Akilah Parker named the PPS Citywide Teacher of the Year

Akilah Parker named the PPS Citywide Teacher of the Year
Posted on 12/13/2023
Akilah Parker named the PPS Citywide Teacher of the Year

Akilah Parker, a school counselor at Simonsdale Elementary School, has been named the Portsmouth Public Schools Citywide 2025 Teacher of the Year. Parker’s honor was announced at the division’s annual Teacher of the Year ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Parker has been in her position for the past five years. Parker’s understanding of the power of personalizing instruction based on the unique needs of students was particularly highlighted. This includes her executing different levels of assignments to accommodate for students’ level of mastery as well as using technology to enhance their learning experiences (such as deploying language learning apps to help reinforce vocabulary and grammar). Parker also believes that teaching is a reciprocal process. Specifically noting that “just as I am committed to guiding my students on their educational journey, I also learn from them.”

In addition to her work as the school counselor, she also has served as the school’s data analyst, testing coordinator, and school improvement chair. Additionally, in her time away from school, Parker volunteers for the Dominion World Outreach Food Pantry and the community clean up initiative.

In her application, Parker wrote extensively on the power of education today and the role of teachers in students’ live. Specifically, she shared:

Teaching is not just a profession; it is a calling. It is a calling to inspire, to guide, and to empower the next generation. It's about fostering a love for learning that transcends the classroom and extends into the fabric of our lives. It's about instilling in our students the belief that they can be outstanding scholars and contributing members of society…let us remember that education is not just about knowledge; it is about the belief that, through education, we can create a brighter future for all.

As the division winner, Parker will represent the division as she goes on to compete for the Region II Teacher of the Year.

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