Bridgett Parker of Gautier has been named Trent Lott Academy (TLA) Teacher of the Year.
Parker, who has been teaching for 18 years, has been at TLA for seven years and teaches 6th-grade math. Previously, she taught in several different style classrooms, including traditional, inclusion, all boys, and looped with a group from 4th grade to 5th grade.
She got her BS in Elementary Education from Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL, and from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, she received her MS in Elementary Education and an Ed Leadership Certification.
Parker is overwhelmed by the award.
“I have received numerous congratulations and that alone makes my heart smile,” said Parker.
For Parker, winning the award is nice, but more than that, it confirms she made the right career choice. Growing up, she knew that she wanted to do something to help people and it was her love for children that drew her to teaching.
“Sometimes as individuals, we question ourselves as to whether or not we are fulfilling our purpose in life. After all these years of teaching, I have served in several leadership-type positions on committees and teams, and internally I felt good about what I do for children, but being named Teacher of the Year is the validation I am doing something right.”
Her favorite part of teaching is knowing that her students are gaining knowledge.
“Not just academics. I feel students should be taught character as well as the curriculum set forth by the state and district.”
Parker has been married to Frederick Parker for 13 years and they have two children, Madison and Mason.
“Teaching is one of those careers that you have to love to be successful. I love everything about teaching, except, of course, COVID.”
When not working, Parker enjoys spending time with her family, which includes a huge extended family in Mobile, shopping, and doing crafts with vinyl and embroidery.