Lindsay Cooney named KCS Teacher of the Year

Lindsay Cooney named KCS Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/05/2014
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As an elementary student, Lindsay Cooney realized that she was never going to be the winner of the spelling bee, the fastest reader in the class, or the math whiz kid. Instead, she discovered that she was the student that needed extra time on tests, help sounding out words, and extra tutoring to make good grades. However, when her fifth grade teacher saw something in her that no one else ever had, she began to blossom as a student and a person. That teacher not only inspired Lindsay to excel but also motivated her to become a teacher herself. Now, she is inspiring her own students to find success.

Lindsay Cooney began her career at Kannapolis Intermediate School as a 5th grade Math and Science teacher. However, when her principal, Todd Parker, had the opportunity to hire a health teacher, he immediately chose Mrs. Cooney. He said he did it because he wanted her teaching every child in the building. “Mrs. Cooney was clearly the perfect choice because she now has the opportunity to motivate and inspire every student that passes through Kannapolis Intermediate School. She is a blessing to our students, the school, and the community we serve.”

One of the first things Lindsay Cooney did in her new role as health teacher was to partner with the Cabarrus Health Alliance. She worked with them to start the Smart Girls Know program, which works with sixth grade females who have a high risk of becoming teen mothers. The program helps the girls set goals for their future, abstain from early and unprotected sexual activity, and maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and exercise. She also has started a running club at KIS for all students.

Lindsay Cooney prides herself on her high energy personality. She says her students ask her at least once a day how she has so much energy. She always responds that life is short, and she wants to make the most of it by having fun. She believes that learning is fun, and she shares that joy with her students. She believes the key to being a great teacher is to show students that they are loved, cared for, and respected. She says, “If my students know that I love them, they are willing to go to great lengths for me.” 

Cooney’s students appreciate her joy and passion for teaching. One student, Kerri, wrote a special note to Cooney. It said, “You teach me to enjoy life and you teach me to be kind and considerate to others! You are an example of who I want to be when I get older! You are active, determined, and always happy! Thanks for all you do at our school!!!” Another student told Cooney, “I’m writing to tell you that you have impacted my life with your kindness. You taught me Math and Science, but mostly you helped me be kind to others. Thank you for being there for my sad moments and my happy moments in my life; you are a great teacher by caring for everyone.”

Cooney’s students are not alone in their praise for her. Tim and Renee Hoagland’s daughter, Olivia, had Cooney as a teacher, and they believe Cooney made a tremendous difference. “Mrs. Cooney filled [Olivia] with confidence and excitement. It was evident to all of us that Lindsay is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher. While Kannapolis City Schools has many dedicated teachers, we believe Lindsay is in the top tier of this group.” 

Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain also has been impressed with Cooney’s talent and enthusiasm. “Lindsay Cooney’s dedication to every student and her commitment to combining academics with character are what we want for all our students. She is an outstanding model of what every teacher should be, and I am so proud that she is part of public education and Kannapolis City Schools.”

Lindsay Cooney earned her Master of Arts degree in teaching from UNC Charlotte where she graduated with honors. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Appalachian State University where she majored in Communication and double minored in Photography and Family and Consumer Science. She is a member of the Greater Cabarrus Reading Association and the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Lindsay Cooney will now be considered for regional Teacher of the Year honors. As a result of being named KCS Teacher of the Year, Cooney received $1,000 from Wellington Benefits, which sponsors the KCS Teacher of the Year program. CORY STIREWALT of A.L. Brown High School was named the system's runner-up Teacher of the Year. He received $500 from Wellington Benefits. The remaining nominees received $100 from Wellington Benefits:

  • Leah Grasty, Forest Park Elementary School
  • Jerold Griggs, Kannapolis Middle School
  • Lisa Gurley, Fred L. Wilson Elementary School
  • Bethany Maycroft, Jackson Park Elementary School
  • Amanda Overcash, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Judith Wherritt, Shady Brook Elementary School

 

PHOTOS OF KCS TEACHER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES

 

PHOTO GALLERY: 2014 TEACHER OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION



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