r Nebo educator, Gaylynn Parker, former teacher at Spanish Fork Junior High and current teacher at Payson High School, was honored for her accomplishments with the Zion’s Bank and KSL’s NewsRadio Teacher Feature award. Nominated last spring by a former student, Mrs. Parker was honored on January 10, 2019.
Sam Whitaker, Mrs. Parker’s nominator and former student, said, “Mrs. Parker is the KINDEST teacher I have ever had. There has not ever been a single negative or foul word that has been spoken by her. All words spoken are that of kindness, support, and compassion. She is always willing to help a student out on a writing assignment they are stuck on, or is always willing to offer a word of kindness to those that are feeling down in the dumps that day. You can never leave her room without a smile – EVER. In addition, if you do not, then she’s right there behind you with a word of encouragement or a small joke or riddle to make you think and smile.
“Mrs. Parker has taught her students this year to find the GOOD in the world. Every day she directly or indirectly reminds us to find the good in the world as of that day. For example, after the Stoneman-Douglas shooting in Florida earlier this year, she took immediate action and invited all of her English classes to write letters of love and encouragement for those students who experienced and witnessed the shooting, shock, or emotional trauma and media attention after the shooting. In addition, that day, she encouraged us to write of good things in the world, and how there are “secret hands” that work to help lift up those who are in need. Those “secret hands”, she mentioned later, were us writing letters of love and encouragement. If a student wants to know that there really is good in the world today, they know which teacher to go to.
“If there is ever a student that fixes a mistake in an assignment, she always corrects their grade right then and there in that instant. She knows that students need to feel important and watched over in order to think harder and feel better about themselves. There is not a student in her class that does not know that they can do any task they put their mind to.
“Mrs. Parker ran the TEDEd Club at our school this year, and she was able to help those in the club (myself included) with their TEDTalks, no matter what kind. She sets the same goals for herself as she does her students. There is not an assignment that she gives her students that she cannot do herself. Mrs. Parker is creative, kind, good-seeking and uplifting in any way that is thinkable. There is not anything that this amazing teacher at Spanish Fork Junior High School cannot do!”
KSL NewsRadio and Zion’s Bank have highlighted outstanding teachers since 1994. Winning teachers are announced every Tuesday Morning on Utah’s Morning News with Brian and Amanda.
Each winning teacher is honored with a plaque from Zion’s Bank, an overnight stay at the Anniversary Inn, a gift certificate for dinner at the Roof Restaurant at Temple Square, a pair of season tickets to the Hale Centre Theater, and a $200 Walmart gift card.
All winners are also invited to a special end-of-year banquet at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. In addition, one lucky teacher will win the grand prize 2-year lease on a new car courtesy of Burt Brother Tire and Service.