Feature on a Teacher: Tim Parnow

Archie Williams P.E. teacher Tim Parnow laughs as he converses with fellow P.E. teachers.
Archie Williams P.E. teacher Tim Parnow laughs as he converses with fellow P.E. teachers.
Zara Prime

After teaching at Archie Williams for almost seven years, P.E. teacher Tim Parnow has become an integral part of the Falcon community.  

As a child, Parnow deeply enjoyed playing sports and being active. He spent most of his time outdoors hiking and skateboarding with his friends. One of his favorite childhood hobbies, fishing, has stuck with him throughout the years. 

Parnow has always fostered a love for sports, but didn’t decide to become a P.E. teacher until halfway through college. After graduating from Sir Francis Drake High School in 2007, he attended Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) to swim and play water polo. Following the completion of his sophomore year at SRJC, Parnow transferred to Dominican College to acquire his teaching credential. 

I had a great experience in college, and it is also where I met my wife, who is also a teacher,” Parnow said. “I ended up actually getting a credential to teach fifth grade, so I taught a year of fifth grade… I realized it wasn’t for me.” 

After his experience teaching fifth grade, Parnow took a year off and earned his P.E. credential at Dominican University. He then began teaching P.E. at Hidden Valley Elementary School, where he stayed for two and a half years and discovered that teaching P.E. fit him. He found that he was really able to connect with his students by being funny and outgoing as well as making his students feel comfortable to be themselves. He took this passion into wanting to teach high school classes, where he felt like he could develop even more genuine connections with his students.

Archie Williams P.E. teacher Tim Parnow jumps to block a shot from sophomore Kai Smith during a Staff vs Student basketball game on Feb. 9. (Silas Eyler)

In 2017, Parnow started teaching P.E. at Sir Francis Drake High School, cultivating strong bonds with the students and staff. Six years later, he continues to connect with each and every student, even those who have graduated. 

“I knew I always wanted to get to high school, where I could have conversations with the kids. That was always the goal,” Parnow said.

Apart from his bonds with students, Parnow enjoys spending time with the other P.E. teachers. 

“I love the people I work with. They’re like family to me, and that makes it fun,” Parnow said.

He enjoys teaching the basics of athletics, while also staying involved in his own favorite sports. He especially appreciates the golf unit, because he has the chance to share his passion for golf with his students.  

Parnow grew up with educators in his family. His mom, Patty Parnow, worked in the Sir Francis Drake High School office from 2007 to 2014, and her love for being at the school influenced Parnow to return to teach there.  

 “[My mom] definitely loved being around kids so that definitely had some influence on wanting to be a teacher and specifically [at Archie Williams],” Parnow said. 

Parnow’s successful career inspired his brother, Mark Parnow, to become a P.E. teacher at White Hill Middle School. The Parnows’ journeys to pursue the right jobs displays the unique career opportunities offered in the field of education. 

“It’s honestly a dream job for me,” Parnow said.

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