The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Parker mourns the passing of Pat McHale, beloved Physical Education teacher & coach

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“Mr. McHale was my first Parker PE teacher and taught me what’s it’s like to be a Parker student and how to be a better member for the Parker community. He would always ask me countless reminders of my baseball career just at third grade to when he retired. Love that guy.”

-Nathan Pantoja, Class of 2026


“Mr. McHale was a really good P.E. Teacher that wanted to see all of his students be the best they could be. He was also really funny, as he understood each and every joke a student made and responded to it well. I loved having him as a P.E. Teacher and I am sad that he has passed.”

-Gabriel Albert, Class of 2030


“Mr. McHale (Turffer #13) was honest, warm, raw, loving, jovial, and wise – so, so wise.  He did more in one lifetime than most people could do in two or three, and this is what gave him a capacity for compassion and understanding people that was truly remarkable. Peace, Pat.”

-Sven Carlsson, Middle and Upper School Director of Studies & Upper School Math Teacher


“Always a great man to see and share stories with as we grew up in the same neighborhood.”

-Dave Clisham, Former Controller


“I have missed Mr. McHale ever since he retired.  When my own two sons were in his care, I knew they were in good hands.  He became their guardian angel and truly understood what they needed.  In faculty meetings, he had no problem speaking his mind and I always respected him for that.  I enjoyed our literary banter when he would tell me about the latest book he had devoured. Our last discussion was on “In Search of the Promised Land” about the Great Migration.  His legacy lives on and Parker is a better place because of Pat McHale.”

-Andy Bigelow, Upper School History Teacher


One of the best people I have ever known. Witty, charming, welcoming, supportive, and so very, very kind. Students never had a more passionate champion. Teachers will not meet a more caring colleague or parents a more empathetic listener. A revered mentor, Pat McHale was the Parker embodiment of progressive. May his encouraging smile, contagious laughter,  and heartwarming quips forever shine as beacons in our model home.

-Cindy Marker, Upper School French Teacher


“Pat McHale was kind, generous, a coach and mentor, and fun. He was also tough but fair. I will always remember him.”

-Andy Singer, Class of 1992


“Mr. McHale was beloved by every single guy in my class, and although I only had him for P.E. for one year, I fondly remember his dry sense of humor, “tough-love” approach to teaching, and genuine care for me and my classmates. He’ll be dearly missed by the class of ’23, and anyone else who had the privilege of making his acquaintance over his many storied years at Parker.”

-Jack Kahan, Class of 2023


“Mr. McHale was a kind, generous and funny person, and a true pillar of the Parker community.  Even after all these years I can still hear his booming voice and remember his jokes and encouraging words.  He will be truly missed.”

-Claire (Fuqua) Robinson, Class of 1995


“Mr. McHale was generous with his warmth and passion for all things Parker. Coming back as a parent he remembered me and welcomed me back with enthusiasm and spirit. In high school he was my health teacher and he brought a sense of humor and modesty to delicate subjects which helped us all relax and chuckle along with him through some awkward moments!”

-Sasha Earle, Parker Alumna and Parent


“I can’t remember a more iconic P.E. teacher at Parker. From JK through my senior year, Mr. McHale was there for it all. I may not have been the biggest fan of gym class, but he always made it an exciting 50 minutes each week. Mr. McHale was certainly tough when he was your teacher, but outside of class he was the funniest and kindest man there was. In middle school, I may not have enjoyed his presence in the gym, but years later, I can’t help but chuckle at the energy and jokes he would bring to every day at Parker. It is always the teachers who push you to grow and face discomfort that you remember years later. Three years after Parker, and nearly seven years after having my final class with Mr. McHale, I can’t help but associate that man with my academic journey through those halls at 330 W. Webster. It’s unbelievable to think someone of his presence is gone, but I know that Parker will never forget Mr. McHale. It’s impossible to. He was a fixture of that school, and every student, even those who hated gym class, has at least one positive memory of him trying to push kids to be the best they could be.”

-Zach Joseph, Class of 2021 & Former Editor-in-Chief of “The Parker Weekly”


“Mr. McHale was a dear friend to me, and to many others at FWP.  He and I both lived in Edgewater, and loved to reminisce about the “old neighborhood.”  I will miss him very much.”

-Lisa Williams, Upper School Operations Coordinator


“I had the pleasure of being one of Mr. McHale’s students during my 14 years at Parker. Aside from Ms. Judd (my junior kindergarten teacher), Mr. McHale is one of the first teachers I remember. What a lovely, incredible soul. My uncle, Paul, who graduated in 87, also had the pleasure of knowing Mr. McHale. The two of us, 30 something years apart, both with cherished memories of one kick-ass gym teacher, leader, and friend. We’ll miss you Mr. McHale!”

-Emma Louise Adelstein, Class of 2019


“I was a bad student in Gym class. I had slow reflexes. Every year like clockwork, someone would break my glasses in dodgeball. I was also really bad at basketball despite being 6’4. As a result, I did not get a lot of love from gym teachers, except for one. Pat McHale. He did not care that I could barely do a pull up or that I broke the 20 minute mile. He thought that my physical acumen was funny and he became my friend. He would tell me all about going to Catholic school and being sent to the principal’s office with Bill Murray, and we would talk about all kinds of other stuff, none of it physical education related. We stayed friends and I would come and see him every time that I came back to Parker. He was a deeply funny and caring person, and it makes me smile to think of him, even though it is so sad to think of a world that he does not inhabit. I will miss you Mr. McHale.”

-Joshua Koppel, Class of 1993


“Mr. McHale was a memorable and colorful Parker teacher. He had a toughness about him but was a gentle, generous, and sweet guy. As an assistant coach on the Parker HS basketball team, Mr. McHale acted as a mentor and also safe harbor during stressful situations. Will always remember Mr. McHale fondly. RIP.” 

-Nick Phillips, Class of 2007


“Mr. McHale made a substantial impact on me growing up. I wish I had the chance to tell him how much I respected him, learned from him, and enjoyed playing basketball for him. He never talked down to us, always approaching his students with compassion and a little bit of humor. He will be missed.”

-Jimmy Warden, Class of 2007


“Mr. McHale nicknamed me “Johnny no” because he used to have to say “Johnny, no, Johnny, no…” so many times. He was a wonderful man and very kind and giving and I miss him.”

-Jonathan Schatz, Class of 1999


“Mr. McHale was a legendary teacher at Parker. He was a staple of the Parker community for so long and was always kind. I could spot his walk from the other side of the field. He helped foster a love of sports in me. Sending condolences to the entire family.”

-Sarah Levy Imberman, Class of 1999


“Mr. McHale was my PE teacher and soccer coach in middle school and occasional sounding board through high school.  He was real, he could be gritty, he could be unconventional.  I remember one gym class he took all the seventh grade boys and just had us sit in the park and talk in a real way that was different than other adults ever attempted.  We were awkward, clueless, and immature (and disappointed not to be playing floor hockey) but I remember it better than any other gym class over the four years. As I grew older I appreciated more how he engaged us.  He was a strong and candid male figure in our otherwise Parker bubble of seventh grade-ness..  RIP Mr. McHale, you made a difference!”

-Ethan Steinberg, Class of 1992

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