Dr. Gordon Parke

Dr. Gordon Parke, a co-founder of West Sound Academy, was instrumental in establishing the school as an ethical, caring, educational community.  He came to the founding of West Sound Academy by way of a varied and dynamic route that saw him work with young people in diverse settings.

Dr. Parke found time while earning a BA in Psychology from the University of Washington to lead a special project orienting blind children to the spatial dimensions of play. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from the Pittsburg Theological Seminary, he served as a Presbyterian minister and pastor working with young people in a variety of capacities from organizing children’s and youth drama presentations to directing handbell choirs. His work with youth and families in rural Montana deepened his recognition of the strong role of culture in child development. This recognition led Dr. Parke to Boston University where he earned a Doctor of Ministry in Theology and Culture. These work and educational experiences gave Dr. Parke the unique perspective on child development and education that he brought to the founding of West Sound Academy.

Dr. Gordon Parke with visiting WSA alumnus Evan Lenius, Class of 2012

From serving as a founding Trustee on the West Sound Academy Board, to teaching humanities and ethics, to acting as Interim Head of School during the school’s search for a new leader, Dr. Parke provided valuable guidance and continuity to school programs and administration. A central principle of Dr. Parke’s philosophy of education is that “integrating subject matter across domains best prepares the person for enjoying life.” He worked tirelessly to illuminate the connections between the seemingly disparate. This work bore amazing fruit: exploring interrelationships between disciplines and cultures remains key to a West Sound Academy education.

In recognition of the debt of gratitude that the school owes to Dr. Parke, an annual Founders’ Scholarship Day is held at the West Sound Academy campus. This event offers outstanding students the opportunity to earn an annually renewable merit scholarship to help make a West Sound Academy International Baccalaureate Diploma education affordable. The scholarships not only honor our founders, Dr. Gordon Parke and Dr. Edward Frodel, but also provide a wonderful opportunity for West Sound Academy students and others who are interested in attending our school.