Commissioner Parker, Wood, Honored as DSCC Outstanding Alumni
Dyersburg, Tennessee – Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) named Commissioner Tony Parker and Jack Wood as Outstanding Alumni during the College’s annual fall update event for faculty and staff Aug. 19 inside the Student Center on the Dyersburg campus.
Kristol Sentell, vice president of the DSCC Alumni Association, along with Dr. Karen Bowyer, president of DSCC, presented the recipients with their awards in front of over 200 faculty and staff.
Commissioner Tony C. Parker earned an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from DSCC in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1995 and a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies with an Emphasis in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, in 2013.
Once recognized as the youngest warden in the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Parker has more than 33 years of experience in the field of Corrections. He began his correctional career at the Lake County Regional Correctional Facility in 1983 and served as a Correctional Officer there for approximately 3 years. He was promoted to Correctional Corporal, Correctional Sergeant, Correctional Lieutenant, Correctional Captain, Associate Warden of Security at the West Tennessee High Security Facility, Deputy Warden at Northwest Correctional Complex, and was eventually appointed Warden at the Northwest Correctional Complex from 2003 until 2006. From 2006 until 2008, he served as the Warden of the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, TN. In 2008, he again served as Warden of Northwest Correctional Complex until he was promoted to Correctional Administrator of the Tennessee West Region effective April 2011. In 2012, Parker was promoted to the position of Assistant Commissioner of Prisons where he supervised Tennessee Department of Corrections prison operations and was responsible for the oversight of the department’s security operations as well as offender management. In June of 2016, Governor Bill Haslam appointed him to the position of Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
“Dyersburg State provided a student friendly atmosphere where highly motivated instructors engaged students with sincere desire to see students succeed in expanding their education,” stated Parker. “As a non-traditional student and the first in my family to have ever attended college, the thought of going to school was a little overwhelming. Everyone at Dyersburg State worked hard to assist every student in being successful and the quality of the education received is second to none. The student-to-instructor ratio and attitude of the staff and professors provided a unique opportunity for students to receive personal instruction and interaction from professors, thus resulting in a very successful and highly productive learning environment. Dyersburg State was instrumental in preparing me for the last two years of a four-year university.”
Parker and his wife Misty reside in Union City and have three children: Madison, Mia and J’Coy.
Jack Wood received an Associate of Science degree in Social Studies from Dyersburg State in 1972. He then attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from 1972 to 1973. Wood earned a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Murray State University in 1978 and from 1985-86 he studied education and was a student teacher at Murray State University. He periodically attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, AL where he furthered his education by earning several genealogy-based certificates.
In 1981, Wood designed and taught an adult course for Paducah Community College’s Department of Continuing Education and in 1998 he taught a similar class for the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Division of Continuing Education. He was employed at the Paducah Public Library from 1983-85 as a part-time reference librarian and special collections librarian. In 1986, he became the Tennessee Room Librarian at the Jackson-Madison County Public Library where he is still employed. For almost 30 years now, Wood has guided the growth and development of the Tennessee Room’s physical space and its genealogical and historical collection. He is responsible for maintaining and developing this collection which consists specifically of books, periodicals, microfilm, non-book archival material, and internet access.
While attending Dyersburg State, Wood was one of the first members of the drama club and was a stage manager for the College’s first production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in fall of 1971. He was vice president of the club in 1972. He was named Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges in 1971 and 1972.
Since graduating from Dyersburg State, Wood served on the Madison County Public Records Commission from 1999 to 2005 and has served on the Jackson-Madison County Historical Zoning Commission since 2004.
Some of his many accomplishments include implementing the nomination and placement of Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Dyer County on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Also, his contributions to the creation of a gravestone marking the resting place of blues musician “Sonny Boy” Williamson and a Tennessee State historical marker on Hwy 18 laid the groundwork for what has become the annual Shannon Street Blues Fest.
“DSCC offered a small intimate environment in which it was easy to meet and get to know fellow students and form closer relationships with faculty,” stated Wood. “I believe this gave the instructors more opportunity to understand their students and offered students personalized help. The affordability was also a very important factor at the time. The campus is special to me because it is where I met the girl I would later marry!”
Wood and his wife Jackie currently reside in Jackson, TN.
Each year, DSCC presents the Outstanding Alumni Award to nominated individuals that have excelled in their field, given back to the community, and served as a positive role models. Alumni that are interested in joining the DSCC Alumni Association should contact Amy Finch, director of public information and alumni coordinator, at 731-286-3347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Commissioner Tony C. Parker (left) received DSCC’s Outstanding Alumni Award from Dr. Karen Bowyer (center), president of DSCC, and Kristol Sentell (right), vice president of the DSCC Alumni Association, during the College’s annual Fall Update for faculty and staff on Aug. 19.
– Commissioner Tony C. Parker (left) of Union City and Jack Wood (right) of Jackson were recently honored as DSCC Outstanding Alumni by Kristol Sentell (center), vice president of the DSCC Alumni Association, during the College’s Fall Update for faculty and staff on Aug. 19.
– Commissioner Tony C. Parker (left) of Union City poses with Kristol Sentell (right), vice president of the DSCC Alumni Association, upon acceptance of the College’s Outstanding Alumni Award presented to him on Aug. 19.
– Jack Wood (right) of Jackson poses with Kristol Sentell (left), vice president of the DSCC Alumni Association, upon acceptance of the College’s Outstanding Alumni Award presented to him on Aug. 19.