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Parker School Board Names New Head of School

October 5, 2019, 5:00 PM HST
* Updated October 5, 4:22 PM
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The Parker School Board has named Stephen Dunn as a new head of school.

Dunn will become the eighth head of school since its founding in 1976. The position will go into effect July 1, 2020.

“The unanimous decision to select Stephen Dunn represents the culmination of an intensive international search that included input from the board, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni, as well as participation from students and extensive reference checks made by all head search committee members,” stated David B. Kirk, Parker School board president in a press release from the private school.

Dunn has worked over 15 years in education, holding independent school administrative and teaching positions at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut. He also worked at The Nueva School, a student-centered school known for its project-based program in Silicon Valley. He also worked at Texas A&M University, where he is an alumnus.

 

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“We are thrilled to have attracted a leader with Stephen’s experience, education, and passion for educating the whole child,” Kirk stated.

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Dunn also spent nearly a decade in executive and leadership positions within the private sector at software development and project management companies in Massachusetts. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration and management and a master of education degree in educational psychology, both from Texas A&M University.

Originally from a small, rural ranching community in South Texas, the release states, Dunn and his wife Dr. Sheri Lyn Schmidt have one son who lives in Bozeman, Montana. Sheri’s degree is in social justice education, and she has immediate family members on Hawai‘i Island. Together, they have visited Sheri’s family for the past 26 years and have fallen in love with the Waimea community.

Dunn will succeed Dr. Carl “Doc” Sturges, who will be retiring this June after completing his 19th year at Parker School.

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“During Dr. Sturges’ time as Headmaster, many changes have come to Parker School, including the formation of a lower school, a thriving debate program, and significant improvements in overall academic strength. Carl leaves Parker School in a place of strength and well-positioned for continued future success. We are grateful for his significant contributions to the Parker story,” Kirk stated.

Sturges commented, “It is a great relief to know the school and students will be in such good hands. Stephen is a first-class educator and leader who will be very good for the school.”

Building upon the growth and success of the past decade, Dunn is tasked with leading Parker School into the future by engaging the school community in developing a shared vision for Parker and overseeing the building and opening of the Center for Sports, Science, and the Arts, among other several exciting initiatives.

“Parker School has embarked on a vision-setting process, and is asking, “What’s next?” I am eager to help discover the answer to this important question,” Dunn said.

To learn more about Parker School’s next head of school, visit www.parkerschoolhawaii.org.

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