APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - Fox 9’s first Top Teacher award goes to Nancy Cooley, a first-grade teacher at Diamond Path Elementary in Apple Valley. And it couldn’t have gone to anyone with better character or a bigger heart.
She may have a quiet demeanor, but this veteran of more than 30 years can command a room. But she doesn’t do it for the attention; she just knows how to wrangle 25 first graders. In fact, Fox 9 could barely hand her the award before she passed it on to everyone else.
“It’s because we work as a team,” she told her students after receiving the award. “So this award is our award, is our school’s award, for being actually a class, and a school that works hard, that loves to learn, and loves helping other people.”
Nominated by one of the parents, Mrs. Cooley thinks about everyone else first. She genuinely cares about the well-being of her students, empowers her students to feel like they can make a difference, finds creative ways to get students involved in topics they are studying, and takes advantage of every opportunity to teach.
“I think the thing that carries from year to year is listening to your students,” Cooley said. “Listening to what they already know, what I know they need to do next, listening to parents, and just listening.”
Mrs. Cooley received $900, donated by Royal Credit Union.