Pat Parker, one of the longest-serving teacher at CVHS, will be the next teacher to announce her retirement follow after a sequence of resigning news by other fellow teachers.
“They say if you find a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life. That is how I feel about working here,” said Parker.
The news sparked a standing ovation from the much-surprised students. Parker’s announcement also triggered immediate speculation about who might replace her in the health department.
“Good teachers play a significant role in making us who we are. They are doing something that no one else can do: changing our view of the word and making us into something better than we were before,” said freshman Song Quan. “In fact, Ms. Parker is one of them! As a teacher, she makes sure everyone understands the concept. As an adviser of Key Club, she keeps things in check. You will be greatly missed, Ms. Parker!”
Receiving a Early Childhood Development Degree at Chabot College, she transferred and graduated from Cal State East Bay in three years with the credential to teach high school science.
Teaching at CVHS for 33 years up until now, Parker has taught classes from life science, marine biology, integrated science, health, kitchen chemistry to advanced courses including Honors Chemistry and AP Environmental science.
“Teaching is a great profession!” exclaimed Parker.
During her teaching career at CVHS, Parker recalled touring at Lawrence Livermore laboratory and met her e-mail pals from Moscow and Texas in 1995. The following year, she had the privilege traveling to Russia to share her water quality experiment, a lab to test existence of heavy metals in contaminated water. The Russian audience exchanged ideas in laboratory reports and stayed in contact with Parker’s lab group as result of their fascination to the experiment and their “extraordinary American” accent.
“It was remarkable to tour around the Los Alamos lab where the hydrogen bombs began, and of course I was traveling with the Russians together. It was a peacetime,” said Parker.
With the new insights she gained in Russia, Parker resumed her career with a novel teaching style. Often having to emphasize discipline and rote learning, she stressed a more open approach and offered a variety of activities to reinforce new concepts.
Having taught APES for three years in the past, a great amount of students in respective courses such as Calculus, APUSH, and APES achieved a significant number of fives in the AP score. In a show of passion and gratitude, she was proud to receive the nominal Siemens award for her beloved school.
“Lastly, I would like to reiterate my thanks for the support from the health department, all of the people who have worked here, all the people on the staff, thank you very much,” said Parker. “To my students, stay focus on your academic work and your dreams. Do not ever give up because everyday the mindset on achieving goals will ultimately assist you toward success.”