Gerald Lee Parker, ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Gerald Lee Parker, ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 24, 2024,

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Gerald Lee Parker, ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities Gerald Lee Parker (March 30, 1939-) was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and attended Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, where he earned a B.A. degree in history (1962). He received his M.Ed, degree in social studies and educational administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1966 and an Ed.D. in reading from the University of Georgia, Athens, in 1973. Parker is married to the former Mary Richardson, who holds an M.A. degree in reading from the University of Georgia and who had worked as a reading and elementary teacher. Mary served as an adjunct instructor in curriculum and instruction at Appalachian State University and supervised student teachers from 1988 until her retirement in 1994. The couple has two children: Kimberly Li, who is a teacher of English in Xian, People's Republic of China; and Stan, accountant for Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Parker joined the faculty of Appalachian State University in 1973 as an associate professor. From 1978 to 1988, he was a professor of reading and director of the reading clinic. Parker then served as professor of language, reading, and exceptionalities and also as an adult basic skills instructor trainer (1988-91). He assisted in the development of the Adult Basic Skills Professional Development Project and directed it from 1991 until 1994. The project was designed to educate teams of trainers from each of North Carolina's fifty-eight community colleges so that these trainers could better prepare the more than seven thousand community college instructors to teach in basic literacy programs. Parker assisted in obtaining over a million dollars in grants for the projects. He conducted presentations on reading and language development at various conferences, workshops, and association meetings. In addition to his research and teaching efforts, Dr. Parker served as an educational consultant to numerous agencies, including the Polk County and Tryon city school systems; the State Department of Public Instruction; the North Carolina Teacher Quality Assurance Program; and I CARE, Inc., a community action agency providing adult literacy instruction. He also was involved with staff and program development at schools in the North Carolina counties of Ashe, Watauga, Caldwell, Avery, Stokes, Lincoln, Catawba, and Union. Additionally in 1986, Dr. Parker was invited by the Henan College of Education to lecture and assist the college in establishing an alternative English reading program for its students. In 1993, he presented papers in Kislovodsk and Vladimir, Russia and at Xian Transportation University in the People's Republic of China. Other service efforts for Parker included acting as advisor to the Blue Ridge Reading Team Literacy Association and holding memberships in the Northwest Literacy Coalition, the North Carolina Governor's Advisory Council on Literacy, and the Literacy Trust Fund of North Carolina. Within his department at Appalachian State, Dr. Parker served on the Personnel Committee, the Questionnaire Development Committee for Masters' Evaluation, the Publicity Committee for the Uberto Price Reading Symposium, and the Graduate Committee review for the Master's Degree. Dr. Parker was a member of the following organizations: International Reading Association, College Reading Association, North Carolina Association of College Professors of Reading, Adult Literacy Special Interest Group of IRA, STAR Reading Council of the North Carolina Council of IRA, North Carolina Association of Developmental Studies, and the North Carolina Adult Education Association. Since July of 1994, Parker has assisted in training CoMissioners (over 1500 Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and South Africans) to teach educators in the former Soviet Union. These CoMissioners lived in one of the former republics from one to three years and trained educators to use a morals and ethics curriculum, with lessons based on the Bible and using experiential educational strategies. Parker visited over thirty-five of the fifty-four cities that had a team of CoMissioners to evaluate the process and provide additional training. Through the training effort, CoMissioners have worked with over 40,000 educators. In January of 1997, Parker co-founded an organization called International Partnerships, which recruits Ukrainians and Russians, training them to carry out the same function as Western CoMissioners. International Partnerships now has over forty Ukranian and Russian staff in nine cities. Parker serves as one of the trainers, coaches, mentors, and fund-raisers for this organization. Parker has continued to participate as a faculty member in the Adult Basic Skills Professional Development Institutes each May and June since his retirement in 1996. He was awarded emeritus status by the Board of Trustees in 1997. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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