On November 5, 2015, Miami Lakes Educational Center said “goodbye” instead of “good morning” to their legendary Top Jaguar, James Parker. Mr. Parker gave eleven years of dedication to the students and staff as principal of MLEC, never missing a day or an event. He made a name for himself in the halls of the school with his welcoming personality and booming voice.
In honor of Mr. Parker’s last day, the MLEC family wore floral patterned clothing to say “Aloha” to the man who brightened their mornings and kept a smile on their faces from the beginning until the end of the day. Mr. Parker wore his own bright pink lei while strolling through campus and taking pictures with students. Even on such a bittersweet day, he wore a smile and carried out his usual conversations with students during lunch.
During the last block of the day, the staff of The Harbinger presented a farewell video to their favorite jaguar.
The video included students, staff and alumni that thanked Mr. Parker, giving him personal messages and sending him off into the next stage of his life with cherished memories. He gasped and chuckled throughout the video, remembering times spent with each individual.
WATCH: Farewell to Our Top Jaguar, Mr. Parker.
Mr. Parker became sentimental while watching the video and thanked The Harbinger’s staff for putting it together. He said he was speechless and proceeded to say he would miss the school and everyone in it. Before leaving he joked he would probably be back on Monday morning at five a.m. – it’s become a habit for him to get in his Corvette and take the trip to his second home of eleven years.
The night prior to Mr. Parker’s last day, students tweeted stories, thoughts, and pictures using #GoodbyeParker. Several tweets expressed how much they’d miss his booming voice; others mentioned his well-known red Corvette and quotes from Mr. Parker that had stuck with them. Mr. Parker, having been surprised by the Twitter chat, expressed the joy and sadness he felt reading through so many appreciative words and wonderful memories.
Check out The Harbinger’s Storify on #GoodbyeParker.