Library staff hosts alumna Hayley Parker for cookbook signing, meet-and-greet


Alumna Hayley Parker displays her released cookbook “Out of the Box Desserts” and soon to be released cookbook “Two in One Desserts.” Photo by Rachel Marquardt

With the eyes of a library full of students on her, cookbook author, alumna and daughter of world history teacher Mr. Dan Parker, Hayley Parker answers questions about her newest cookbook and her full-time job as recipe developer and blogger.

Since the release of her first cookbook, Parker has been spotlighted on channel CVIE and “Good Day Sacramento,” as well as featured by The Sacramento Bee. However, this is her first signing at a different location besides Barnes and Noble, where her book is sold nationwide.

Not only is this experience a first for Parker, but is a first for the library, as Parker is the first author to hold a book signing there.

“I wanted to do it right because even though Hayley is known here as a former student, as an author I wanted to honor her,” Library Technician Mrs. Patty Golditch said.

The event began with a reception in the reading room May 16 for Parker and staff members prior to her interview and book signing at lunch. In order to bring this event to fruition, Golditch had to overcome many obstacles and organize the event piece by piece.

“First it was the idea, and obviously that was the easy part. Then it was coordinating it, finding time for Hayley to come in and visit since she is a very busy young lady. Then of course, going through all the proper channels including Mr. [Justin] Cutts and Mrs. [Sherry] Mauser; making sure it would be okay to have an event like this, and working with culinary to make the brownie bites. Reaching out to staff was a large part. Mrs. [Whitney] Lum donated one of her students to make the poster and we worked to make it just right,” Golditch said.

One essential part of the setup before to Parker arrived was the brownie bites, created by a team of culinary students led by Emma Santora. Santora picked the recipe out of Parker’s first cookbook to make for the event as well as coordinated the baking of the brownie bites.

“When I was a sophomore, I had Mr. Parker for my health class and he brought brownie bites in, and it has been in my mind ever since,” Santora said.

The brownie bites were served for students, staff and parents who attended Parker’s visit throughout intervention and lunch.

Another component that was offered to those who attended was a chance to buy their own copy of either of Parker’s two cookbooks and have it signed by the author herself. All throughout intervention and lunch, Barnes and Noble cashiers sold Parker’s first book, “Out of the Box Desserts,” using a cash register brought from the local store. She also provided copies of her newest cookbook, “Two in One Desserts,” to be sold prior to the release date.

“[Barnes and Noble] graciously offered to sell my book here and arranged it through my publisher,” Parker said.

Parker felt overjoyed to be back at her old school.

“I love that the school is so supportive of me and has been throughout the journey of me becoming the Domestic Rebel. I feel really supported by everyone and encouraged to keep following all of my dreams,” Parker said.

She hopes that not only will her easy recipes intrigue students, but that her story will bring forth inspiration.

“It’s cool to be able to see someone who actually went here and walked these halls and is doing something different with their life. I hope that my book and my story will be inspiring. Even if you do not like to bake, the fact that you can go out and do something unconventional with your life and still succeed,” Parker said.

Her father felt the impact she wishes to achieve and her goal to make baking easier will reach the students who attended her meet-and-greet.

“I’m very proud of her. She works so hard, all day, every day, this is what she does,” Mr. Parker said.

Devin Cossey felt this impact, who has had a love for Parker’s recipes since he checked out her first cookbook from the library. Cossey bought her second cookbook prior to her interview session.

“I have a passion for baking. I tried one of her recipes, and it was phenomenal. It is amazing how easy they are to make,” Cossey said.

Students such as Lyric Shaw feel the love Parker has for his daughter, a reason why she attended the author’s visit with her friends.

“He loves his daughter. You can tell he is a great dad, [he] tells us every day about her when he walks into class,” Shaw said.

Parker’s blog is named after her known alias The Domestic Rebel, and her newest cookbook “Two in One Desserts” will be released June 20.
Parker said, “I want students to know that anything is possible. I feel that as corny as it sounds, if you follow your dreams, it will get you where you want to go.”