Education Department alumna Elyse Cooke is back in her native Ohio teaching third grade reading at United Preparatory Academy in Columbus. The charter school is under the United Schools Network which serves low-income students. The school focuses on academic excellence which will prepare students for college and ultimately becoming citizens of integrity.
Elyse graduated from Wittenberg after four years of adventure both on campus and off. She was one of only a handful of students that has taken advantage of every opportunity to travel to other countries to explore, provide service and study.
Her positive attitude and can do spirit was recognized when she was awarded Teacher of the Year during her third year of teaching in 2015-2016. The award was presented to Elyse last spring just before she ended her time with Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida to return to her home in Columbus. She taught second and third grade during her three years with the district. Quite an accomplishment for a young teacher who began her career in 2013.
The award was designed to recognize and honor her contributions. This award is presented to teachers who demonstrate a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in their students who come from all backgrounds and abilities.
It is no surprise to anyone in the Education Department who worked with Elyse that she started the school's first chess club. She was the head of the CHEER Committee at her school focusing on improving staff morale. She also mentored new teachers regarding classroom management and has returned to Wittenberg to share her experiences with pre-service teachers in the Education Department.