Dear Ranney Families,

I am excited to announce the conclusion of our search for a new Upper School Division Head with the appointment of Ted Parker beginning for the 2023-24 school year. Through January and February, our search committee brought several finalists to campus for meet-and-greets with parents, faculty, students, and staff. We greatly appreciate the participation of everyone involved, as feedback from all of our constituent groups is crucial to a successful vision for the school’s future.
Mr. Parker joins the Ranney School community from the King School in Stamford, CT, an EC through 12th grade school of over 700 students, where he has served as Academic Dean and Associate Head of Upper School for several years. Throughout the process, we were struck by the similarity of our schools in size and community, as well as in the focus on STEAM and Global Studies. Prior to that, he served in many roles at the school, including as an Upper School English Teacher and Coach, Director of Digital Literacy and Innovation, and Upper School Technology Coordinator.

Before landing at King, Mr. Parker started his career as an Instructor at Portsmouth Abbey, a boarding school near Newport and served as a summer school teacher at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. 

Parker credits the Moses Brown School in Providence as a huge early impact and one of the reasons for his career in independent schools. After a great experience there, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and History, Magna Cum Laude, at Middlebury College. He completed his Master of Arts in Private School Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University, where he also did consulting work. Mr. Parker has presented at the NAIS Annual Conference and OESIS on subjects regarding Digital Literacy.

In his educational philosophy about the importance of finding one’s identity in Upper School, Parker wrote. “High schoolers ought to experience enough different ways of thinking, working, and being. . . . to lend them a glimmer of what may motivate them someday to go well beyond just box-checking. Helping students discover their intrinsic motivation is a matter of their lifelong wellness — and a crucial measure of our schools’ success. Students also deserve opportunities to dig deeply and specialize beyond common skills and understandings — not to lock them into a path, but to cultivate a diversity of talents, interests, and experiences across individuals.”

During the interview process, references received for Mr. Parker spoke about his committed relationships and his passion for supporting students as they take on educational challenges. His colleagues value him as a thoughtful practitioner and refer to him as a versatile, talented, and insightful educator. The references touched on Mr. Parker’s ability to understand parents, students, and faculty colleagues, and to help develop bonds among stakeholders, a characteristic that has enabled him to build a positive, forward-thinking, Upper School community.

“At Ranney, I’ve found an opportunity that feels familiar enough for me to apply my experience yet with exciting distinctions that assure me I’ll keep on learning,” said Parker. “Though I feel like I’ve been pursuing Ranney’s mission for my whole career, I’m inspired by the strategic focus on curiosity, leadership, and especially citizenship and resilience, which strike me as so incredibly important right now.” 
Mr. Parker, along with his wife, Heather, a fellow independent school teacher and administrator, and sons, Jamie and Taylor, rising second graders, are excited to learn more about the area and become active members of the community. And Mr. Parker is excited to experience his first Maymester!

This spring, we will introduce the Parker family to the community and ensure a smooth transition with the help of Dr. Greg Martin, who will begin serving as the Assistant Head of School for Academics. I am excited to have Mr. Parker join Ranney’s Upper School, and I am confident that he will make an immediate impact. His experience at and understanding of independent schools will be a great asset as we continue to build momentum for our largest division.

Please join me in welcoming Ted and his family to the area and to Ranney.


Dr. John Griffith