Posted Date: 12/09/2020
COPPERAS COVE, TX (November 10, 2020)— Copperas Cove ISD teachers were selected and nominated by their respective schools for VFW Post #8577 Teacher of the Year honors. The judges will select one teacher in grades Pre-K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 whose nominations to forward to the district level. The nominees are selected based on their commitment to promote civic responsibility, teach flag etiquette and instill patriotism in their students.
Copperas Cove High School Principal Jimmy Shuck selects Vanessa Wheat as the school’s VFW Teacher of the Year.
“Students are provided a safe place to participate, to share ideas and Ms. Wheat directs them in learning how to think, not thinking for them,” Shuck said.
Copperas Cove Junior High seventh grade STEM teacher, Haley McFarland, is selected by Principal Billy White.
“Mrs. McFarland is an excellent example for her students modeling responsibility and a strong work ethic as she navigates them through the complex content she teaches to them,” White said.
Seventh Grade History Teacher and S. C. Lee Student Council adviser, Pamela Knutson, also an Army veteran, is selected by Principal Brian Jost.
“As a history teacher, especially at this time, she has the ability to encourage students about their civic responsibilities and as a Student Council Sponsor she has had the opportunity to share with students the duty of servitude,” Jost said.
Williams/Ledger Elementary second grade teacher and Navy veteran Dymonds Courtney-Davis is selected by Principal Lori Hensley.
“The same qualities that made Ms. Courtney-Davis an outstanding master-at-arms while serving our nation also make her an outstanding teacher serving our students and community,” Hensley said.
Martin Walker Elementary Principal Earl Parcell nominates Army veteran and kindergarten teacher Candice Bower.
“Mrs. Bower is doing her part to instill upon her students democratic values and beliefs that support and promote civic responsibility and patriotism through her actions as a distinguished teacher, team member, role model, believer and citizen,” Parcell said.
House Creek Elementary fifth grade teacher Amanda Rolfe is selected by Principal Todd Williams.
“Mrs. Rolfe provides our students with enrichment opportunities to compete with other schools in the field of science through Science Olympiad,” Williams said. “These opportunities encourage students to pursue college in the areas of computer science, engineering and chemistry.”
Hettie Halstead Elementary’s nomination is military veteran and school librarian, Joel Garcia-Vasquez. Principal Billie Diaz said Garcia-Vasquez teaches students to be productive, responsible, caring, and contributing members of society.
“He encourages students to show a positive attitude towards their classmates and to take pride in their school and community,” Diaz said.
Fairvew/Miss Jewell Elementary Principal Rebekah Shuck selects first grade teacher Caitlin Jordan.
“She is always working to build strong relationships with her students through community building circles in the classroom and by getting to know them outside of school through their extracurricular activities,” Shuck said.
Clements/Parsons Elementary Principal Katherine Baney nominates teacher and Army veteran Daniel McQuiston.
“Mr. McQuiston gives students a sense of purpose,” Baney said. “When students understand their individual value, they begin to contribute to their communities, serving one another by recognizing the needs around them.”
Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy Principal Leah Miller selects pre-K teacher, Paula Hunter.
“Mrs. Hunter’s lessons help lead young learners to civic involvement as they learn to care for each other and the world around them. They learn that we are all a part of the community and we all help to make the world a better place,” Miller said.
CCISD students in grades 6-8 have entered the VFW Patriot’s Pen contest that requires them to write a 300-400 word essay reflecting on American history and how they view today’s society.
Copperas Cove High School students have entered this year’s Voice of Democracy contest. Established in 1947, the VOD requires students to record a 3-5 minute speech on a designated topic.
Winners of both the Voice of Democracy and Patriots’ Pen contests are announced along with the VFW Teachers of the Year at a ceremony at VFW Post #8577 in December or January.