Nicole Cooke: Menchville’s High School Teacher of the Year


Courtesy of Nicole Cooke

Newport News High School Teacher of the Year recieves congratulations from Principal Bobby Surry.

Every year the Teacher of the Year award goes to a teacher that goes above and beyond for their students. These teachers not only help their students out when they need them, but they also give their students kindness and see potential and opportunity in all of their students. This year, Menchville High School’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year is Nicole Cooke who works in the Menchville library. In addition to Cooke was also selected as the Newport News School Districts High School Teacher of the Year.

What is your job in the library?

Wow! I am not really sure! I guess it is to have fun! Actually, I work with teachers and classes to do inquiry-based projects.

How long have you been in the library?

This is my second year.

Describe what you do.

I work with teachers to develop and teach inquiry projects.

What’s your favorite part about being in the library?

I love everything about being in the library!  I get to work with students and teachers without any stress!

What was the process you went through to become Teacher of the Year?

There wasn’t really a process; the teachers voted.

How did you feel when you won Teacher of the Year?

A little surprised.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

Not really.  I am not sure what I wanted to be, but realized that I enjoy working with students.

How long have you been teaching?

Twenty-one years.

What is your favorite thing about Menchville.?

I love that Menchville is a family.  We all work together so well and feel like the students are a part of our family and traditions.  I am not sure that you could find another school where so many of the staff were former students.  We all love this place so much that we come back here to work.

What do you love most about teaching?

I love the interactions with students.

What is the best book that you have ever read?

My favorite book is Unwind.  While it is really dark, it also has a lot of humor.

What made you decide to move to the library?

I used to be a librarian at NASA before teaching and loved the research part of the job.  When Mr. Doering decided to retire, I thought it was a great time to go back and get my library degree.  This also allowed me to stay at Menchville.

If you have a favorite food, what is it?

Anything from Chick-fil-A

What is your favorite saying or motivational quote?

I really do not have one.

What was your least favorite part about this school year?

Not being able to see students. It is hard to teach the little black boxes.

What was your favorite part about this school year?

I think we all learned to be a little kinder to each other.  I hope this continues.

What is one thing that you’re looking forward to next school year?

Everyone being back in school!

What is one thing that you would want people to understand about you?

Hmm… I am not really sure.  I am always an open book, so there probably isn’t anything people do not already know.

What advice would you like to give to other students on your winning of Teacher of the Year?

I do not have any real advice other than always be kind and smile.  It helps with everything!