Categorized | Education

Dunn named Parker head of school for 2020


Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn

The Parker School board of directors is pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Stephen Dunn to be the next head of school, effective July 1, 2020.  Dunn will become the eighth head of school since its founding in 1976.

“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,” shared David B. Kirk, Parker School board president.

“We are thrilled to have attracted a leader with Stephen’s experience, education, and passion for educating the whole child,” said Kirk.  Dunn is universally described as warm and personable, and a great listener.  He is known for strong relationships with faculty, students, and their families. Dunn has proven skills in enrollment, curriculum development, fundraising, financial management, and many other areas that are of critical importance to Parker School. Kindness and a sense of humor are trademarks of his leadership style.

Dunn brings more than 15 years of independent school administrative and teaching experience at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut; The Nueva School, a student-centered school known for its project-based program in Silicon Valley; and Texas A&M University. In addition, Dunn 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, Dunn and his wife Dr. Sheri Lyn Schmidt have one son who lives in Bozeman, MT. Sheri’s Ed.D is in social justice education, and she has immediate family members on Hawaii Island.  Together, they have visited Sheri’s family for the past twenty-six 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.  “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,” stated Kirk.

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,” shared Dunn.

To learn more about Parker School’s next head of school, please visit to read a short Q&A with Stephen Dunn.

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