On August 28, Shelly Parks was announced as the Missouri State Teacher of the Year in a surprise assembly during the school day. The assembly was held between second and third hour in the large gym. The whole student body, staff and many board members were in attendance to congratulate Parks. (Photos by Jordan Milewczik, Phoebe Primeau, and Francisco Jimenez)
Then St. Louis.
And now the State of Missouri.
Shelly Parks’ journey as Teacher of the Year as been a wild ride, and it’s not over yet. That ride hitting its new peak on August 28. In a special assembly, Parks was announced as the Missouri State Teacher of the Year. Parks was selected over 31 other Missouri teachers to receive this honor.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Shelly for 14 days now,” FHN Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler jokingly said during the assembly. “[She lives by] if it’s not good enough for my kids, it’s not good enough for my students.”
Parks walked into the large gym to a tunnel of cheerleaders, the marching band and a line of news outlets welcoming her to the assembly. Her husband hugging her and handing her a package of Kleenex. Four speakers were present at the assembly: Parks, Hostetler, FHSD Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris and Commissioner of Education Roger Dorsin.
“It’s important to honor people who exemplify the best in teaching,” Dorsin said. “It sets examples of quality teaching. It’s a fierce competition and we’ve expanded it over the years. We’ll have a banquet [later in the year] and you’ll see what a big honor it is for her to have been chosen. We certainly hope she would go in to be National Teacher of the Year. That would be fantastic, we haven’t had one from MO since [about] 1980.”
The award was passed on to Parks by the 2017-2018 Missouri Teacher of the Year Beth Davey, a Music teacher at Iveland Elementary School. Parks was surprised by the assembly and repeatedly said how shocked and humbled she felt by the honor.
“Today you guys have added to my highlight reel for sure,” Parks said during the assembly. “It’s really not about the award. It really is about however many people are here, coming here to make me feel special. You guys do this at this school everyday.”
Stay tuned to FHNtoday, as this story will continue to develop throughout the school year.