Notable Women in Education: Judith Parker

Principal, Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy / Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy

  • Category: Notable Women in Education
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 19
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelor of Arts in Literature/Chicago State University
  • Graduate degree/university: Masters in Elementary Education; Masters in Education Administration; Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Technology. Certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Judith Parker, principal at the Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy, told her students and staff that “learning never stops.” 

Within two weeks of the school’s closing on March 13, 2020, 100% of families had a Chromebook and a WiFi hotspot. Parker designed and managed a virtual learning model that prioritized one-on-one mentoring, student access to high-quality instruction, and self-care for students, teachers, and staff. She also created a team to develop a comprehensive health and safety plan that met the needs of the City of Milwaukee Health Department for safe reopening.

Parker maintained constant two-way communication with staff through morning meetings and daily updates. She convened monthly parent meetings to collect feedback and plan collaboratively. More than 80% of families participated in parent-teacher conferences. She personally made home check-ins of families with texts, calls and drive-bys to wave.

She encouraged continuing crazy socks day, Friday shout-outs, Decision Day and facilitated two masked, socially-distanced, in-person graduations.

Parker also found time to pen letters to the school’s board of directors, community, and donors to reinforce how issues impact the families at the central city, predominantly African American school.

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