Polly Parker, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant and Executive Coach
Focus: Executive Leadership and Governance & Finance
Polly Parker
Polly Parker

Work with Polly to strengthen your school’s strategies in:

  • Board-Head Collaboration
  • School Culture
  • School Governance
  • School Leadership

In her roles at ISM, Polly:

  • serves as an Executive Coach to Heads of Schools and other leaders on topics such as governance, school culture, and Board-Head collaboration; and
  • consults with schools in the areas of strategic planning, governance, and compensation.

Learn more about Polly—

Polly joined ISM in 2022. She is known as a collaborative decisionmaker, leveraging a strategic mindset to overcome adversity and challenges that include funding, curriculum evolution, and regional political and socioeconomic obstacles to success.

Polly is an educational pioneer and Head of School with over 20 years of national and international experience building educational programs and leading change initiatives. Polly has experience leading Board/Governance retreats, supporting leadership team training, and creating leadership growth team models.

In her current role as General Director at Escuela Americana in El Salvador, Polly led a traditional school and academic team through a successful contemporary strategy. She has increased donations and grants to over a million dollars to support education, professional development of faculty, and security measures. She has led the way for students to design their own learning spaces across campus. In addition, Polly serves as the President of The Bilingual Association in El Salvador and is creating International Teams to support international students’ needs.

Polly previously served as Head of School at Chase Collegiate School in Connecticut where she was hired to lead and support a school in financial distress, to support the Board of Trustees in potential paths forward, and finalize the acquisition of the school. She also served as the Head of School for The Winston School in Dallas, Texas, where she led an academic team in serving neurodiverse students and revised the curriculum to better align with students’ needs for college through contemporary practice.

She earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University, a Master of Social Work in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. She completed the Executive Leadership Program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Executive Head of School Program at Columbia University in New York.

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I knew from previous experience with ISM that they were my #1 resource on how to be a successful Head of School. The research-based information is the game-changer for ISM and they have years of experience to back up their research."

Jahna Duda, Head of School
Rockford Christian Schools, IL

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