“I was in complete shock when I realized that Mr. Price was coming up our driveway,” Cobb said. “I actually couldn’t believe it was happening. It still feels unreal.”
Cobb has been teaching with HCPS for 23 years. She currently teaches a third grade/fourth grade split class at Eastern Elementary. Classroom observations of Cobb revealed that she is a “student-focused leader” when teaching.
“She asked questions to ignite true learning and provided exemplary instruction. She never gave them answers, but she continued asking questions. All students were engaged in the process and she knew her students so well that she could ask varying levels of questions appropriate for each while having students critically think,” said HCPS Assistant Superintendent Chelsey Tingle. “Mrs. Cobb praised them for communicating answers and their efforts. She was very positive with her students. Her classroom management was not something you saw, but you felt it; it was the culture in the classroom. Students showed respect for her and she modeled that for them. Mrs. Cobb is the quintessential model teacher and very deserving for our teacher of the year.”
Cobb said she loves to build relationships with her students and wants to help them learn collaboratively from each other.
“I get the opportunity not only to encourage and coach my students to be the best that they can be, but I also get to learn with them and from them. Being in a split classroom offers me many opportunities to plan and implement activities that allow students to work cooperatively with each other and learn from each other across grade levels and abilities,” Cobb said. “Nothing is better than seeing students grow and accomplish goals that they didn’t think they could reach. Seeing the light bulbs pop on in their heads, the excitement in their eyes, the smiles spread across their faces and celebrating their successes is the best part of my job.”
Cobb credits a “village” of people who have supported, shaped, challenged and inspired her to grow as an educator, but points specifically to past and present administrators, thanking them for their guidance and constructive feedback.
“They encouraged me to reflect on my practices in order to meet the needs of my students. Many times this included stepping outside of my comfort zone, but it helped me grow tremendously as an educator,” Cobb said. “My colleagues have also been extremely influential by allowing me to observe their classrooms and practices, sharing their ideas and keeping me up to date with technology.”
Cobb said her colleagues at Eastern Elementary School (EES) are “the most amazing people that you could ever imagine working alongside.” On her front porch, she specifically thanked her friend and co-teacher of 22 years, Carrie Cox, but has kind words for all her co-workers at EES.
“Every teacher in our building is dedicated to loving, supporting and empowering students and deserves this recognition of Teacher of the Year. I’m so fortunate to work with astounding colleagues who continuously challenge each other and learn from each other in order to be the best that we can be as educators,” Cobb said.
Cobb also had high praise for this year’s nominees from each school for the district Teacher of the Year Award.
“Each Teacher of the Year nominee is nothing less than amazing,” Cobb said. “I don’t know each one on a personal level, but their reputations as remarkable educators in our district is widely known.”
Other nominees for this year’s HCPS Teacher of the Year included: Holli Hunt, Henry County High School; Becky Wright, Henry County Middle School; Ashley Miller, New Castle Elementary School; and Julie Powell, Campbellsburg Elementary School. Videos recognizing each nominee can be viewed on the HCPS Facebook page, along with Cobb’s front porch reveal.
The Teacher of the Year program was developed by Henry County Public Schools four years ago to recognize the incredible efforts of successful educators in the district who strive to provide exceptional instruction to their students and stand out as exemplary models of leadership among their peers. Cobb joins an elite group of HCPS educators who have been named Teacher of the Year, but she wants to include her peers at Eastern Elementary School in her recognition.
“To my Eastern family, I share this honor with each of you. You are the BEST!” Cobb said. “You continuously inspire me as a teacher and challenge me to grow. Without you and your support, none of this would have happened or even been possible. I love you guys!”