In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Ilana Parker, marketing director of Xceed Preparatory Academy.
Ignite applauds Ilana for her marketing expertise, which helped launch a virtual academy for students.
Ilana Parker is a Florida State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Media and Communication Studies. She interned with local news station WPLG and the FSU information channel WFSU.
After college, Parker got a job as a reporter with Fox Sun Sports in her home state of Florida. This knack for reporting only continued. She went on to intern for eyewitness news station WCTV and be a reporter for a Tampa-area news site.
Shortly thereafter, Parker switched gears toward the corporate world, first becoming an account executive for a PR firm and then joined Xceed Preparatory Academy as marketing director.
She carried her background as a reporter with her to the next leg of her career, using her expertise in getting to the root of what people think in order to benefit an organization that matters to her.
Through her work with Xceed, pieces of Parker’s expertise have come to light. She understands her audience, and she knows how to set (and achieve) goals that are right for the company.
She can strategically plan her communications vision, yet remain flexible enough for change. This trait of nimbleness has gotten her far, something that likely stems from her experience in a fast-paced news environment.
Parker is widely respected as a humble, intelligent, driven and passionate person in and outside of work. She loves to use marketing as a way to tell the stories of her schools’ students, teachers, alumni and families.
Parker’s PR vendor says about her, “I can’t express how much I enjoy working with Ilana. She is sharp, articulate, clear in her communication and also respectful and willing to adapt.”
The Difference Ilana Parker Makes at Xceed Preparatory Academy
It’s difficult to find an in-house marketer who can serve as an organization’s internal consultant and external liaison so effectively. However, Parker has managed to fine-tune that balance in her own career with Xceed Preparatory Academy.
A former client said about Parker, “She provides solid, straightforward advice on the best way to present your message to the public, the media and your clients.”
Simply put, Ilana Parker is an innovator in educational marketing.
While many schools struggled with enrollment during the pandemic, Parker’s marketing efforts helped propel Xceed Preparatory Academy to successfully launch a virtual academy for students in grades 6–12 in July 2020.
Moreover, she led the academy’s digital marketing, website and PR vendors seamlessly during what was a turbulent time for most schools.
Parker handled everything successfully while pregnant and made sure that all teams were on the same page and working in tandem while she was on maternity leave. This proves her role at Xceed is utterly integral.
Xceed Preparatory Academy
Xceed Preparatory Academy is more than just a virtual learning space. It’s a groundbreaking network of private middle and high schools with college prep curriculums.
The schools provide personalized learning plans and flexible schedules. The academy network uses a blended model with in-person academic coaches and an online curriculum.
Xceed currently has four campuses and two more coming soon. The company’s in-person network is growing, but so is its virtual ecosystem.
Xceed Anywhere is a virtual education platform that came to fruition in 2020. It’s part of an accredited network of private schools serving grades 6–12. Personalized learning plans, media-rich curriculum, flexible schedules, and supportive teachers and staff make up the learning environment, which is designed to prepare students for college.
For both in-person and virtual learning, Xceed schools juxtapose the traditional school model.
Whereas regular schools have hundreds of students per grade level, Xceed caps grades around 35–50 for a more tight-knit community.
Plus, Xceed parents and students craft daily, weekly and yearly schedules that make sense for them. Athletics, performing arts, and all kinds of extracurricular priorities outside of school fit seamlessly into the structure for studying that students and parents choose and agree on with their teachers.
There are many more differences between Xceed and traditional schooling, but you get the point. This school system is making a difference, and the company’s marketing director Ilana Parker is helping to pave the way.
Wrapping Up on Marketing Director Ilana Parker
The difference that Ilana Parker has made with Xceed is tangible.
Her background as a reporter helped hone her skills, which she inevitably put to work in marketing.
That intrinsic understanding of and passion for marketing has helped Parker boost Xceed, which is helping more kids get ready for the future ahead.