Rosewood High math teacher, Jennifer Cochran, has been selected as the Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made Wednesday night at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet held at Lane Tree Golf Club and Conference Center.
Ms. Cochran has 18 years of teaching experience, all in her present position. She says her lessons allow students to explore the area of mathematics, and apply facts to real life.
“We sing, laugh, dance, construct, cut, paste, watch a video, use an interactive website or compute numbers during the course of a lesson,” states Ms. Cochran. “With so many transitions and activities, it keeps students suspicious about what will happen on a daily basis. This suspicion keeps students excited about coming to Algebra class and about learning.”
Ms. Cochran believes that the most effective way to engage her students in the classroom is by connecting with them through technology integrated throughout her lessons.
“Since students are using technology on a daily basis, why not let them use it in an educational setting?” adds Ms. Cochran. “With technology comes motivation and with motivation comes success and an increase in self–esteem.”
In addition to seeking to make a difference in her classroom, her principal states that Ms. Cochran is currently working with The Innovation Project and North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute to develop technology-driven methods for delivering Math I content.
“Ms. Cochran has a contagious spirit for students and success that rubs off on the people around her,” states Karen Rogers, RHS Principal. “She is truly an advocate for education, students, staff, families, and the community. Her commitment to education, character, and integrity, and the whole student makes her an excellent representative for the district’s Teacher of the Year program.”
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development, with a minor in mathematics. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in Education, with a concentration in curriculum and instruction in technology.
“With so many great teachers leading our classrooms, it is a very difficult process to select just one individual to represent Wayne County Public Schools as a Teacher of the Year,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS Superintendent “Through both a formal interview process and a thorough review of her professional teacher portfolio, the selection committee found Ms. Cochran to be a dedicated, knowledgeable, caring, and inspiring teacher whose impact on public education reaches well beyond her own classroom. We congratulate her on this outstanding achievement and wish her the very best in the next stage of the Teacher of the Year program.”
Ms. Cochran will now advance to the regional Teacher of the Year program. In addition, as the WCPS Teacher of the Year, she will receive a $1,500 check and a $5,000 Kemp/Twiford Worldview Travel/Study Award to be used to travel outside the United States.
The district’s Teacher of the Year finalists, Kristan Tyndall (Northwest Elementary) and Amy Kelly (Grantham Middle) will each receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.