• Parker in the Winter

    Our School is named after Nellie K. Parker, who served the children of Hackensack, New Jersey as an elementary school teacher for more than 43 years.

    Built in 1974, Parker School is home to  500 plus students ranging  from pre-Kindergarten through Grade 4.

    With a staff of over 65 teachers, administrators, professionals and other support personnel,  Nellie K. Parker Elementary School provides instruction in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, as well as offering numerous opportunities for students to explore dance, music, art, technology, and physical education.

  • Nellie Katherine Morrow Parker

    Nellie Morrow was born in Hackensack, NJ on August 27, 1902. When Nellie came of school age she was required to attend a predominantly black elementary school outside of her neighborhood due to segregation. Her father fought for and obtained the right for his children to attend school in their own district. Nellie and her brothers were often ridiculed and threatened as they walked to and from school, making their childhood uneasy. Nellie entered Montclair Normal School and received her teaching certificate in 1922 after graduating from Hackensack High School. 

    Nellie Morrow’s goal had always been to become a teacher in Hackensack. In spite of community and Board of Education members’ outrage over the hiring of an African-American school teacher. Nellie was supported by school superintendent Dr. Stark, who had given her a practice teaching position during her senior year in college, and finally a teaching contract once she graduated. 

    The Morrow family was often tormented and isolated over the next three years. They received hate mail and negative press commentaries, and the Ku Klux Klan staged an angry night parade. 

    Through all of this, Nellie Morrow never wavered in her desire to teach. For many years, it was suggested to Nellie that she should relocate and teach at a southern school for the betterment of her career. Nellie replied, “It’s too bad if one little colored girl can be such a bother to you.” 

    Nellie remained in the Hackensack school system for 42 years. Even after she married William Parker in 1928, she continued to teach. During this entire time span, she moved only once from First Street School to the Beech Street School. Her entire career was dedicated to creating a loving classroom atmosphere and instilling a sense of pride in all her students. 

    In 1981, the Hackensack Board of Education renamed the Maple Hill School, The Nellie K. Parker Elementary School in her honor.

  • Nellie K Parker

    Nellie Katherine Morrow Parker

    Parker Family

    Nellie Morrow Parker, seen here with her father and brother in 1927, became the first African-American
    public school teacher in Bergen County when she was hired to teach fifth and sixth grade in Hackensack.