By Barry H. Hendrix
Matthew Parkin is the new assistant principal at both Thomasville High School and Thomasville Middle school for the 2020-2021 school year.
He will also serve as Athletic Director for the Thomasville City Schools District.
He brings to Thomasville a host of experience already in a young career.
He has served as a Biology and Physics teacher at Saraland High School and two stints in Mobile County. He has also served as Academic Interventionist and site ACT Specialist in Mobile County.
Parkin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of South Alabama. He also completed his Master’s degree in Secondary Education as well as a degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
“I look forward to being a part of the continued success of teachers and students in the Thomasville City School System as well as being an active voice in the Thomasville community,” he said.
“I was born in Birmingham and raised in Dora, Alabama…a small city between Birmingham and Jasper.” Parkin graduated from Corner High School.
“In high school I did a lot of tutoring,” he said. “I learned very quickly that I had a passion for teaching and seeing students get excited when information finally clicked. Even in church, I always helped teach Sunday school and Wednesday night classes because I loved seeing kids who were eager to learn.
“I was fortunate to have many teachers who invested their time and were devoted to ALL of their students.
“Jason Adcock was my Biology and Anatomy teacher,” Parkin said. “He was also one of my basketball coaches. He is the reason I chose to become a science teacher. He even took a personal day from work to take me on a college visit and introduce me to the Biology department professors. That has stuck with me ever since. I always want to show my students the dedication that Coach Adcock showed me.
“Mrs. (Sharon) Gilbert was my Algebra 2 and Calculus teacher, and she was such a great teacher that I am still strong in math after all these years. Mrs. (Amy) Calvert and Mr. (Reggie) Meggs were two English teachers that I had that impacted me. I have developed a teaching/ mentoring style that is a mixture of all four of these teachers.”
With a busy education career, Parkin is grounded with his home life. “I married my beautiful wife, Katie, in June of 2014,” he said. “She is my absolute best friend and smartest, most hard-working person I know. She supports all my dreams and encourages me to strive for excellence.
“We have two children. Madilyn (Maddie) is five-years-old and started Kindergarten this year. Rhett is three-years-old and keeps us on our toes for sure.
“When I am not working, I like to spend as much time fishing as possible,” Parkin said. “My wife and little girl love fishing as well so it is a great family activity. I also spend a lot of time gardening and doing yard work.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has proven a struggle for educators to offer the best instructional experience for students. “The biggest challenge during this pandemic has been being away from students and not being able to see my family as much as I would like. As an educator, I feel that building relationships and getting to know your students is the most important part of teaching. If you build good relationships, your students will be more likely to put forth the effort it takes to succeed.
“My parents, sisters, nieces and nephews still live in the Birmingham area,” Parkin said. “We have not been able to travel and see them like we usually do since the pandemic began.”