Keith Parker is a social studies teacher at SouthWest Edgecombe High School.

Keith Parker is a social studies teacher at SouthWest Edgecombe High School.

SouthWest's Parker named social studies Teacher of the Year

By Tyler Kes
Staff Writer

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A SouthWest Edgecombe High School social studies teacher has been named the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the N.C. Council of Social Studies.

Keith Parker received the award at the council’s conference in Greensboro.

“As a result of Mr. Parker’s achievement, he has been invited to present at the 2015 NCCSS conference,” said Wayne Journell, professor at the University of North Carolina-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 stated in a press release he is honored and humbled to represent Edgecombe County Public Schools and North Carolina in this capacity, but that his main focus remains teaching students.

“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,” Parker said.

The best part of receiving the award, Parker said, is getting a chance to advocate for teachers across the state at a time where teachers need it most.

SouthWest Principal Marc Whichard said Parker is very deserving of the award.

“Keith Parker is a highly innovative and forward-thinking educator,” Whichard said. “His lessons are creative and excite student learning. I am proud of the recognition that Mr. Parker has earned.”

Teachers nominated for the award must demonstrate exceptional abilities in six of seven categories, which 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.