Dr. Mary Parker, President Elect
Mary Parker earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, her master’s degree in Educational Administration, and her specialist degree in Educational Administration from a rural university, Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Mary was later in the first cohort at Western Illinois University and earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 1999. Mary earned her degrees while working at several challenging jobs in education and other fields. Mary’s first position after graduating was at Neoga District #3. In successive years she was the 1-6 music teacher, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and again fifth grade teacher before earning her certification to become a Title I teacher. Mary was then a Title I teacher and Title I director at Neoga, Illinois. In 1995 Mary became the Title I director and Integrated Learning System Coordinator for Mattoon Community District #2. In that capacity Mary was in charge of bringing a new integrated learning software program online for four targeted Title I schools, training teachers in the new system, maintaining several hundred computers, and overseeing the Title I budget. In addition, a few years later, Mary accepted the additional responsibilities of becoming the principal of the kindergarten center and writing grants for the district. As a competitive grant writer, Mary was able to win $500,000 in grants for Mattoon to help implement and maintain programs for students and staff in the Mattoon School District. Mary also added to her workload the responsibility of being the elementary principal of elementary school, Title I Budget serving approximately 700 students. In 2000, Mary became the superintendent of the Delavan CUSD 703 K-12, a small rural school district near Peoria where she remains today. This is Mary’s fifteen year at Delavan. At Delavan, Mary is the chief fiscal officer while she works with the building principals, staff, and board of education, to serve the students of the district. Mary has also been active in promoting rural schools and has banded together with two other superintendents to do research and has presented to the Illinois Lt. Governor’s office, locally, statewide, and nationally on the problems small schools face. Mary is continuing her four year research and will be presenting at the National Rural School Association in October, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas.