The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Thomas E. Parker, who currently serves as superintendent of the Allentown School District in Pennsylvania. Parker will join the Foundation this spring as an executive in residence to help guide grantmaking and partnerships aimed at strengthening the education continuum in Flint.
“My passion is working with all members of the community to create collective impact for the children we serve. My entire career has been focused on creating equity in opportunity and outcomes for young people,” said Parker. “I’m eager to bring my experience to a foundation that’s so committed to supporting those efforts and working in true partnership with the community.”
Among his accomplishments in Allentown, Parker says he is most proud of helping to develop a strategic framework that is still driving a collective vision of success for the district.
“We engaged our parents, students, staff, civic leaders and the philanthropic community. Our goals were developed collaboratively, and our successes represent true collective impact,” Parker said. “We were able to build a new community school, expand early childhood opportunities and develop pathways to college/career access.”
A native of Tillatoba, Mississippi, Parker has served as superintendent of ASD since July 2017. His new role at Mott will mark a return to Michigan. From 2013 to 2017, he served as superintendent of Ecorse Public Schools, where he led a dramatic academic and fiscal turnaround for the district, increasing student enrollment and achievement while eliminating the district’s budget deficit. He began his career as a teacher in Detroit Public Schools and served as a turnaround principal in the Detroit and Harper Woods school districts.
Parker also earned two of his three academic degrees in Michigan. He holds an Education Specialist degree in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Arts in education foundation and policy from the University of Michigan. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history and secondary education from Howard University.
“We’re really excited to have Thomas help guide our grantmaking, our partnerships and our efforts to inform sound policies that will support high-quality educational opportunities in Flint,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “Mott has had a long commitment to supporting education in our hometown, and we believe Thomas’ expertise will help us be a strong partner for the community.”