By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
Cannon County Director of Schools Barbara Parker has been honored as the top administrator in the Upper Cumberland Schools District for 2013.
Parker has been named the 2013 Upper Cumberland Director of the Year by her peers, according to Randy Gannon, chairman of the Cannon County Board of Education.
"I feel honored to be the Upper Cumberland Direct-or of the Year," Parker said. "I have worked with several of these men and women for a total of 12 years. It's a fine group of people and they are all deserving so I am humbled to be selected."
Cannon County is one of 14 counties within the Upper Cumberland Reg-ion. It includes Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties.
Parker, who has served as Cannon County's Director of Schools for a total of 12 years, oversees seven schools in the system. Despite limited funding from the Cannon County Commission, Parker has successfully managed the schools and implemented several programs through grants. In fact, East Side Elementary was named a state "Reward School" in 2012-13.
"We have some good schools in Cannon County," Parker said. "I think our teachers and students do a great job with the resources we have. They make me proud and I hope I make them proud."
Gannon praised Parker for the job she does, especially with the limited resources she faces.
"We congratulate (Parker) on receiving this honor," Gannon said. "She works hard and certainly is deserving of this award."
Because of a limited budget and financial burden Parker has to implement programs that benefit the entire system, not just a few schools within it.
"We strive to implement programs that will give us the maximum educational benefit," Parker said. "In order to be successful, teachers have to build relationships with their students and the families of their students. Because we work in a small county, this is easily done. I feel that our students know they are important, and we want them to succeed."