Former English Teacher Shelly Parks Is Now an Assistant Principal


Credit to Hope Moseley

Shelly Parks sits at her new desk in the main office.

From teacher to administrator, Shelly Parks has found a new way to serve her school community after being in the classroom for two decades. Parks was an English teacher at Francis Howell North for 21 years, then during the pandemic she made the decision to become an administrator in order to support the teachers she had worked alongside for so many years.

“I see my role as trying to support teachers so that teachers can really support students,” Parks said.

Although one of many principals, Parks feels she brings something new to the table: a deeper connection to students. Outside of the classroom and in the main office, Parks is still giving students learning and growing opportunities.

“A lot of the same things that I loved about the classroom, I still get to do with this role,” Parks said. “Like understanding kids’ needs and trying to meet them where they are and support them.”

The 2022-2023 school year has brought many changes to Francis Howell North, including and especially shifts in administration. In these changing times, Parks’ focus is in supporting new head principal, Mr. Fletcher, and his vision for North.

“His vision is that we’re a top ten school in the state within the next five years,” Parks said. “[Also] that we have a safe learning environment and that they’re getting a top-notch education.”

Parks’ transition has been smooth overall, but she has had to make some adjustments, like keeping up with emails. She is challenged to balance new things coming in her direction.

“You have your plan for the day, what you think you’ll do and then we’re with a bunch of humans who sometimes are spontaneous,” Parks said. “The days are jam packed, but it’s been really fun. It really is awesome to still be able to support teachers and kids.”