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Leader in the workplace

13 February 2013 By Nicole Salem, Staff Writer No Comments

Before attending Towson, 2004 alumnus Joshua Parker said he had a different idea of college life.  He thought you spend most of your time learning, and occasionally can you have fun. After coming to college, Parker said he found something he never expected—his special “gift” — a gift is to simply help and teach people. Parker said he learned and understood that others depend on him for guidance.

Parker became a teacher in Baltimore County and was recently named the 2012 Maryland State Teacher of the Year for his hard work.

Parker will be one of several alumni speakers at Omicron Delta Kappa’s “Leveraging Your Leadership In The Workforce” March 7. Parker will talk about how he developed his leadership skills while at Towson.

Parker was a staff writer of the sports section for The Towerlight. He said he learned to abide by deadlines and how to boil down a lot of information into a few words.

“I understand that other people depend on you for news,” Parker said.

Parker then became president of the Black Student Union his junior year. He partnered up with Hillel to develop various diversity programs and campus events.

“I wanted to bridge the cultural gap and bring awareness to our brand,” Parker said. “I even went to Washington D.C. to lobby for the affirmation action legislation.”

Upon graduation, Parker began teaching English to students in grades five to 12. Through that he became involved with the Baltimore County Public Schools Title I, and helped struggling teachers with their practice.

This is where he said he had his so called “claim to fame.” His fellow colleagues soon became aware of his talents as teacher. In response to this, he was named 2011-2012 Baltimore County Teacher of the Year. Following that, he was named 2012 Maryland State Teacher of the Year out of the 24 school districts in Maryland. Parker said that to be considered, a portfolio was required that demonstrated his work both in and out of the classroom. After that, a stand-up interview in front of a panel of 11 administration members took place.

After winning Maryland’s Teacher of the Year, Parker then had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama along with teachers of the year from every other state.

“He was affable, polite and very skinny,” Parker said. “I got to shake his hand and talk to him for a few minutes. I am truly blessed.”

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