Monday, April 26, 2010

Earth Day celebration

The whole school participated in Earth Day activities, organized by Planet Parker Coordinator, Jamie and science teacher, Kate.

We sang some earth day songs and learned fun earth day facts.  Mixed age groups (my group was the Black Bears) weeded gardens, cleaned the greenhouse, collected creek data, performed a nature scavenger hunt, and much more. Pre K built a raised-bed for sunflowers. The day was sunny and beautiful - and full of earth keeping actions - perfect!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shakespearean splendor

Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Shakespearean idioms, the turkey leg, and much more...Shakespeare Night was a celebration of creativity, confidence, and fun!  Thank you Seano, Eric and Eric, teachers and the parent volunteers.  A great Parker tradition!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Solar power rules

RPI professor and solar energy specialist, David Borton, visited 6-7 science classes on Monday.  David demonstrated a solar oven and many ways that solar energy can be used.  The brownies were very tasty!

The value of a Parker education

Susie and I had a great time in NYC visiting Parker alumni! We also visited with a former Parker teacher, Taeko Onishi.

Jesse Pickard, '98 and Lily Meyer, '97 joined us, along with parent and trustee, Sarah Firisen, at a lively wine and tapas bar on 9th Avenue.  Jesse went to Columbia High School after Parker, then to Syracuse University where he majored in marketing design.  Along the way he got interested in software development.  He just received a highly competitive venture capital grant to develop an iPhone app for teaching foreign language through games.  Lily went to Albany High, then Rochester Institute of Technology, and has been working as a photographer's production assistant in the fashion industry.

Jesse said that the education of his peers in college and in business didn't reinforce the importance of being different.  They were taught to conform and do the expected.  But Jesse believes his education at Parker stressed creativity and freedom.  He also credits Parker with teaching him tolerance, acceptance and the ability to stand up for his convictions.

Taeko taught math at Parker from 1996 -2000 when she left to co-found the Ark Charter School in Troy.  She is now principal at the Lyons Community School, a middle and high school in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  Susie and I visited the school for the afternoon.  With 500 students in its third year, the atmosphere was energetic and bustling - full of promise and caring. 

It has been an inspiration and a joy to connect with our talented and creative alumni students and faculty!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If it's Shakespeare, it must be Spring!

A busy spring week with more work on the 6-7 Solar Vehicle Challenge, Spanish classes held outside, and Shakespeare!  Pre K 3's and 4's petted baby animals at  Hancock Shaker Village.  2-3's touched a real lung and entered a huge ear at the human health exhibition put on by Albany Med.  And a recycling expert visited in K - 8.  Not to mention K-1's continued their bird research, 2-3's moved deeper into their study of India; and 4-5's experimented with wind turbine blade design! 

8th graders are making decisions about next year: from Albany High to Tech Valley High; from boarding at Middlesex to a full boarding scholarship at Buxton; from Darrow, Doane Stuart, and Emma Willard, to many other well-considered options. 


The middle school dance was awesome!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our illustrious alumni

Susie and I went to Washington D.C. to visit with Parker alumni there.  We had a terrific time with Marc Rivera, '94; Jonathan Lord, '97; Matt Martin, '99; and Sadie Banks, '03. 

Marc is an attorney specializing in post-secondary education law issues.  Jon drives a Segway, practices ju jit su, and works for a non-profit promoting Israeli and U.S. relations.  Matt is working for a think tank promoting coalition-building around progressive political views, and Sadie is finishing at George Washington U. majoring in psychology. 

Sadie's brother Aaron was unable to come due to a tonsillectomy.  He has been director of communications for Bono's The One Campaign, and has just been accepted into the foreign service. Marc's sister, Leila Gheitu is singing opera at Syracuse. 

We caught up on many Parker stories and had a great time.  Next week - NYC!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Break!

What a week!  Pirates in Pre K.  Vehicle design challenge.  Spring Sing!  And it even got sunny on Thursday.  Have a great April Break, everyone!