Henry Konker is an operations analyst for the Denver Public Schools, providing analytical support for the Maintenance, Operations and Sustainability Departments. He also has been the Colorado team captain for Club Ultimate Frisbee since 2015; in 2016 he was part of the U.S. National Team that won a World Championship. He has a B.A. in biology from Colorado College.
You’ve spent most of your adult life (so far) in Colorado. Was there something specific that drew you there?
I came out to Colorado for school and have stuck around ever since. Colorado College has a unique scheduling format called the Block Plan that really appealed to me. Students take one class at a time for three and half weeks and are fully immersed in their subject matter. As a biology major, this allowed for as much time as needed for content discussions or dissection labs. I had the opportunity to dissect human cadavers, which is fairly rare as an undergraduate. I moved to Denver after graduation and worked for an environmental consulting firm for a few years. The Denver population has grown immensely in the past few years, and so have the restaurant, arts, museum, brewery and professional markets. I'm not an avid camper, but it is great to get up to the mountains a few times a year for hikes and skiing.
What is “ultimate Frisbee” and how did you get involved in it?
Ultimate Frisbee is a 7v7 team sport played on a field roughly the size of a football field. The object is to throw the disc to a teammate in the end zone. You can’t run with the disc, and the entire sport is self-officiated, even at the highest levels. I started playing at Colorado College. After getting cut from the varsity soccer team my freshman year, I needed an athletic outlet to fill the void. I went to an ultimate Frisbee practice on a Wednesday and my first tournament the following weekend; I was instantly hooked. When I moved to Denver after college, I joined the local club team, where I've played ever since. In 2016 I was selected for the U.S. National Team for the World Championships in London. I've played in tournaments in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy and England. Playing against Japan in the World Championship final, everyone still calls their own fouls although translators are occasionally required. The sports governing body is working hard to get ultimate into the Olympics. Much of the conversation right now is about how we manage the growth of the sport while still maintaining its identity, including equitable coverage of men and women. There has been a men’s semi-professional league for a few years, and there is a women’s league starting this year (premierultimateleague.com/). Check it out!  
Do you enjoy your work in the Denver Public Schools?
I left environmental consulting to join the Planning and Analysis team at DPS as an operations analyst. We help the Maintenance, Custodial, Safety, and Transportation teams make business decisions. There are more than 200 buildings and 92,000 students in the District so these teams are vital for providing optimal learning opportunities. It is interesting and highly impactful work that I enjoy very much. Currently, I’m analyzing the capital planning items (e.g., playgrounds, gymnasiums, building additions, air conditioning) that need repair or replacement in our buildings. This helps us organize our funding needs, predominantly through tax-funded bond measures.
Were there people or activities during your time at Parker that influenced the choices you’ve made since graduating? What are some of your favorite Parker memories?
It feels like so long ago, but opportunities like County Fair make Parker unique. Allowing each grade to be in charge of a booth teaches life lessons about organization and responsibility that I think few K–12 students get at school. The atmosphere at Parker has a sense of confidence and community that allowed students to branch out. I loved watching classmates participate in the musicals, either on stage or, in my case, with set production. Of course none of it could have happened without the dedicated and energetic teaching staff. 
Although ultimate Frisbee seems to take up much of your free time, what else do you enjoy doing?
My girlfriend and I recently adopted an 11-week-old shepherd/lab mix, so that will be taking much of my time for the next few months. I’m planning to attend business school in Boulder in the fall. 
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.