Amber Parker Named Intirim Asst. Principal at BCMS
By WestKyStar Staff
LACENTER, KY - Long-time Ballard County Middle School teacher Amber Parker has been named interim assistant principal for the school's 2012-13 school year. She also will serve as athletic director for that time.
BCMS assistant principal Dustin Roberts is leaving after his second year in that job, and ninth in the district. He was hired as director of pupil personnel and transportation at Carlisle County Schools last week, which leaves the vacancy.
Parker has been a BCMS teacher since January 1999, most recently in health and PE. She finished her principal’s certification in just May of this year. While she said she had seen other administrative job openings since her certification, she had two important filters: She wanted to begin this phase of her career as an assistant, and she preferred to stay in Ballard County.
Her new job responsibilities will include discipline for the middle school, as well as assisting in curriculum and instruction development. Parker also will be leading teacher training before classes begin, including ongoing sessions on Ruby Payne’s landmark book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty.
She said that continuing her own education on the job is probably the thing she’s anticipating the most. Although she won’t have a block-schedule styled day any more, Parker said she was looking forward to interacting with all middle school students, and building relationships with struggling students and their families.
“I wanted to learn from really good administrators,” she said. “I think that will make me better for the district.” She likened the working-her-way up scenario to coaching, a job she’d know a little something about: Parker was the Lady Bombers girls’ varsity basketball coach for 6 years, and is the only Ballard coach to be named Region 1’s Coach of the Year (2003).
She said she was glad to be getting back into athletics, a part of her professional life she’d traded for being the mom of quadruplets. Parker said she knew many area basketball coaches and officials, and thought she’d enjoy learning about the school’s other sports like volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball and football.
“We have successful programs here, and I’d like to find a way to get even more students involved,” she said. “If not in athletics, in other things our school has to offer.”
Parker said she didn’t think it would be difficult to work as an administrator among former teacher colleagues. She cited the middle school’s culture and tradition of critique, feedback and support among the faculty. “We really are like a close family here,” she said. “I just want to help keep the culture of the building positive, for our teachers, students and families.”
Ballard Memorial High School Principal David Meinschein worked with the administrative team trying to fill the sudden void after Roberts landed the Carlisle job. “We needed continuity, two weeks out from the beginning of school, to best serve our families and our students,” he said. The group’s two main criteria were leadership skills and current administrative certification, Meinschein said; Parker also brought the added bonuses of both classroom and athletics experience.
Because the job opening occurred so close to the beginning of school on Aug. 9, the placement was made as an interim. While interim placements do not require the state’s 30-day posting requirement, the job will be posted in the spring for the 2013-14 term.