Shelly Parks to Join Administration Starting 2022-2023 School Year


Credit to Photo Submitted

Shelly Parks poses for a photo in front of a yellow backdrop.

As the end of the school year is in sight, so to comes the end for many members of the administration. Not only a new head principal, there will be further shake-up within the administration at Francis Howell North, with Shelly Parks coming on board. Parks has been working for the past 20 years as a teacher, but looks forward to the opportunity to move further into her career. 

“I’ve loved working with kids, and I’m gonna really miss working with kids directly in the classroom, but I’m also excited to support the teachers,” Parks said. “I have felt in my heart teachers needing more support, and to feel valued and respected. I want to go to work to support teachers so that teachers can be the ones who really support the students.”

Parks has been teaching through multiple generations of head principals and has been an experienced voice throughout it all. Providing common wisdom for teachers and students alike. She has won teacher of the year, district teacher of the year and even state teacher of the year. With the new administration coming next year Parks is the best one for bringing in that voice. 

“She knows North better than just about anyone else,” Natalie Abanathie, a senior who works with Parks through the Student Council, said. “She can help the new principal adjust, she has a really good idea of where North is at and what North needs which makes her so effective [in that role]”

This has not been the only thing that has been impacting the Francis Howell North community these past few years. There’s a lot of different changes that have been going on around the building. To try and make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible, and that the vision Dr. Fletcher has for the school can come to fruition, Parks can help steer the ship. 

“I think with everything that’s happened at North in the past few years, changes in staff, and COVID, she will help provide that stability,” Abanathie said. “Obviously next year there’s a new head principal, which will be a big change for North. Having someone who knows the building, the students, the teachers, being able to provide that stability is really important.”

Of course, while far too often students focus on the negative, there are still practices in place that will likely continue beyond Hostetler and Lammers, ushering in a new perspective while still finding ways to incorporate what has been successful in the past. This will ensure that the school environment becomes even better. 

“We have a lot of good,” Parks said. “We have strong programs in place, we have a place for student voices with different groups, like our student council. But I would love to empower students in more ways to lead. I would love to hear student voices in lots of discussions and decision making”
Parks’ impact as a teacher has been heard far and wide throughout the school halls. She continues to leave a positive impression on all the students she teaches. Parks is excited to offer her support for teachers and make them as best as possible just as she has done for her English kids this year. 

“I think she’s really set on making people’s high school feel better,” Reina Murrell, freshman in Parks’ English one class said. “She really wants what’s best for you.”