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FSSD announces Teacher of the Year

FSSD announces Teacher of the Year

On Thursday morning, Freedom Intermediate School teacher Janet Parker was surprised by FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden, who was carrying a bouquet of balloons and an important announcement. Dr. Snowden announced to the surprised teacher and her class of sixth graders that she has been chosen to represent the school district as the FSSD Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Parker responded to the surprise with great emotion as her students cheered her recognition. “I am so honored to be chosen as FSSD’s Teacher of the Year. I teach with the very best there are, so to be chosen from a group of such fine teachers is truly an honor.”

A 22-year veteran, Ms. Parker considers the classroom the ideal place to affect the future and has worked tirelessly to make sure she is doing everything she possibly can to make a difference in the lives of her students. Most recently she achieved the prestigious certification that comes only by going through the rigorous accreditation process of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. It is a 10-year national certification that only 15 of her FSSD colleagues have achieved.

In addition to her national certification, Ms. Parker holds a Reading Specialist certification, an Educational Specialist certification in Instructional Leadership, a master’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education.

She is also a Fellow of the Louisiana State University Writing Project, an invitational professional development program designed to provide teachers with new strategies for helping their students become accomplished writers and learners.

Ms. Parker has been teaching sixth-grade reading and language arts at Freedom Intermediate School for the past four years. She also taught special education at both Freedom Intermediate and at Poplar Grove, where she first entered the FSSD in 2000. Prior to her time in Franklin, she spent three years at private schools in Nashville as well as eight years teaching in Louisiana. In addition to her classroom experience, she has an administrative background as well, having served in both the principal and assistant principal positions.

In addition to spending her full day teaching, Ms. Parker has been an avid supporter of the school district, volunteering for many leadership roles:
• She serves as a Literacy Coach for new teachers;
• She presents professional development sessions to her colleagues both during the school year and in the summer; and
• She has designed and led Professional Learning Communities for Freedom Intermediate faculty.

“My school is at the heart of my sense of community,” Ms. Parker said. “I recognize the great needs of my students and their families and it is from there that I serve the community.” Working with children is Ms. Parker’s passion and it is demonstrated by the extra-curricular activities in which she participates:
• She has worked with the Williamson County Youth Orchestra since 2001 (currently serving in her sixth year as President of the Board of Directors).  During that time, the orchestra has seen a 400% increase in student participation.
• Since 2004, she has organized and coached the school’s forensics team.
• She organizes and leads a Book Club after school at Freedom Intermediate, and has volunteered her time at the Boys and Girls Club in the same manner in years past.
• She has volunteered for 10 years in her church’s Christmas Basket program which provides gifts and food for needy families;
• She volunteers with the Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts;
• She supervises her church’s Room in the Inn program for the homeless;
• She teaches religious education classes to her church’s youth.

FSSD Building-Level Teachers of the Year Selected

Ms. Parker was selected as FSSD Teacher of the Year from a talented and well-respected group of educators who were elected to represent their individual schools as Teachers of the Year. They are:

Elisa Baughman: Freedom Middle School, 7th Grade
Trish Franklin:  Moore Elementary School, 1st Grade
Kathy Hayslip:  Poplar Grove School (K-4), 2nd Grade
Kaci Holz:  Poplar Grove School (5-8), Media Specialist
Sharon Lowery:  Liberty Elementary School, Media Specialist
Janet Parker:  Freedom Intermediate School, 6th Grade
Paula Shinnick:  Johnson Elementary School, 3rd Grade
Carrie Williams:  Franklin Elementary School, English Language Learners (ELL)

All of the FSSD Teachers of the Year will be recognized at the March 9, 2009, Board of Education meeting, to be held at Freedom Middle School at 7:00 PM.