Second-grade teacher Elizabeth Parker has helped her students experience remarkable academic growth at Cavanaugh Elementary School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. An expert practitioner of the Reading First comprehensive literacy model, Parker's creative, well-planned, motivating lessons and excellent classroom management skills have helped most of her students read above grade level. In some cases, students who began the school year reading at Level 2 on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) have ended the year reading as high as Level 28. Parker's students have also experienced significant gains in math, with many scoring above the district average. For three years, Parker has taught or served as literacy coach at the Arkansas Reading First Summer Reading Camp, helping struggling readers while providing teachers with professional development and opportunities to observe her exceptional teaching in action. She has written and received several grants for technology integration, and was instrumental in helping to raise $50,000 for playground equipment. A National Board Certified teacher, Parker has modeled Reading First strategies for over 150 visiting teachers from across the state and has led numerous professional development sessions on technology-related topics. She is the school's liaison in the district's technology department and represents Cavanaugh on the district's Literacy Task Force. Parker has mentored new and student teachers, as well as experienced teachers seeking National Board Certification. Her excellence as an educator has benefited students and teachers alike.
1994 University of Central Arkansas, B.S.