Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) recently revealed the five finalists for Teacher of the Year, one of which was Winter Park High School’s very own Stewart Parker, Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography teacher at WPHS’s 9th grade center. The award serves to honor and recognize excellence in teaching, support continued learning for all educators, and highlight the importance and impact of the teaching profession in the State of Florida.
Stewart Parker has been a Winter Park local for over 20 years. After graduating from Rollins College with a history degree, Parker started his teaching career in 2002 at Winter Park High. He began teaching AP Human Geography in 2006, and since then, his students have continuously exceeded the district, state, and national average in AP final assessments.
Parker focuses on exposing his students to contrasting ways of thinking and perspectives from all around the world in this course. In the classroom, he focuses on helping his students become global citizens. “[I try to open] the horizon for a lot of different ways that [students] can be agents of change in the world, locally and globally,” Parker said
Parker was notified of his finalist status for Teacher of the Year after OCPS Superintendent Barbara Jenkins called his classroom unannounced. “It feels really affirming of what I do in the classroom,” he said.
The OCPS Teacher of the Year winner will be announced during a virtual award ceremony in January and will advance to compete in the state competition, concluding in the summer of 2021.