D.C. teacher takes her entire senior class out to breakfast
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - At Denny's restaurant in Northeast Thursday morning, the servers were hauling in the pancakes and eggs and bacon.
The guests of honor? The graduating seniors of Ms. Barbara Parker's English class from Woodson High School.
Parker started bringing them there four years ago - more than 60 students this year - and pays for it out of her own pocket.
"I think its just something they deserve, as young people who are moving forward, who are being productive," she says.
"It was out of the blue," said student Terrial Williams. "She just gave everybody invitations."
"I'm grateful for a teacher who would do this for me," said student Diamond Beverly.
Parker has not only taught at Woodson High School for 36 years, but she has lived her entire life in this same neighborhood.
Traditionally, during the annual breakfast, Parker invites in community leaders to give her students pep-talks - from ANC commissioners to police officers.
This year, his honor Mayor Vincent Gray came to greet the students - and compliment Parker on her hair.
"Ms. Parker, you got a good 'do," he said. "I like your 'do."
All kidding aside, Gray said, "You know, that's a hallmark of a great teacher, I think - when you know the kids."
Her students agree.
"She actually takes the time to make sure we learn the material that she teaches every day," said student Reanna Johnson.
For Parker, this is just another way of giving back - just don't ask her how many years she's been doing it.
"I love teaching," she said.