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Educator of the Week Teaches Aiken Kids Valuable Lessons In and Out of Classroom

January 19, 2022

By Kristen Cornett, WKRC

Local 12 News is honoring educators in the Tri-State who go above and beyond for students. This week, we’re featuring Aaron Parker, an English Language Learner teacher at Aiken New Tech High School.

"We've got students from over 47 different countries now and our students speak over 37 languages," says, Aaron Parker.

In his class, students grades 7-12 from around the world are brought together.

Cincinnati Public Schools is doing virtual learning until January 24. Local 12 spoke with three students virtually and one student who stopped by the school to learn more about the impact Mr. Parker has had on their education.

"He's always helping students inside and outside the school." says Enock Sadiki.

"He treat everyone the same. It doesn't matter what language you speak, you could speak Russian, Spanish, French it doesn't matter." says, Anderson Colorado.

"He was helpful getting me in things I thought I would never never try." says, Sidra Masto.

"It's rare to find a teacher like Mr. Parker; a teacher that helps you with everything." says, Joyus M.

Fellow teacher, Kendra Alexander, nominated Parker to honor his commitment to his students.

"Regardless of their English proficiency or their cultural backgrounds they have an opportunity to shine." says, Alexander.

Mr. Parker leads several activities for students to get involved with at Aiken.

"Canoe building, bike club, coffee roasting, we have a farm on campus." says, Alexander.

Students help maintain a garden on campus and take care of animals. They have an alpaca, two sheep and chickens.

Mr. Parker says, "This is how we develop the language skills that we need, the listening, the speaking, the reading, the writing, and we do that through interaction."

Mr. Parker also founded Aiken's Cross Country team.

"With Cross Country, what we do is we show them that they can do something they can start an activity just like at a starting line and they can finish." says, Parker "So, its really a metaphor for their school experience."

Students also run a coffee business. They roast beans from students' different home countries and sell them to staff, students and community members. The money goes to funding scholarships for students in the department or for families who need a little extra help.

Full story and video at Local12.com

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