Cathy Cooper has dedicated 31 years to education, spending most of it at the Orchard school.
Where did you graduate from high school? What year? I graduated from O'Neill High School in 1983 Cathy Cooper has dedicated 31 years to education, spending most of it in the Orchard school.
What college did you attend? (years & degree) I attended the University of South Dakota my freshman year of college, and then I transferred to Wayne State College and graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in 1987. I then went back to school and earned my Master's Degree from WSC in 2002.
What places have you taught? I started my teaching career in Ewing in 1987. When I became engaged to Mark, who lived in Orchard, I applied for and took the 8-12 English instructor position in Orchard in 1989, and I have been here ever since.
How many years have you taught? This is my 31st year in education.
What subject/class do you teach? Until this year, I taught English. I started out teaching all 8-12th grade courses. When I became a principal, I taught half-time and then three-fourth time. This is the first year that I am not teaching an English class.
What is your favorite part of teaching? I always enjoyed working with students every day and then each year and seeing them finally realize their potential. Because I had students in my classes all five years, I was able to witness their growth in the various areas of language arts. I especially enjoyed working with students in their writing and sentence structure. Most of them would say that learning PENS helped them in this!
What are most excited about for 2017-18 school year? I am excited about all of the new implementations this year for our students at Orchard. We have a great faculty, staff, and student body; and I'm excited to work together to ensure all students reach their fullest potential.
Do you have any extracurricular activities you are in charge of? (explain if yes) Since I'm now the principal, I attend and support all our extracurricular activities. Over the years, I have been a speech coach, drama coach, freshmen class sponsor, cheerleading sponsor, and drill team sponsor.
What are your classroom goals for the year? My goal as principal is to help students with our school wide goals: Be prepared. Be kind. Be responsible. Be safe. Be positive. All of these will then help us be successful academically. This is a part of our Marzano Instructional model, and I am very excited about the implementation of this!
What brought you to teach here? I grew up near Inman and O'Neill, so I have small-town roots. My husband farms and ranches here, and I knew that I wanted to raise my own children in Orchard.
Can you tell me a little bit about your family? My husband Mark farms and ranches on his family farm south of Orchard. My daughter Mackenzie is a first-grade teacher at Elgin Public School and is engaged to Kenny McClellan. They will be getting married this June. My daughter Mallory is a sophomore at Dakota Wesleyan University majoring in nursing and playing volleyball for the Tigers. My dog Ivory, who is only three and a half, still lives at home with us! :)
What are your hobbies? I enjoy everything at our cabin and the lake: boating, sitting by the campfire, kayaking, tubing, and mainly just getting to do all of these with my family! I guess my hobbies are my family! Of course, I still enjoy reading great literature when I get the chance!