Tara Cooper, a third grade teacher at Jackson Elementary, has been named the Jackson Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Cooper has been teaching for 20 years and has been at Jackson Elementary for five years. This is the first year she is teaching only math. In the past she has taught all subjects.
She was nominated and selected for the award by her peers and is quite humbled by the win.
“I’m honored to be named Teacher of the Year for my school,” Cooper said.
For her win, she has her own parking spot for the year and received money to spend in the classroom.
Cooper always wanted to be a teacher because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of children.
“I wanted to influence the youth and encourage them to work up to their full potential.”
Her favorite part about teaching is developing relationships with students. However, ensuring that the needs of all students are met is the most challenging part of the profession.
Being a teacher is not just a job for Cooper, it’s who she is.
“Teaching is a passion, and it’s also challenging. My advice to new teachers is not to worry so much about the work load and politics that come with the profession but to focus on the kids. In the end, they are what matter most.”
Cooper lives in Moss Point and is married to a wonderful “teacher husband” who always helps her decorate her classroom and who will only help grade the math papers. She has a son in the 7th grade who loves math, robotics, soccer, and video games and a daughter in the 1st grade who loves soccer, reading, and pretending to be a teacher.