Tarboro, N. C. – A local Social Studies teacher will be honored at the North Carolina Council of Social Studies (NCCSS) Conference as the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year. The award ceremony will take place at the Council’s Annual Conference on February 20, 2014 at Greensboro’s Koury Center. Keith Parker, teacher at SouthWest Edgecombe High School has been named as the recipient of this award.
“As a result of Mr. Parker’s achievement, he has been invited to present at the 2015 NCCSS conference,” said Dr. Wayne Journell, professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and coordinator for the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award. “This is our way of recognizing exceptional classroom social studies teachers.”
Parker states that he is honored and humbled to represent Edgecombe County Public Schools and North Carolina in this capacity. However, he adds that he continues to keep his focus on the instruction he delivers to the students he teaches daily. “My first priority is to provide each student that enrolls in my class a high quality, world class education that will help them to be successful in life,” said Parker.
Marc Whichard, principal of SouthWest Edgecombe High School, echoes these sentiments. “Keith Parker is a highly innovative and forward thinking educator. His lessons are creative and excite student learning.”
Parker says that he is most excited about being the Social Studies Teacher of the Year for North Carolina because he now has a chance to advocate for teachers across the state in a time where teachers need it most.
Individuals nominated for the NCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year must demonstrate exceptional abilities in six of seven categories. These include using instructional materials creatively, incorporating innovation, utilizing new scholarship, fostering a spirit of inquiry, fostering beliefs in democracy, utilizing the 10 interrelated curriculum themes, and involving oneself in professional activities.
Whichard says that one of the most important characteristics Parker has is his work ethic. “[Keith Parker] has worked to build strong professional relationships with each of his students. I am proud of the recognition that Mr. Parker has earned.”
“We had very qualified applicants this year,” stated Journell. “This is quite an honor for Mr. Parker.”