Holding a considerable passion for education, Beth A. Parrish knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. As a child she volunteered with her local church’s vacation Bible school and, in high school, she acted as a tutor to her fellow students. She began her education at Indiana University Kokomo, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1994, before going on to achieve a degree in early childhood education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Ms. Parrish is certified to teach pre-kindergarten to sixth grade and has been endorsed and licensed to teach grades 6-8 as well.
Today Ms. Parrish’s specialty lies in early childhood education, and she has put in the effort to cultivate the patience necessary to manage and nurture young children. She embarked on this career path as a teacher with North Carolina Head Start, a program that supports disadvantaged children from birth to age 5 to help them be prepared for starting school, working with four pre-K programs. During this time, her classroom additionally served as a licensed daycare and she notably helped her preschool rise from a 4-star rating to a 5-star rating with the state of North Carolina.
Working in this role for 17 years, Ms. Parrish then moved to Indiana and joined the Darrough Chapel Head Start program as a teacher at the Darrough Chapel Early Learning Center in Kokomo in 2017. Her daily responsibilities include leading the classroom’s daily schedule, conducting arrival activities, and managing breakfast and toothbrushing sessions after meals. She is also responsible for supervising outdoor time, so the children can have a safe environment to explore nature; encouraging discussions of nutritious snacks during snack time; and supervising other play breaks and nap time.
With Head Start, Ms. Parrish teaches young students, many of whom are having their first time away from their parents or guardians and, for that reason, she takes care to make her classroom fun and engaging to minimize any separation anxiety. Her goal is to encourage students to learn and is incredibly proud to give children their first experience with education and help them develop a love of learning. Above everything, she considers her greatest professional achievement to be the success of her students and seeing the high school graduation rate go up since the establishment of the Head Start program. Ms. Parrish finds incredible gratification in seeing her students at their graduations walking across the stage in their caps and gowns.
Attributing much of her success to the excellent mentors she had in the field of early childhood education, Ms. Parrish is grateful to have been surrounded by strong, educated women who were willing to share their experiences. Looking toward the future, she intends to give back to the next generations of teachers through working as a veteran teacher and mentor in her Head Start program. She is also presently involved with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing educators, administrators, children and families. Living her life by the motto, “Tomorrow is going to be a better day,” Ms. Parrish has been recognized for her excellence by Marquis Who’s Who since her time teaching in North Carolina.