English Teacher Inspires Students

Some compare him to Prince and some believe he is the reincarnation of Michael Jackson. With an album put together as well as this one, I am honestly starting to believe he may be. Starboy is the third studio album from Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer Abel Tesfaye or better known by his stage pseudonym, The Weeknd.

Mr. Parrish
Luke Parrish is known simply as an English teacher, but there is more to the man than a first glance would tell. He is a lover of reading, writing and poetry, his all-time favorite writer being John Steinbeck. Parrish also writes his own stories and poems under the name, “Parrish the Thought.” Aside from his literary interests, he is a guitarist and licensed pilot as well. How, though, did he find himself at Marshfield High School?

Parrish was born in Needles, California in the Mojave Desert and was raised along the northern half of the state.

“We lived in several small towns in northern California,” Parrish said.

Parrish attended college at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California where he graduated with a degree in communications. At the age of 23, he moved to the state of Oregon where, with his degree, worked in advertising for The World Newspaper and later owned a business of his own.

“I stayed in the advertising business for I think 15 years, [I] owned my own business, the South Coast Shopper, I started that with a partner,” Parrish said.

Though he had worked in advertising for so long, Parrish was, as a grown man, unsure of what he wanted to do for a career until age 40.

“I was 40 when I decided what I wanted to be when I grow up,” Parrish said.

Parrish made the decision to become an English teacher. After receiving certification, he taught special education at Douglas High School, Charleston Elementary and Millicoma Intermediate School, where he later taught a humanities class, and, after two years at Millicoma, landed an English position at Marshfield High School.

“Teaching high school English was my goal in the first place,” Parrish said.

After a few years, Jeff Eberwein, social studies teacher, discovered a job at Marshfield. Before too long, Parrish and Eberwein became acquainted.

“I came into his room and asked him if he had a lectern or a podium I could borrow,” Eberwein said. “He did me a favor when I first came here, and we’ve kind of remained friends since then.”

Eberwein took notice of Parrish’s care for people.

“He’s somebody who I think is trying to make the world a better place,” Eberwein said. “I think he truly believes in what he’s doing.”

Sophomore Nicholas Armstrong has experienced Parrish’s class first-hand and said it is the highlight of his day.

“No matter what kind of day I’m having, Parrish’s jokes and just his attitude overall make it really nice and just better,” Armstrong said.

Since taking English 10 with Parrish, Armstrong said he has felt inspired by Parrish’s style.

“Before I had Parrish, I had been thinking about majoring in English,” Armstrong said. “As I progress in his class I feel more and more drawn to an English profession.”

According to Eberwein, Parrish’s dedication and care put into teaching students and pushing them to educate themselves has made him a valuable resource for the school and the community.

“We have a lot of very fine educators at Marshfield, we have a lot of people who really work hard and care a lot about the students; Mr. Parrish is one of those at the top of the list,” Eberwein said. “He’s not only giving to those students, he’s giving back to our society.”