2019 Teacher of the Year:
Shelly Parks has been around education her entire life. As the daughter of a teacher, Parks watched her mother tirelessly pour herself into her students and family and she strives to emulate her mother’s passion for children in her classroom and her home. Parks’ teaching philosophy is, “If it’s not good enough for my own kids, it’s not good enough for my students.”
Parks considers her greatest teaching accomplishment to be when students decide to join her in the education profession, and she continues to mentor former students who have become teachers. Parks is a recruiter of future teachers, an advocate for the middle student who needs an added push to take AP courses, a lover of cooperative learning, and a proponent of teachers creating greater work-life balance. Her influence goes beyond her own classroom and even her own school. She has spent years public speaking and offering training and professional development to staff and other educational leaders. She has also helped other school districts implement the Kagan Cooperative Learning system.
Parks has been teaching at Francis Howell North High School since 2002. She coached girls’ basketball for seven years and currently serves as the English Department Chair. For 16 years, Parks has served as a Student Council Sponsor, teaching over 200 members leadership skills and how to promote change using their voices. She is a National Board Certified teacher who has received numerous awards, including the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award and Missouri’s Teacher of the Year for 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harding University and a Master of Education in Secondary English from University of Missouri.