by Eric Dolente
Many students have gone through both Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School, now merged into Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, but not many have stood the test of time like D. Stanley Parker has.
From faculty and students to friends and family, Parker has touched many people’s lives. As a teacher, some say he is hard on his students, but that is because he cares, a lot.
“I didn’t want to seem like the big bad bear because I pushed my students, so I had to include humor in the classroom,” Parker said.
This year, SCH created the D. Stanley Parker ’68 Fund to honor Parker’s dedication to the students and institution. The fund’s goal of $250,000 will provide both a scholarship for a ninth grade student and an award for a faculty member at SCH. It will be given out for the first time at this year’s baccalaureate ceremony.
Throughout the decades, Parker has given his complete dedication and unconditional love to the Philadelphia community through his contributions to education and athletics.
A beloved history teacher, mentor and coach, Parker has been involved with the former Chestnut Hill Academy for more than 40 years. He started at CHA in the third grade and went on to graduate in 1968.
After receiving his B.A. in history from Roanoke College, Parker quickly returned to teach at CHA, where he has been ever since. He has filled multiple positions within the school, acting as history teacher, baseball coach, athletic director, dean of faculty and many others.
“I didn’t work as hard when I was in school, so when I came back I wanted to push my students,” Parker said. “I was tough, but fair.”
For 28 consecutive years, Parker was in charge of organizing an annual ninth grade trip to Washington, D.C., a trip that he is said to have enjoyed enormously. While on the trip, students unearthed the political scenery of Washington through sightseeing and listening to keynote speakers.
Outside of the classroom, Parker has been executive secretary of the Carpenter Cup Committee – a tournament sponsored and run by the Philadelphia Phillies – since 1986. The Carpenter Cup Committee is an organization dedicated to giving scholarships and new opportunities to student athletes in the Philadelphia area.
The Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame has inducted Parker this past year into its ranks for his influential coaching and mentoring abilities.
“It’s always a thrill to walk in the stadium and see people who know you,” Parker said.
Parker has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer, preventing him from teaching, but it hasn’t stopped his friendly demeanor or his boundless enthusiasm for education.
“Mr. Parker made learning fun,” said SCH student Ryan Torie, describing Parker’s influence on the school. “He managed to be funny and educate at the same time, which I think is something special,” he added.