Posted Date: 09/18/2020
COPPERAS COVE, TX (September 9, 2020)—Ashley Prax stood out even in a 6A high school with 2,200-plus students. As the president of Copperas Cove High School’s Texas Association of Future Educators Chapter, Prax qualified for the state contest several times and also the world competition. Today, Prax has fulfilled the goal she set in TAFE nearly eight years ago. She is now a classroom teacher.
Although managing her own classroom is new to Prax, she has years of experience helping students learn.
“My mom has been a teacher in the district most of my life. I grew up helping in her classroom,” Prax said. “I was enrolled in Ready, Set, Teach in high school. You are able to obtain your paraprofessional certification because of the experience you gain through this program. During my senior year I spent time job shadowing at Mae Stevens with the principal and other teachers on the campus.”
Prax’s mother, Holly Prax, taught Pre-K for many years in CCISD and Prax follows in her footsteps by teaching at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy.
“Many of my amazing teachers growing up are still teaching in the district and I have loved reconnecting with them now in my role as a teacher too,” Prax said.
CCHS graduate Rachel Jost also has parents who were both teachers and are now administrators in CCISD. Jost teaches second grade at Hettie Halstead Elementary where her father was previously the principal.
“My parents helped prepare me as much as they could,” Jost said. “Lyndy McCulley, my third grade teacher, and Jill Ranes, my fifth grade teacher, gave me advice before I even entered my classroom.”
Veteran teachers new to Copperas Cove ISD are paired with CCISD teachers who serve as mentors for one year to share processes and procedures unique to the district. Teachers new to CCISD and new to the teaching profession receive a mentor for two years with an option to extend a third year.
Emily and Ty Johnson are not only a married couple, but both graduated from Cove and both have joined the CCISD staff. It was the mentoring they received as high school students that brought them back to the community they love.
Ty Johnson teaches both health and speech at S. C. Lee Junior High and was motivated to become an educator by former CCHS Head Baseball Coach/Social Studies Teacher C. J. Wilk.
“I played for him from 2010-2012. He used the game of baseball to teach life lessons that young men needed. The values and morals he taught us on the field carried over into our lives and shaped who we all are today,” Ty Johnson said.
Halstead Elementary School Nurse Emily Johnson and her husband, Ty, are expecting their first child in March 2021 and want to raise their children in Copperas Cove.
“In nursing school, we were always asked what kind of nurse we wanted to become and my answer was always a school nurse. I love the relationships I am able to build in schools, as well as getting to know my students,” Emily Johnson.