Charlotte Andrews Parker, a graduate of Thomasville High School, will return to the school this week to serve as assistant principal.
“I had great teachers throughout my time in the Thomasville School System, specifically at the high school level, with educators such as Ted Cornelius, Carolyn Drinkard, Mary Goforth, Jimmie Rose Bryant, and Deanna Kimbrough,” she said. “I hoped to be able to bring that same kind of dedication and commitment to other students.”
An educator can have a major impact on a young person’s life. “Curriculum is important,” Parker said, “but students need to know that their teachers have their best interests at heart. For that reason, positive relationships are the most important impact an educator can make in the lives of students. I am a firm believer that relationships should come before rigor; grace should come before grades; patience should come before programs, and love should come before lessons.”
Teachers and administrators must provide a nurturing environment for students. “Learning is an emotional process. We feel excitement when learning a new skill, embarrassment about mistakes, and fear of being misunderstood. Fostering positive emotions will motivate students to learn, while negative emotions, such as stress and alienation, will inhibit their learning.
“Research tells us students learn better when they are part of a supportive community of learners," she said. "Administrators can help create a positive learning environment where students feel accepted, seen, and valued. In doing so, students are more likely to be both academically and socially successful.”
After graduating from THS, Parker has earned multiple degrees: Bachelor of Science in English from the University of West Alabama in Livingston; Masters in Education in English from UWA; Gifted/Talented M.Ed. from the University of South Alabama in Mobile; Administration Certification from USA; and Education Specialist, Teacher Leader, from UWA.
“I have two beautiful children,” she said. “My son Sam is 24, and my daughter Claire is 18. Sam is a veteran of the Air Force and currently lives in Tallahassee, where he works in sales for Hendrix Motor Sports. Claire is finishing her senior year at Spanish Fort High School and hopes to pursue health sciences after graduation. We have three dogs and three cats among us, all of whom are spoiled rotten!"
When she has spare time, Parker is an avid reader and enjoys time at the beach or boating and fishing.