle is currently working as a research scientist at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique) where his latest project proposed systems to convert otherwise wasted heat into electricity.
Despite being outside of the US, Kyle continues to regularly attend contra dances and has recently started to learn dances from the French region of Brittany. He enjoys the challenges of home fermentation in his tiny, tiny apartment. Kyle has a twin, Kayla, and a brother, Christopher, both of whom are also Parker alumni.
PJ Roduta, class of 2002PJ is a Pittsburgh-based percussionist, dance accompanist, composer, and teacher with a BA in music, an MA in Adult Learning and Training, and 4 months study of traditional Ghanaian music at the University of Ghana. His percussion training at Bennington College with Jazz legend Milford Graves concentrated on folkloric rhythms, avant-garde jazz, and cardiac-centric tono-rhythmology. He is a member of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance, has been a dance accompanist for Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts since 2007, and has been a resident artist at The Space Upstairs since 2007. PJ has composed, recorded, performed and produced 14 professional dance/film scores for dance companies in Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, Dayton, Minneapolis, and NYC. In 2019 alone, PJ was featured on 5 studio albums, and the ensemble for which he plays percussion, Kinetic, was invited on tour in China. In 2017, PJ was appointed full-time accompanist at Point Park University and completed the Mark Morris accompanist training program in Brooklyn. In 2020, PJ earned his masters degree and was awarded the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's Artist Opportunity Grant to apprentice with ritual groove composer Nik Baertsch in Switzerland. PJ is also a juggler and stilt performer. He has taught juggling workshops at Carnegie Mellon University, Point Park University and at the National High School Dance Festival. He founded the Steel City Stilt band, who led the Pittsburgh First Night parade, and performed with Bond Street Theater's NYC-based Shinbone Alley Stilt Band for occasions such as the Tribeca Film Festival and as pre-show entertainment for performances by renowned dance troupes Momix and Pilobolus.
Anthony Shaker, Parker faculty 2006-2010
Bio to come
JP Sullivan, Parker faculty 2010-2015
John "JP" Sullivan - I spent five truly inspiring and deeply satisfying years (2010 - 2015) teaching Division II and Division III MST at Parker. Prior to Parker, I was a founding teacher at the Williamsburg Charter HIgh School in Brooklyn. Having grown frustrated with a system so focused around content and reliant solely on standardized testing, conveniently coupled with a temporary family relocation from NYC to Massachusetts, I sought and found so much of the educational alternative I was looking for at Parker. I look back upon my time at Parker with such fondness and appreciation for everything the community, it's teachers, it's students and it's message stand for. Even though I had already been teaching for a decade prior, to me, Parker was my graduate school and student teaching placement rolled into one. After five years of Parker "rewiring" and first hand exposure and practice of what teaching and learning can look, sound and feel like, I returned to the Brooklyn vowing to bring bring back and implement my invaluable experience to a new school that was still primarily teaching, learning and assessing in the same way. Currently, I am the Director of Teacher and Student Development at MESA (Math Engineering and Science Academy) High School in Bushwick Brooklyn where my two primary responsibilities are project-based curriculum development, in-house professional development and teacher coaching. From coordinating our Social Action Capstone Projects, to working with teachers on the development of performance based assessments to facilitating professional development sessions around the role critical thinking and authentic problem solving play in curriculum and life beyond school, the profound influence that Parker has had on me and my career can be seen in virtually all aspects of my current role and career. On the personal front, since my time at Parker I have continued to formalize and advance my deep interest in civic engagement and local government with a particular interest in the role that public space and the built environment plays in an equitable and civic-minded community.