Fourth-grade teacher surprised by officials as Lynchburg’s Teacher of the Year

Each school nominated one educator who remained dedicated during the pandemic

LYNCHBURG, Va. – There was a surprise celebration Tuesday as Lynchburg City Schools announced its Teacher of the Year.

Rachel Parr, a fourth-grade Math and Science teacher at T.C. Miller Elementary, is the honoree.

“I’m still in shock! It is a huge honor!” said Parr.

Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards says each city school nominated one educator who remained dedicated to families during the pandemic.

“There were so many people who just stepped up to the plate and did so much, above and beyond to help our children; Miss Parr being one of them, just being exemplary in that,” said Edwards.

Despite social distancing, Parr wants to be connected to her 38 students.

“Each one is an individual, right? They’re each so special to me. When they walk into my classroom, I want them to feel like you are created to accomplish great things, and we’re going to make that happen,” said Parr.

For those who don’t walk into the classroom because they’re learning virtually, Parr created a YouTube channel.

“I did a bunch of teaching videos, so I have a whole library of that up for my kids to have access to that content. And they’re able to pause it and replay it,” said Parr.

She also checks in on students through weekly Zoom meetings.

Edwards says Parr faced the challenge in a fun way.

“She took the virtual world and said, ‘Alright, I’m going to learn it, do it and move forward with it,’” said Edwards.

And she’s inspiring kids to take risks of their own.

“We want our students to take on challenges and conquer great things,” said Parr.

This teacher of the year received an ‘A’ for appreciation.

About the Author

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.

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