The Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award was created in 2010 by former longtime
Oakwood teacher Beverly (Bev) Parker in memory of her late husband, Robert (Bob) Parker. The Parker
family has benefited in many ways from Oakwood’s outstanding school system and wanted to give back to the
schools in a special way. Based on the belief that teachers in Oakwood are exceptional and give much of
themselves for the betterment of the children in our community, the Parker Award honors teachers who go
above and beyond what is expected of them.
Each year the award honors one Oakwood teacher who uniquely inspires the full potential of each student with
whom he or she works. Eligible teachers will have taught in the Oakwood District for at least five years and
can be nominated by parents, students, community members, alumni, faculty members and administrators.
The award consists of a $1,200 prize, which is divided between the recipient and an academic department,
grade or program of the recipient’s choosing.
Nominations and letters of support are retained for one year. If the candidate is not selected as the winner, the
nominator is required to simply submit the current nomination form and the candidate will be reconsidered.
Morris Receives OSF’s 9th Annual Parker Love of Teaching Award
OHS English Teacher and Academic Decathlon adviser Lori Morris is the 2019 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. A number of students and parents wrote letters on behalf of Morris’ nomination.
“Mrs. Morris cares so very deeply for each one of her students. She clearly understands the unique needs, personalities and strengths of every person in her classroom. She cautiously shelters each student’s hopes and anxieties. She is always present to provide encouragement when challenges arise and likewise genuinely celebrates every accomplishment, no matter the caliber,” one nominating student said.
The Parker Award was established in 2011 by Beverly Parker, a former Harman teacher, in loving memory of her husband Bob.
“We feel such a close bond with the Oakwood education system. We have always believed the teachers in the Oakwood Schools are exceptional and give much of themselves for the betterment of the children in our community,” Parker said. “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.”
In nominating Morris for the award, one parent wrote, “Lori Morris shows her students not just how to succeed, but how to lead. Her upperclassmen are taught to shape, encourage and champion younger students while experiencing the profound satisfaction that comes from being a mentor. She has built a symbiotic team of competitive learners, with a contagious drive to excel.”
Another student shared that “as an English teacher, Mrs. Morris emphasizes the articulation and exchange of ideas. I always look forward to class discussions because they feel organic and relevant to high school students, even though they relate to our study of established works of literature.”
One parent summed up the impact Morris has on her students, “Quite simply – their love of learning is a reflection of her love of teaching.”
The Oakwood Schools Foundation congratulates Morris on being the ninth recipient of The Parker Love of Teaching Award and thanks all the alumni, parents, students and community members who nominated teachers and wrote letters of support. The Foundation thanks Bev Parker for her generosity and vision in establishing this important award.
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 read the stories of all of our previous winners on the Archives page