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Teachers of the Year: DeLana Parker
Teachers of the Year: DeLana Parker
Posted on 08/14/2019
DeLana Parker shows talks to two students about the natural world.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

DeLana Parker believes in authenticity and empathy.

“I’m not fake, and I don’t hold grudges,” she said. “Every day is a clean slate. We’re going to be the best that we can be.”

The sixth-grade English and social studies teacher at Charles T. Koontz Intermediate School is in her 16th year teaching for Buncombe County Schools. Intermediate school, she said, is the perfect time to encourage habits that will make her students successful later on.

“They’re at an age when they’re still moldable; they’re still becoming,” she said. “So I show them the importance of consistency and respect. I teach them to be intentional – every moment needs to be on purpose. I want them to think about who they want to be in this world.”

Parker is Koontz’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, and was recently named the Roberson District Teacher of the Year. She wanted to be a veterinarian when she was little, but a high school career test predicted she would be a teacher.

DeLana Parker talks to students in the media center.“I thought it was crazy, but when I went to college I quickly realized veterinary science wasn’t for me,” she said. “I ended up substitute teaching during college, and I immediately loved it.”

Her classroom features spirited discussions about books and social issues. Her students don’t always agree, but they know they’re on the same team.

“I want them to be good at listening to that other side and let it either strengthen what they feel or adjust their perspectives,” she said. “That’s how you become a lifelong learner.”

Koontz Intermediate Principal Reggie Bright said Parker’s greatest strength is the relationship she builds with students.

“She knows you can’t reach a student until you know a student,” he said. “That’s why she spends so much time getting to know them. She incorporates their points of view and seeks their input in classroom instruction. She makes the classroom space feel like home, like it belongs to everyone.”


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Parker is one of seven classroom teachers selected as a district teacher of the year out of the 1,650 teachers in the BCS system. She and the other six district winners will be featured in an upcoming special video produced by the BCS Communications Department. One of the seven district winners will be selected as the overall BCS Teacher of the Year.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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