Huntsman awards: Teachers, principals and volunteers honored for excellence in education

Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 12:21 p.m. MDT

Mark H. Huntsman Award: Jo Edan Parker, Teacher, Mapleton Junior High School, Mapleton Next List » 11 of 11 « Prev
Huntsman Corp.
Jo Edan Parker's job as a severe behavioral special education teacher is one that requires specialized training, patience and perseverance. In her position, Parker works with a unique group of children from all over Nebo School District who have severe intellectual and behavioral challenges.

Parker is an advocate for students, who in many cases are not able to speak for themselves. She teaches her students the academic fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as the life skills necessary for public society.

Each month, Parker organizes field trips to help her students gain experience outside the classroom, like buying things and interacting with crowds at a shopping mall or learning good manners while eating at a restaurant. She also works with her colleagues to arrange ways for her students to actively participate in classes like drama and physical education.

With the help of P.E. teachers, Parker founded the Nebo Special Ed Extravaganza, a carnival and dance open to all special education students in the district. She also collaborates regularly with district personnel, speech therapists, occupational therapists, parents and school administrators to review and discuss her students' progress.

Paker is described as a dedicated teacher with an innate ability to read and understand a child's wants and needs. She is able to create meaningful experiences for her students, with unique insight into the way an individual child learns and how resources can be maximized to ensure that children are developing their communication and reasoning skills.
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