Adam Smoler ’97 recently returned to the school to share how his time at Parker helped inspire his career at Google in a special Morning Ex presentation.
During Smoler’s senior year, he asked then-Upper School Head Dan Frank for permission to create a Web page for the school as an independent study—which, in fact, was the birth of the Internet at Parker. In 1996, the process of creating a Web page was quite different from the way it is today, and the school was not wired for the Internet. Despite these obstacles, the page went live featuring the school’s curriculum—which Smoler obtained on a floppy disk in Word Perfect! After much back and forth about what the URL should be, they settled on fwparker.org, since Francis Parker School in San Diego was already using francisparker.org.
Smoler spoke highly of his time at Parker. He called out Middle School science teacher Peg Zerega and reminisced about the time she baked cookies for her class, and just as her students started to enjoy a mid-class treat, she asked them, “If this cookie could be a rock, what rock would it be and why?” Smoler recalled there were no right or wrong answers. It was the critical thinking that was important, and Smoler has been applying that same philosophy for the past 12 years at Google, where he serves as the head of industry.
Smoler holds a degree from Brandeis University in economics and political science + government and lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons. Earlier this year, he hosted an Alumni Happy Hour at Google in the West Loop, attended by more than 100 guests.
It is always a treat when alumni return to the school to share what they are doing with the next generation of graduates, and Smoler’s recent Morning Ex was no exception.