BREMEN, Ala. – “He will always be remembered here at Cold Springs,” Cold Spring High School Principal Eric Dickerson said of the late Michael Parker. Parker passed away Friday, Aug. 28 at the age of 61. Parker, whose service was held Monday at Kinney Grove Baptist Church, retired this past May after teaching at Cold Springs for more than 34 years.
Parker was a Cold Springs Eagle through and through. He graduated from Cold Springs High School in 1977 and returned to his alma mater as a science teacher. It was the only place he ever taught.
“He taught for 34 years and every single one of those was with Cold Springs,” said Dickerson. “He taught me.”
Parker taught a range of sciences over the years.
“He taught all sciences basically from 7th-12th grades. A number of years ago, we consolidated the high school to 9th-12th. So the last 12-13 years he has been strictly a biology and anatomy teacher, which is what he really loved. Biology seemed to be his favorite thing and he was really great at it. Biology is what he really enjoyed and he put everything into it that he could, “ Dickerson said.
“He was an absolutely incredible human being,” said the principal.
Dickerson addressed his students over the PA system Monday informing them of the passing of their beloved science teacher.
He reflected, “There is nothing he loved more than coming to school every day and being around the students. There is no way to measure the impact he had on that many people for that many years. The outpouring when they learned of his passing, the response and emotion was overwhelming. The number of people who reached out who were so thankful for what he contributed to their life was amazing.”
Parker had an impact in the classroom and beyond. He served the students at Cold Springs in many capacities.
Dickerson explained, “He graduated from here and he never left. For 56 years, he’s been a Cold Springs student and never left. He sponsored our Youth for Christ organization, which is a student-led organization, but he was their sponsor. He served as a pastor in the community for as long as I can remember. He didn’t just serve the community at school, but he served the community in many areas.”
While at Cold Springs, Parker served as a track coach and as an assistant football coach for several years.
“Any extracurricular activity we had at school, you could always count on him being present and supporting the kids in everything they did,” said Dickerson.
Parker retired May 25, 2020. Despite the kids not being at school due to COVID-19, the school was still able to give him a celebratory sendoff with a nice lunch and a cake.
Dickerson said, “We have a new public page on Facebook. The two posts that have received the most views and reactions are the one about his retirement and the announcement of his passing, if that tells you how the man was viewed in the community and the impact he had.”
There will be a moment of silence for Parker at Friday night’s Cold Springs football game. Long term, the school will discuss ways to honor Parker and his service to Cold Springs High School.
“He was such a servant to the kids and the community,” smiled Dickerson. “We will certainly figure out the proper way to honor him here. He will always be missed, but he will certainly never be forgotten here.”
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