By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
We are hearing a lot of talk about sustainability these days, from the environment to the economy, from the classroom to the boardroom. And as an educator, I would argue that
is a critical element of this conversation. After all, when it comes to preparing for a secure and successful future, teachers are the first line of influence on our nation’s next generation of leaders. Here at Francis Parker School, we are celebrating our centennial anniversary this year. On this momentous occasion, it seems fitting to recognize the way in which our educational philosophy has been and will continue to be a testament to sustainable values – and to remember the importance of teaching today’s students to become responsible citizens and stewards of our changing world.
“Sustainability” can be defined most simply as “the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed.” From an environmentalist’s perspective, the term takes on added meaning as “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” But when we apply the concept of sustainability to education, it embodies facets of both definitions. Teachers must prepare their students for a world of unknowns, armed only with the accumulated knowledge we have in our hands. Thus, it is critical to instill the more esoteric values of sustainability – conservation of resources, non-harmful actions, balance and endurance – so that our young people can adapt to the world ahead while preserving current progress.
At Parker, we consider sustainability to be one of our founding principles, and a driving influence on the entirety of our curriculum. Our school is renowned for academic rigor and extracurricular excellence, in-class opportunities and community engagement. It is our aim as educators to bring our students into conversation with fundamental human values and interests through a diverse course of study that exceeds mere classroom exercises. By teaching ethics and interdisciplinary connections through student experience and understanding, as opposed to a more didactic approach, we provide a distinctive college preparatory education designed to stand the test of time. As a result, our graduates are not only intelligent, thoughtful and aware of the world around them; they are also adaptable within and respectful of that world.
Celebrating 100 years of leadership in education
The founders of Francis Parker School believed that adequate education was a vital component of sustainable society. Today, after one hundred years, our experienced educators continue to uphold and exceed this goal. Join us as we take on our next century as a premier educational institution. For more information about
and our stellar reputation among
, contact us online today. Visit