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  • Writer's pictureCollinsville Newspaper

Collinsville Teacher Wins County Secondary Teacher of the Year

By Caitlyn Hunt and Anna Noles: Panther Press Reporters

One fall school day, Principal Crawford told Secondary History Teacher Scott Cole that he needed to attend that evening’s board meeting. He never explained why, just “dress up and go.” After 22 years of teaching, Cole mused that maybe it was the day he’d be “let go,” but as it turns out, Cole was honored that evening along with teachers and staff from various schools across the county as the DeKalb County Board of Education awarded their annual awards.

Mr. Cole took home the secondary teacher of the year award, an honor that he didn’t expect. Panther Press reporters Anna Noles and Caitlyn Hunt sat down with Mr. Cole to talk about his career.

PP:  What made you want to become a teacher?

SC: I loved History and also I enjoyed helping people.

PP: Why did you want to teach high school?

SC: To make a difference in teenagers' lives and help them make good decisions during impressionable years.

PP: What helped you decide to teach history?

SC: I read library books about historical figures from 4th grade on, joined the Military HIstory Book Club, traveled to Civil War Battlefields, and visited museums. Hobby for work!

PP: Have you gotten any other awards, and if so,what were they?

SC: ATCU Teacher of the Month Dekalb County.

PP: What motivates you to still teach history?

SC: We can understand current domestic and global issues by comparing it to the past. If we forget or erase the past, it impedes our ability to make good decisions. Teaching Civic Responsibility helps ensure a solid future for the students as well as our nation.

PP: If someone wanted to be a teacher, what advice would you give them?

SC: Don’t do it because you think it's easy; do it because you can be what students need but are missing in their lives. Making the difference is greatly rewarding to the student, the teacher, and the nation.

PP: What was your reaction to becoming Teacher of the Year?

SC: Very surprised! All teachers work hard and many are deserving. I’ve worked hard to help whoever and however I can, and it’s nice to be recognized.

PP: What is the most important thing to you while you are trying to help young students' lives?

SC: That students learn where our nation has had success and our failures in our history, and why, their basic rights, duties, and responsibilities are to make good decisions while participating in our democracy.

PP: What challenges do you have to overcome while being a teacher?

SC: Every student learns differently and has a different personality. The challenge is identifying what makes them click and how they learn.

PP: What is your favorite thing about teaching?

SC: When I first started I’d say U.S. HIstory! After 22 years of experience, I will find it to be where my students are academically. Meet them there, give them beneficial paths to success and watch them grow and achieve their potential to be the best they can be.

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