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Irwin Becomes 8th Recipient of Parker Love of Teaching Award

Bev Parker, Lynne Irwin and Dante Connell pose following Irwin being announced as 8th winner

Congratulations to Smith sixth grade teacher Lynne Irwin, the eighth recipient of the Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award. The award, presented each spring, honors a current Oakwood teacher who uniquely inspires the full potential of each student with whom he or she works.

Irwin has taught for 20 years in Oakwood, as a third grader teacher at Harman School and as both a fourth and sixth grade teacher at Smith. Previously, she taught in Hudson, Ohio and Texas. In nominating Irwin for the award, one parent wrote, “Lynne’s dedication and patience with our most challenging students is unmatched. She will not let any child slip through the cracks and considers each student her own and treats them as such.”

Beverly Parker, a former Harman teacher, established the Parker Award in 2011, in loving memory of her husband, Bob.

“Our family cannot think of a better way to give back to the schools than to honor the special teachers who go above and beyond what is expected of them. This award is one way we can show our appreciation and gratitude for all they do for our children,” Parker said.

The Oakwood Schools Foundation thanks all the parents, students, teachers and community members who nominated teachers and Parker for her generosity and vision in establishing this important award.

For more information about The Foundation, please contact Dante Connell, Director, at 297-5332.

How to Nominate for Parker Love of Teaching award

Each year the Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award honors an Oakwood teacher who goes above and beyond what is expected of them. In 2010, former Oakwood teacher Bev Parker created the award in memory of her late husband Bob Parker, saying the her family wanted to give back to the schools in a special way.

Since that time, eight deserving teachers have received the award, consisting of a $1,200 prize, which is divided between the recipient and the teacher’s school, and framed artwork designed by a senior art student. Past winners are: Janet Block (Lange), Kathy Allan (OJHS), Tony Rainsberger (OHS), Ron Nelson (All buildings), Susan Kuntz (Harman), John Edwards (Harman), Nate Thompson (Smith) and Lynne Irwin (Smith).

Parent, students, community members, alumni and Oakwood staff members can nominate any teacher who meets the criteria. You can see the criteria and the nomination form at

Click on each picture below to read the story of that recipient.

2017 Parker award winnerWinner of the 2016 Parker Love of Teaching2015 Parker Award Winner2014 Parker Award Winner

2013 Parker Award Winner2012 Parker Award Winner2011 Parker Award Winner