Teacher Spotlight: Gwen Parish



Math teacher and NHS sponsor, Gwen Parish

Sayler Beerwinkle, Editor

Gwen Parish is the Algebra 1 & 2, Financial Math, Accounting, and Pre-Cal teacher. She is also the National Honor Society sponsor. Mrs. Parish grew up in Abilene, TX and graduated from Cooper High School. After high school, she went to Texas Tech and double majored in accounting and finance. She then met her husband Mark, and moved to Earth so he could farm. They have one son and one daughter who are both married. They also have brand new grandson who is currently overseas.  

She first went to work at a bank examiner for the FDIC and that’s where she met Mark.

“He always knew he would come back to Earth,” Parish said. “So, when we got married, I needed a different career.” 

Parish enrolled in an alternative certification program at Tech and got certified to teach secondary math.  

“Math is like accounting in lots of ways,” Parish said. “It has organization and structure and there are patterns that help it make sense.”  

At first, she planned to get her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then go to medical school.  

“That idea only lasted about a year because women weren’t seen as strong candidates for med school back then,” Parish said. “I thought about going to nursing school but decided to major in accounting.” 

She has been teaching for 33 years, and only here at SEHS. She is also an adjunct instructor at SPC, but all of her classrooms have been on our campus.  

“Looking back, it’s hard to believe I’ve been teaching for 33 years,” Parish said. “I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed examining banks or doing accounting nearly as much as I’ve enjoyed teaching.” 

Senior Evan DeLeon has been in Mrs. Parish’s classes throughout his high school career. 

“Mrs. Parish is an outstanding teacher,” DeLeon said. “When she teaches, she goes into very deep detail and makes sure that everyone is okay and ready, before moving on.” 

If or when she decides to retire, she would be interested in being an instructional coach, which would help teachers improve their craft.  

“People have started to ask me when I’m going to retire,” Parish said. “But I have no idea what I would do with myself if I did.” 

She enjoys reading, working outside, specifically not mowing, organizing things, restoring and repurposing furniture, and of course teaching math.  

“I feel like I’m called to be an encourager and a difference-maker,” Parish said. “So teaching gives me lots of opportunities to answer that calling.”