Parnell Retires, Leaving Behind Long Legacy of Excellence

Mr. Parnell Wilde Lake Athletics Director, Mr. Vincent Parnell, will be retiring at the end of the 2013 school year, leaving behind a legacy filled with “stable leadership, experience, knowledge, and improvement,” according to Mr. Eldridge.

Mr. Parnell has been involved in the school system in the state of Maryland for 39 years. He has been a teacher, Athletic Director, and Coach at Howard High School. His last seven years have been dedicated to The Lake, where he has become “a valued mentor in professionalism, and athletic administration,” said Coach Clever.

Once a student under his direction, Mr. Eldridge says, since joining Wilde Lake, “Mr. Parnell has provided a clear vision and balance for how an athletic department should be run, and this is exemplified from our winning of the Sportsmanship Cup two years in a row. He truly cares about his athletes as students and is always promoting opportunities and a positive environment for each one.”

Coach Clever, who praises Mr. Parnell’s focused vision for high school athletics, says Mr. Parnell has always made an effort to make sure everyone had equipment, supplies, and uniforms to be successful. “His primary concern is always the wellbeing of the athletes, and there was never a time when he would not donate his services to those in need,” said Coach Clever.

Mr. Lockwood, a Math teacher from Howard High School and dear friend, also attests to the effect of Mr. Parnell.

“Vince Parnell and I came to Howard the same year, 1978. Initially, every new hire had to take on some additional responsibility, so Vince convinced me to coach JV Girls Basketball while he was Varsity coach and he would show me the ropes. We did that for several years together and from that time on became best friends. As athletic director, Vince took his responsibilities seriously and made sure that ‘winning at all costs’ was not something that Howard High would use as a mantra,” said Mr. Lockwood.

“He wanted an equal playing field for all athletes in all sports and made sure that everyone was treated fairly when it came to field space, gym space and allocating funds. He was there for the students and wanted to make sure that theirs was a good experience when it came to participation in high school athletics and still does,” said Mr. Lockwood.

“As a friend he would do anything for you and go to bat for you if you needed help. It was a shame to lose Vince to Wilde Lake because he was one of the very few to ‘bleed blue and white’,” said Mr. Lockwood.

Mr. Parnell was inducted into the Howard High Hall of Fame.

“Ultimately, he is just a really fun guy,” said Mr. Eldridge. “Aside from managing his job well, he is very humble, pleasant and approachable. But most importantly, Mr. Parnell is memorable because of his honest enjoyment of and for high school athletics. Education will miss him.”