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April 17, 2018

Throughout my life, I’ve had to pleasure of being a student to a plethora of phenomenal teachers. Once I reached seventh grade, I really started making connections with all of my teachers, both inside and outside of the classroom. My ability to form these bonds with my instructors grew stronger as I grew older. Now a junior in high school, most, if not, all of my teachers have left a profound impact on my life, but one name will always stick out in the crowd; Scott Cooper, my health teacher at Clarkstown North High School.
 

In the middle school, there wasn’t a single student who wasn’t raving about Mr. Cooper. From his eccentric field trips, to his unusually interactive class, Mr. Cooper was the teacher hoped to have. I was never fortunate enough to meet him, though all was not lost. My sophomore year, Mr. Cooper was transferred to the high school. As I was planning to take health junior year, I still had a chance to see if he lived up to the hype.


On September 6th, the first day of school, I walked into room 505, unaware my life was about to change. Bouncing around the classroom was Mr. Cooper, spritely and full of energy, first thing in the morning. Something that struck me immediately was how much of an effort he put forth to learn the names of every one of his students. Sure, all teachers do that, but there was something different about Mr. Cooper. I’ll never forget how he concluded that class either. After introducing ourselves, with the last five minutes of class, we all huddled into a corner, and took a class selfie. At the time, I remember thinking it was a joke, but now, it’s just one of the fond memories I have of the class.


Mr. Cooper and I really didn’t connect until the first class field trip, a hike up Bear Mountain. It was my first hike, and I was ecstatic. Cooper is famous for his field trips among the students of this district, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be able to attend one. My enthusiasm and overall enjoyment of the hike caught Mr. Coopers attention, apparently so much that he nominated me for the principal’s showcase for that month. The showcase displays students who show initiative, talent, or intelligence in the given field, and he felt I fit those requirements. Receiving that letter was the happiest I had felt in a long time.


Since that hike in October, the bond between Mr. Cooper and I has grown stronger than I ever would have predicted. He is the only faculty member in the school that I can truly talk to about anything, and I have. Mr. Cooper has given me guidance and wisdom that I wish I could reciprocate. Mr. Cooper wrote my letter of recommendation for a prestigious program in my school, which I was accepted to, undoubtedly in part because of his kind words.


His class is the reason why I’m so chipper in the morning. I can think of no better way to start my day than in his classroom, be it learning a new topic, working on interesting and fun projects, or performing an “Up Close and Personal,” a unique process that brings the class closer and allows us to voice our opinions, fears, dreams, or anything on our minds without fear of judgement.


Scott Cooper is the embodiment of everything a teacher should be, whether it be teaching a lesson in a way that keeps his students interested and involved, or consoling a anxious student about family problems. Never in my life have I ever met someone like him, and I never will again. He has been the most influential figure in my life, and never fails to encourage me in anything I do. Mr. Cooper has kept me grounded, helped me keep my goals in check, and inspired me more and more each day to fulfil my wish to be a teacher. I aspire to be just like Scott Cooper, and with his guidance and advice, that might just come true.






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