Parker takes helm at HISPublished 12:21pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Gaylon Parker has taught a little bit of everything during his 19-year career in education.
He’s taught from English/language arts and psychology to science and math.
“That’s all a part of being a teacher in a small school,” Parker said of his time teaching at Speake. “When the principal needs someone to step up and teach a subject or coach a sport, you say ‘yes.’”
That experience, however, has helped prepare Parker to become an administrator and new principal at Hartselle Intermediate School. He said he loves to interact with the teachers and students.
“When I took a job at the central office, I realized that I missed that aspect more than anything,” Parker said. “After being an assistant principal, it felt like the normal progression of being an administrator, but I missed getting to be with the students. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to come here.”
Parker, who is originally from the East Lawrence area of Lawrence County, has been living in Moulton for the last 13 years. He has been an assistant principal at Speake and Moulton Middle schools before becoming principal at Moulton Middle School. He later took a supervisor position at the Lawrence County Board of Education.
He and his wife, Kendra, will celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary in August. They have a son, Ben.
Music plays a major role the Parkers’ lives. They sing and play together on stage.
“Music is a big part of our family,” Parker said. “At one time, my wife and I were traveling on the road, and my son wants to go into the music business full time.”
Parker said one of the challenges he faces is helping to create an identity for Hartselle Intermediate School, which will begin its second year of existence this fall. Last year was the first time that fifth and sixth grade students and teachers were all together in one place.
“What we want to do is to create a unique culture for Hartselle Intermediate School,” Parker said. “I want us to take the good things that worked from other schools and try some new things to find the best methods for educating our children. We want to play on our strengths.”
One thing that has impressed Parker has been the staff and community support.
“We have great teachers here,” Parker said. “Hartselle has a great track record of education and we want to build on that. The community support has also been amazing. There is community pride that most communities don’t have. When I talk with people in the community, I feel like we’re a part of something special.”