“She makes me feel smart.” This profound statement was just one of many reasons current and former students, co-workers and families included in their letters of support for Smith Elementary second grade teacher Kathy Kash, this year’s winner of the Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award. Kash was surprised with the award at an assembly in the Smith gymnasium May 26. Bev Parker, the founder of the award, Superintendent Dr. Kyle Ramey and members of Kash’s family were on hand to honor the long-time educator. The Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award is given annually to an Oakwood Schools’ teacher who has taught in the district for more than five years and is known for their enthusiasm, empowerment and infectious curiosity in the classroom. Kash is the 12th winner of the award, which Bev Parker founded in 2010 in honor of her late husband, Bob Parker In addition to the surprise ceremony recognizing the teacher, the award comes with a cash prize for the teacher and their school, a custom art piece created by an Oakwood High School student, and this year, a yoga mat to recognize Mrs. Kash’s love of yoga. The Parker Award is supported by the work of The Oakwood Schools Foundation.