Dr. Eric Parker has been selected to serve as executive director of Model Laboratory School.
Parker brings 17 years of experience in K-12 education, the last 13 in school and district administration. For the past year, he has served as executive director for K-12 leadership and continuous improvement for Montgomery (Alabama) Public Schools, where he led school improvement and support initiatives and directly supervised 12 elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools and seven alternative centers and programs.
Previously, Parker served as principal of Shiloh High School and Shiloh Middle School with Gwinnett County (Georgia) Schools and as principal of Therrell High School of Health Sciences and Research in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prior to assuming administrative roles, he taught and coached for four years in Georgia public schools.
“As someone who has worked to increase academic excellence for students over the past several years in areas of teaching and leadership, joining Eastern Kentucky University and Model is a great opportunity and very exciting for me,” Parker said. “Many of the conversations I have participated in thus far have focused on continuing the excellence of the Model tradition while planning to expand the collaboration within the College of Education and working to further expand Model’s footprint throughout and beyond the state.”
Parker said he would “work diligently to ensure the expectations and vision for Model are advanced for every student.”
In 2014, Parker was selected by Phi Delta Kappa International as an “Emerging Leader” and was chosen for third cohort of the America Achieves Fellowship for Teachers and Principals. The previous year, he was selected and trained as a “Race to the Top” District Peer Reviewer by the U.S. Department of Education and named an “Emerging Leader” by the Association for Curriculum Development.
Parker earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Radford University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Jacksonville State University, and a doctoral degree in educational and instructional leadership from Argosy University. He completed an MBA degree (Executive Program) at the University of Georgia in May.
Carrie Ballinger and Laura Dedic were recently named as directors of Model Elementary School and Model Secondary School, respectively.
“Dr. Parker completes what we believe to be a top-notch leadership team to carry Model Laboratory School to even greater heights of excellence,” said Dr. Janna Vice, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
In announcing the appointment, Vice thanked Dr. Sara Zeigler and members of the search committee for their work, and Dr. Ann Burns for her “dedicated service” as interim director of Model Laboratory School.
For the past two years, Model Laboratory School has ranked among the top 2 percent of the nation’s public high schools, according to Newsweek. In the magazine’s “America’s Top High Schools 2015” survey, Model was one of only three Kentucky high schools to rank in the top 500 among the nation’s approximately 25,000 public high schools. Also last year, the research site Niche ranked Model as the third best public high school in Kentucky.
Established more than a century ago on the Eastern campus, Model Laboratory School educates approximately 720 students from pre-K through 12th grade while providing field experiences for EKU students and demonstrating evidence-based strategies. It is the Commonwealth’s only remaining laboratory school.