Aker named Parent of the Year

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brookhaven’s Shannon Aker was named the 2009 Parent of the Yearfor the Brookhaven School District Tuesday night, receiving praisefrom school board members for his almost 13 years of involvement inthe education system.

Aker has been attending functions and working behind the scenesat Brookhaven schools since his oldest daughter, 20-year-oldAllison Aker, entered the system. She graduated last year, butyounger daughter Leslie, 17, is now a senior, guaranteeing thedistrict at least one more year of Aker.

“As a parent, if you’re not involved, you’re missing a greatblessing,” Aker said. “I’ve been involved the whole 12 years, andit seems like it was just yesterday.”

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Aker’s biggest influence of late has been on Brookhaven HighSchool’s Vo-Tech center, where his position as the vice presidentof the Bank of Brookhaven allows him to give students insight intothe business and economic world. He also serves on a pair ofVo-Tech committees that meet twice annually to help determine thecenter’s curriculum with input from the public.

Though school officials praised Aker for his willingness toalways lend a hand, Aker said he doesn’t feel deserving of theaward.

“I just think you should be involved,” he said. “We’ve got greatschools – Lincoln County, Brookhaven Academy and Brookhaven. Ittakes great schools to have a great community.”

Superintendent Lea Barrett said Aker was one of the firstinvolved parents she met when she first arrived in Brookhaven in1995 as the Vo-Tech director. She said he was an “extremely good”choice for district parent of the year.

“He’s always been interested in, and concerned about, theBrookhaven School District,” Barrett said of Aker. “He’s supportedus first of all by putting his children into the district, andsecondly by using his skills as a businessman to support andpromote the district in every facet of everything we do.”

Aker wasn’t the only parent honored by the board Tuesday night.A parent of the year from each of the district’s five schools wasalso named.

Dienna Moak and Laurie Sullivan shared parent of the year honorsfor Mamie Martin Elementary School, while Molly Kergosien was namedtop parent for Brookhaven Elementary School. Shannon Clark, arepeat parent of the year, took home the award for both LipseySchool and Alexander Junior High School, while band boosterpresident Sammy Jones was named top parent at Brookhaven HighSchool. Aker’s school-based award was for the Vo-Tech center.

“That’s what makes Brookhaven such a great place to live,”Barrett said. “We have parents who care about the students and theschool district.”