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In Memoriam: Charlotte Parker (1955-2016) 

2016 November 29
by HISD Communications

charlotteparkerHISD lost a much-loved and highly respected former educator late last week, when Charlotte Parker passed away at the age of 61. Dr. Parker was a 35-year veteran of the district with a long track record of improving student success and mentoring educational leaders throughout the greater Houston area.

Parker graduated from Jack Yates High School and continued her education at Texas Southern University with a major in Elementary Education and Teaching. While teaching at HISD, she also obtained both her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from TSU. 

Dr. Parker’s career as an administrator in HISD started at Roosevelt Elementary, where her leadership helped the school attain the state’s exemplary rating for five consecutive years. She was hosted at the White House by President Bill Clinton, and was also featured on 60 Minutes. The school was identified by the state as a model of excellence and a mentor school.  After achieving success at Roosevelt, she became principal of Burbank Middle School and later went on to serve as principal of Kashmere High School.

After retiring from HISD, Dr. Parker continued to inspire and mentor aspiring principals and school leaders. She joined Houston A+ Challenge in 2009 and provided leadership coaching and project management for HISD and surrounding districts over the last seven years.

Parker received many awards and honors during her lifetime, including being named Principal of the Year by the National Alliance of Black School Educators in 1999 as well as being named a Texas Reading Leader by the Texas Education Agency. She was named Principal of the Year for HISD’s North Central District in 2005, and the next year was named Region 4’s Principal of the Year from HISD’s North Region.

“Charlotte had a gift for bringing out the best in her students and staff as a group and as individuals,” said longtime HISD colleague and friend Yolanda Rodriguez. “She helped to coach and develop many current district leaders, leaving a lifetime legacy of excellence among our HISD family. She will be truly missed.”

Funeral Services are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, at Brentwood Baptist Church, 13033 Landmark, Houston, 77045. Viewing is from 9-11 a.m. with funeral following at 11 a.m.

27 Responses leave one →
  1. Ana M Gonzales permalink
    November 29, 2016

    Dr Parker was my 2nd principal at Burbank Middle School ,I will miss her ,what i take with me is that she taught me to multi- task and there was no task too small or too Big to you always.

  2. Demitra Cain permalink
    November 29, 2016

    I had the honor of working with Dr. Parker at Roosevelt Elementary. She truly exemplified the true meaning of an excellent Principal. Her love for children went above and beyond her hours of working, and being part of her staff meant so did I. She taught me so much that has helped me advance from a classroom Aide to an Administrative Assistant to this day. She was the Principal for all of my children. She will truly be missed and we will always remember the lesson we learned.

    Love ya Dr. P.
    Jones- Ashford- Cain -Family 🙂

  3. Maria Sepulveda permalink
    November 29, 2016

    Dr. Parker,

    It was an honor and a privilege to have worked with you for 6 years at Burbank MS and Kashmere HS. I will always treasure the wonderful memories of you as a boss and a wonderful human being. You will be missed.


  4. Wanda F. Baker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    A 5-Star General of Education. The Michael Jackson of Education. The Diamond and Pearls of Education. The ONE and ONLY Dr. Charlotte Parker. Miss you much.

  5. Carolyn James permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Charlotte and I worked at Will Rogers Elementary she was an excellent teacher. We were the Rogers Stars and she was a true star achieving so much and touching the lives of so many. The world of education has lost a great educator, mentor and hero to so many children. Her star now is in the heavens where she will no doubt continue to shine.

    Carolyn James
    “Rogers Star” we never stop shining

    • Yatasha Ervin permalink
      November 30, 2016

      Dr. Parker was truly a Rogers Star. She was such a firm educator with a heart for her students. She believed in the future of all she came in contact with. I will forever remember those Will Rogers moments.

    • Barbara Clemente permalink
      November 30, 2016

      I agree with Ms. James about the incredible energy Dr.Parker created at Will Rogers . I remember the days of the amazing programs and the quality of what the student’s were able to perform ,recite and create …unforgettable .

  6. Debra Robinson permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Another HISD angel. I did not know Ms. Parker, but reading the comments and her biography about her life was amazing My condolences goes out to her family and friends. As I was always told…..when death cannot be explained….instead of saying “WHY”? I always say…GOD LOVED HER MORE THAN WE DID.

  7. Delesa Thomas permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Dr. Parker was truly one of a kind when it came to excellence in education. I will never forget how she took me under her wings and sat and talked to me about how to monitor instruction using data and shared all her best principal practices. She was selfless in giving and touched so many lives in a positive way. Such a God fearing woman and it showed in the way she treated others. God has gained an Angel in Heaven! Dr.Parker will forever live in our hearts and the memories of so many people as a GREAT Woman, who did GREAT things! She will be sadly missed.

    Delesa Thomas
    Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy

  8. Mark Bedell permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Dr. Parker was a phenomenal leader and an inspiration to many of us. She served as my mentor during my tenure as a principal at Washinton high school. I am now a superintendent and this would not be possible without her leadership, insight and commitment. She taught me about being an innovative and outside of box thinker. I have always viewed Dr. Parker as a mother figure. You will be missed!!!

  9. Carmen Johnson permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I have had the honor to teach under Dr Charlotte Parker’s leadership at both Roosevelt Elementary and Burbank Middle School. She believed in teaching the whole child, as her campuses would present programs that would have but Broadway to shame. She was also my children’s principal because where ever she was leading, children were learning. Here campuses exemplified excellence in providing students with rich learning experiences. She exposed inner city children to trips not only to places like Washington D.C. and NYC but to Canada and Europe. She held fundraisers to open these opportunities to underprivileged children. She never stopped working, long into the night she would be in her office doing what was needed for students. Teachers on her staff would have whatever they needed to do their jobs. Bulletin board supplies and novel-sets, whatever it took she would find a way to get what was needed. Her famous words were: Much is given, and much is expected. She expected great things because she believed in the power of education to change lives and make this country great. God Bless her as she rests in Glory.

  10. Marla Jackson permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Parker at through A+ Challenge. She was a very personable lady and always willing to help. She had a vast repertoire of knowledge that she greatly shared with all. She will be missed.

  11. Irma Galloway permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Dr. Parker was my son’s third grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School. Even though I told her this many times while she was teaching him, I want to say it again: Thank you Dr. Parker for teaching my son and helping him grow and develop into a strong, intelligent, productive young man. Unfortunately, Reginald had a fatal car accident in 2005. I am hoping and praying that you all will meet up in Heaven and continue your journey together as student and teacher.

    Dr. Irma Galloway

  12. Albert Pipkin permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I met Dr. Parker when she was the principal at Roosevelt ES and I was a maintenance TL for her campus. She excepted the best service for her students and staff. That standard I pass along to my team!

    {You will be missed}

    Albert Pipkin

    HVAC South Manager

  13. Carolyn D Bell permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I Will Truely Miss Her Genuine Smile,Rest In Heaven

  14. Claudia Madrigal permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I am so sorry for her loss. I met her a few years ago as a principal at Burbank MS. Prayers for her and her family.

  15. Princess Granger permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I worked under Dr. Parker as a Special Education Chairperson for 8 years. She taught me how to stand my ground and fight for what was right for the students. No obstacle was to big in terms of helping students get where they needed to go. It is so big a lump to swallow because it is hard to believe that anything could take her down, not even death. I know she was baptized in the River Jordan a week ago. Not a one to waste time, she must have heard our heavenly father call her home.

  16. Alma Nickelberry permalink
    November 30, 2016

    There will never ever in this or any other lifetime be another Dr. Charlotte Parker. She was a wonderful person to work for. I will honestly miss Dr. Parker

  17. Barbara Clemente permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I also had the honor of working with Dr. Parker at Will Rogers , ( back in the day ) as I was entering my very first year teaching . She was so generous in sharing her skills and material with me .
    She and Ms. Marilyn Thomas were the inspiration and class I wanted to attain . Dr. Thomas blazed trails in the educational halls for 35 years and now her love for us is blazing like the star she already was in heaven .
    God loaned us an amazing human being and has now called her home .
    Most grateful ,
    Barbara Valdez- Clemente

    • Barbara Clemente permalink
      November 30, 2016

      I meant to say Dr. Parker , not Dr. Thomas …please excuse my error

  18. Marili permalink
    November 30, 2016

    She was the best principal ever while I was in Kashmere High. I will never forget the time when she paid for my trip to LA with the choir team when I couldn’t come up with all the money. Dr. Parker will be truely miss.

  19. Cynthia Wilson permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Dr. Charlotte Parker left her fingerprint on everyone she met through her journey as a teacher, principal, mentor, coach, role model or friend. She left the world better because she gave so much of herself to it. In every way she was and always be the example we should all learn from. What a legacy she left in Houston ISD and beyond! A true blessing and an astonishing individual.

  20. Carolyn Miller permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Dr. Charlotte J. Parker understood it takes a village to raise a child. As the principal of Kashmere High School, she worked with all of the institutions in the community that presented themselves. She worked with the Kashmere Alumni Association, the Kashmere PTA, the Thunder Soul doucumentary, and the Conrad O. Johnson SPARK Park Committee. Unlike many principals, she did not restrict the community from being on campus or having input in the rebuilding of Kashmere. Under Dr. Parker’s leadership, within 1 semester, TEA rated Kashmere acceptable.

    As a product of HISD and someone who has volunteered in HISD for over 25 years, I have never seen a principal as competent and loving as Dr. Charlotte J. Parker. I believe if she had been allowed to stay at Kashmere, we would not be undergoing the current crisis. But as usual, politics and evil ruins that which is good. Genesis 50:20 KJV “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive”.

    I witness Charlotte’s excellence from the first day Dr. Savedra brought Dr. Parker to her first Kashmere faculty meeting until her last day. There were many days she was there after 10:00 p.m. and a few times she was there until midnight working to improve Kashmere. That type of dedication is unparalleled.

    Because of her faith in God, Charlotte got to live her life with vigor and joy. She told me one day, “I count it all joy because it is what it is”. The witness of her colleagues, parents, students, and community members all attest to the excellence in which she demostrated her faith in God.

  21. Gina Batie permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Charlotte was a model for all education professionals. She was the example for me and I will always consider her my mentor. Her words to me often were “we will do what is best for children”, and she meant it! When making decisions for my students her words ring out loud! She worked tirelessly to provide a quality education for all youth in HISD. Charlotte was one of a kind and I miss her terribly. I offer my condolences to her family.

  22. Rosa E. Hernandez permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Dr. Parker was is a corner stone at Burbank Middle School. She is an amazing leader, woman, educator, and mentor. It was a honor to carry on her legacy at Burbank MS as principal. She believed in ALL kids and ensured they received a quality and well-rounded education before going on to high school. She is beloved by her students, staff, co-workers, and community. She will truly be missed!

    Rosa E. Hernandez

  23. Ms. Williams permalink
    December 2, 2016

    She was my principal when I was in Elementary School at Roosevelt Elementary! She was awesome and has continued to be awesome. I am a middle school teacher and when I told others who she was to me, they talked about her being their mentors and such! It is awesome to see life come full circle and to see that she has touched generations, I am overwhelmed but at peace because I know that this was a peaceful passing and less pain for her now!!

  24. Jessie Woodcock permalink
    December 8, 2016

    I met Charlotte in ,I believe 1976 as a first grade teacher at Pleasantville Elementary School. My son was in her Vanguard class. I have had the good fortune to work with and know many truely gifted educators in my life and the then Miss Parker was one of the best. She genuinely understood the needs of these special and challenging children very often walking a fine linewith them between creative expression and self discipline. It has been a joy to watch her through out her career and she will be greatly missed

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