Top 10% graduates of Cooper High School honored their most influential Cooper ISD facility member.
Sean Patel, ranked first, honored PJ Knickerbocker.
“Mrs PJ has been my academic counselor for three years and like a second mom ever since I first met her at Millers Pharmacy. Mrs PJ has always been a positive beam of joy that could lift just about anybody’s spirits. There is never a time that you will see PJ without a smile or positive attitude, even with all the work that she has to do, she never takes her stress out on students. PJ is the kindest person and she inspires me to always have a positive attitude even when I don’t feel like it. PJ’s positive mindset encourages others and I to always tackle tasks with 100 percent effort and a smile on your face while doing it. Students can tell PJ loves doing her job and one can see how hard she works to make sure everyone is taken care of. I want to thank PJ for all her hard work and having such a big impact on my life and many others. PJ inspires me to be the best that I can be and to be a person with a kind soul that is always willing to help others in need,” said Patel.
Colin Ingram, ranked second, honored Coach Rod Castorena.
“Coach Casto was my athletic director from 8th – 12th grade. The reason I say he imacted me the most is because of the work ethic he helped instill in me. Every day for the past 4.5 years, he has pushed me to work harder than I did the day before. Yes, this may have been in athletics but the work ethic carried into the classroom. Coach Casto also has an obvious passion for coaching and helping the kids he has. There was not a single day he was not excited to go to work, and I think that played a huge role in me selecting a career path that I knew I would love. I saw how excited he was each day and that is how I want to be. I want to thank Coach Casto for everything he has done these past few years, and I would not be who I am without your help,” said Ingram.
Braxton McMenamy, ranked third, honored Mrs Judith Falls.
“Mrs Falls is one of my biggest inspirations leaving high school. When I came into high school, I had three siblings that told me the tales of the Mrs Falls and I learned to fear the name. When I finally got into her class, I learned that not only was she dedicated to teaching but she was amazing at her job. I learned more about history and government in her class than I have in my entire life. Without Mrs Falls I would have never even shown any interest in history, and she helped me become who I am today,” said McMenamy.
Gracie Phipps, ranked fourth, honored Mr John Silman.
“Mr Silman was my 6th and 8th grade science teacher. Even though I haven’t been in Mr Silman’s class in over 4 years, he still makes it a point to ask me how my day is going every time we cross each other in the hallways. The whole time Mr Silman was my teacher, I have never seen him miss a day, or without a smile on his face. The main thing Mr Silman taught me was to have a strong work ethic, and I hope to have half his work ethic one day. I want to thank Mr Silman for everything he does for his students and being a positive light to everyone who works or attends Cooper ISD. Lastly, I want to thank him for being a great teacher and role model,” said Phipps.
And lastly, Tanne Houchins, ranked fifth, honored Dr Cynthia Steward.
“The teacher that has had the most impact on the choice of my career path is Dr Steward. I have always been very unconfident on what career path that I would like to pursue. Although Dr Steward is my statistics teacher, she helped me decide that I want to pursue Physical Therapy. Dr Steward has a great personality and I enjoy having conversations with her about topics other than just math. The classroom environment is very fun and laid back, which made me understand how she enjoys what she does. These factors influenced me to pick a career path that I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life,” said Houchins.