JUDY PARKS is the recipient of the 2020 Reach for the Stars Teacher of the Year award.
A 1982 Cairo High School graduate, Judy Clements Parks, now a music teacher in Americus, has been recognized by the Georgia Charter Schools Association as a Teacher of the Year. Parks, who is the music advisor for kindergarten through fifth grade at Furlow Charter School in Americus, was honored with the Reach for the Stars Teacher of the Year award at the association’s conference held March 11 in Atlanta.
“As a music teacher, I carry on the legacy of my former teachers, Joe David and Ed Timmerman. My husband, Keith, and I were so fortunate to learn invaluable lessons from these two men,” says Parks.
After high school, Parks earned a bachelor’s degree in education with certification in early childhood education and music education. She received her Master of Education from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus.
The Georgia Charter Schools Association writes of Parks, “As a music educator, church pianist and pastor’s wife, Judy’s motto is ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!’ She believes that the educator’s job is not only to teach Standards of Excellence but to daily ‘shine’ and impact the lives of students, parents, colleagues and community members. Judy shares her musical passion with students of all ages, inspiring elementary, middle and high school students to give the gift of music to others. Her heart’s message is that she is proud to be an educator, impacting the lives of students – students who will continue to impact others for generations to come.”
Parks and her husband are the parents of three sons and grandparents of two. She is the daughter of Hilda McKinney of Cairo, and daughter-in-law of Anne Parks, also of Cairo.