On December 14th 2017, VFW Post 11999 presented its annual "Teacher of the Year" award at the Cloudcroft Elementary School to Charlanne "Charlie" Cooper.
The VFW annually recognizes the nation's top classroom elementary, Junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly, and to promote America's history and traditions effectively. Mrs Cooper was specifically nominated for her innovative teaching and resource development methods, as well as her dedication to teaching.
In 2013, Mrs Cooper retired from the Cloudcroft School System. Then, during the mid-year of 2015 she was requested to return, so she came out of retirement and resumed her 5th grade classroom duties.
Her resume is both extensive and extremely impressive. She holds a Masters degree in Education-Reading from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Bachelor of Science-Education degree from the New Mexico State University.
Her activities during 40 years of teaching include tutoring non-English speaking students in Seoul, South Korea. She has been the Chairman and committee member of the Land of Enchantment Children's Book Award; Past District Facilitator; State Executive member, local officer and "Young Author" committee member for the International Reading Association.
As a Cloudcroft Teacher, she was the Chairman of the Cloudcroft Student Assistance Team and Co-operating teacher for student teachers which hosted six student teachers at the Cloudcroft School and one at Hondo Valley School. Her church activities include Sunday School Teacher, Director of the "Jesus and me" after school program, and the Vacation Bible School Director.
Her honors include the "Teacher Dream Fund" Award from Eastern New Mexico University, the "Zia" Award from the New Mexico State Council International Reading Association, and an award from the Research and Study Council for her writing of "Cloudcroft, a Living History".
Mrs. Cooper consistently promotes leadership to her students who in turn mentor 1st grade buddies and leaders in Elementary "On-A-Roll" assemblies. Her experience in 4H model leadership and citizenship resonates effectively with her students. Her youth activity community service includes involvement with her church, 4H, the Otero County Fair and the Writing Fair.
Her nomination as Cloudcroft Teacher of the Year for 2017 will now be forwarded for judging at the VFW District level and could eventually be eligible for the Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.
The investment that Charlanne "Charlie" Cooper has made in our local youth will pay dividends that we all may benefit from as they become our future leaders.