Oakwood Junior High French teacher Mary Haucke-Davis is the 2023 Oakwood Schools Foundation’s Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award recipient. The award was presented to Haucke-Davis in a surprise assembly Friday, May 26 with students, staff, and Haucke-Davis’ family and friends.. The annual award presentation is a carefully guarded secret until the winner is unveiled each year in May.
Haucke-Davis has been teaching for more than 30 years, 18 of those in Oakwood. Thoughtful student nominations referenced the joy her class brought them through the wide variety of games, special stories created by students, and the above-and-beyond efforts she took to get to know every student.
Upon receiving the award, Haucke-Davis said she was overwhelmed by the surprise and felt undeserving.
“All you have to do is touch one life and that’s a career. Young teachers come in thinking they have to change the world, but just one life can make all the difference,” Haucke-Davis said of her teaching approach.
Bev Parker established the Parker Award, which OSF supports and administers, in 2010. As an Oakwood alumnus and former long-time Oakwood teacher and community member, Parker named the award in memory of her late husband Robert A. “Bob” Parker, Jr.
“Superior teachers make it happen. They are dedicated, patient, and differentiate. They maximize student learning potential. They build self-esteem and self-reliance. Their students are treated with respect and dignity. Their classrooms show contagious enthusiasm. They not only further their own education but they also give back to their community. This criteria is tough and rigorous but the teacher we have selected most certainly meets all of those and more,” Parker said during her presentation remarks of how the 2023 award recipient, Haucke-Davis, embodies the award.
The annual Parker Award honors a special teacher who has been teaching in Oakwood for at least five years. Students, families, community members, alumni and other staff members can nominate deserving teachers through an application. A volunteer committee reviews all of the nominations and a winner is chosen.
In addition to the surprise ceremony recognizing the teacher, the annual award comes with a cash prize for the teacher and their school, and a special custom art piece created by an Oakwood High School student. Haucke-Davis’ received her cash prize at the presentation and her award granted $700 to her World Languages department at OJH. OHS student Kate Arzola created the custom art piece just for Haucke-Davis.
Saying her family benefited in many ways from Oakwood’s outstanding school system and wanting to give back to the schools in a special way, former longtime Oakwood teacher Beverly Parker created the award in 2010 in memory of her late husband Robert Parker.
Parents, students, community members, alumni, other faculty members and administrators can nominate teachers who meet the award criteria, which includes teaching in Oakwood Schools for at least five years. Nominations and letters of support are retained for one year. If a candidate is not selected as the winner, the nominator may simply submit the current nomination form and the candidate will be reconsidered.
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.