Parkway e-News Story

Albert Award Winners

The Parkway Alumni Association has selected three dynamic teachers to receive the 2015 Albert Award.

The award recognizes teachers who have been teaching for five years or less, and who show extraordinary promise as educators. Its namesake is former Parkway principal and educator Dr. Al Burr.

The teachers were recently presented with an initial recognition in their classrooms. All three will receive a $1,000 stipend and will be honored at Parkway’s annual Appreciation Evening in April.

Aaron Bashirian, Alternative Discipline Center

Aaron Bashirian has gained his students unyielding attention by using empirical methods to teach history. Wearing a kilt to school, he has taught his students how to throw a spear, fire a trebuchet, and understand why the devices played important roles in the development of civilization. He demonstrates a passion for teaching on a daily basis, engaging his students in discussions about the impact both history and current events may have on the future.

Jen Parmentier, Craig Elementary

Jen Parmentier has established herself as a teacher who not only goes the extra mile for her students, she seeks it. Starting as a teacher assistant two years ago, she helped set up a behavior intervention classroom, teaching students the values of respect, integrity, responsibility, empathy and caring. Today, her fourth-grade students can frequently be heard reminding each other to “be professional, re-direct, co-exist and have a growth mindset.” She spends a great deal of time getting to know her students and attends a few of their extra-curricular events, though she has a family of her own. She has twice received the school’s MVP Award (Mission, Vision and Practice).

The following teachers were nominated for the award, which is also an honor.

Emily Thornburg, Northeast Middle

Emily Thornburg is a problem solver. By collaborating with her team teachers, grade-level counselor and administrator to find ways to help her students, she has provided structure and consistency in her classroom so that all students are able to learn and progress. Beyond the classroom, she has stepped into leadership roles and developed after-school activities to meet the needs of her students. She is the sixth-grade character council leader, helping students become active members of the school community and find a place to showcase their passion. She seeks constructive criticism in order to push herself to grow, and truly models what it means to enjoy the struggle of being an educator.


Graeme Allen, Carman Trails

Emily Beckham, Sorrento Springs

Maggie Beckman, McKelvey

Julia Biales, River Bend

Emily Pleiness, Barretts Elementary

Christie Puricelli, Oak Brook Elementary

Ashley Quinn, Henry Elementary

Kathryn Taylor, River Bend

Jaclyn Deelo, Central High

Ashley Hartmann, Central High

Christy Keating, Central High

Brian Parrish, West High

Andrew Rudolph, North High

Patrick Troy, North High

Shannon Gallaher, South Middle