Our First Teacher

Margaret Noecker, MEd

(1956 – 2013)

On April 24, 1983, Robbin Parish, founding Head of School of The Parish School, hired 27-year-old Margaret Noecker as a kindergarten teacher. Margaret was the first staff member hired who was not a speech-language pathologist. A long professional and personal relationship was forged that would grow The Parish School from a handful of children in an old two-story building on Timberline Drive to the current 17-acre campus with on-site clinic serving hundreds of children. During her 30 years with the school, Margaret also served as a teacher, mentor and academic coordinator. In 2004, Margaret assumed the position of head of school when Robbin Parish retired. Margaret provided oversight for the capital campaign that made the new campus possible and also facilitated the move, which almost doubled the number of staff and increased the budget considerably.

Margaret’s love of The Parish School and all of the many children and families who flourished under her care extended way beyond her job description. It was not unusual to find Margaret at school at 7:30 a.m. on Fridays to work with children in a nature group or to see her on Saturday, ankle deep in mud, planting flowers. She knew every student and made certain that she kept up with past families as she collected many success stories that she shared on a regular basis. She considered every child, past or present, at The Parish School “hers.” She was a tireless advocate for children who have language and learning differences and served on numerous professional committees. Her laugh was even bigger than she was.

Margaret served on the board of directors for School of the Woods and Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and on the Camp for All Partner’s Committee. Margaret also served as leader of the Special Schools Coalition of Greater Houston from 2008 to 2011 and was an active participant in Houston Area Independent Schools.

Margaret was the recipient in 2008 of Houston Association of Communication Disorders’ May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month Award. Additionally, she was recognized for her 25 years of service at the 2008 Parish Luncheon at which she was awarded “Margaret Noecker Day” by the City of Houston and Mayor Bill White.

Margaret held a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston. Her education course work was in early child and educational psychology. She received a Master’s of Education from Houston Baptist University in 2001.

Learn how Margaret's legacy continues through the Margaret Noecker Nature Center.