Woodridge Middle’s Cobb Named North West Teacher of the Year | Local News

When Woodridge Middle School teacher Elise Cobb walked into her classroom on Feb. 16, she was in for quite a surprise.

Superintendent Desi Kirchhofer and other central office workers were waiting inside to tell her the good news that she had been named Northwestern School District’s R-1 Teacher of the Year for the 2021 school year. -2022.

“They came to hide in my room,” Cobb said. “I was shocked, and I was obviously very honored.”

Cobb, 36, of O’Fallon teaches seventh-grade social studies at High Ridge Middle School. She had previously won the district’s middle school teacher of the year award.

Liz Green, vice-principal at Woodridge Middle School, said she was one of the people who nominated Cobb for the award.

“Typical things teachers do sometimes aren’t super entertaining or engaging,” Green said. “(Cobb) brings it to life for his children.”

As the district’s final teacher of the year, Cobb’s name will be added to a trophy that remains in the district, and she will receive her own trophy to keep.

She is also up for the Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year award.

Find your way to teaching

Cobb has worked in education for 13 years, starting as a substitute teacher.

“Being a kid of the 80s and 90s, I went to college in the early 2000s and wanted to be Rachel Green from ‘Friends’, so my first degree was actually in fashion merchandising and marketing” , Cobb said. “I graduated in 2008 and that’s when the economy crashed.”

She said a family member suggested she try out as a substitute teacher.

“I just fell in love,” she said.

Cobb graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies with a minor in secondary education and classical languages.

“History is a big passion for me and always has been,” she said.

Cobb joined the North West District in 2016 and has been teaching seventh grade social studies ever since.

Other winners

■ Elementary Teacher of the Year – second grade teacher Mindy Iezzi from Brennan Woods Elementary.

■ High School Teacher of the Year – Ashley Schmied, English and Language Arts teacher.

■ Apple Award winners – Andrea Lackro, special education teacher at Northwest High School, Alysha Oliger, counselor at Valley Middle School, and Kerri Shelton, first-grade teacher at House Springs Elementary.

■ Golden Bell Award Winners – Cara Kirby-House, Applied Behavior Analyst at Valley Middle School, Jessica Pool, Paraprofessional at Maple Grove Elementary, and Michelle Schmoll, Health Room Assistant at Northwest High School.

■ PRIDE Award Winners – Steve and Vicki Tamboli of Brenden’s Backpack organization.

The Teacher of the Year Award is given to an R-1 Northwest teacher who has worked in the district for at least four years and demonstrates enthusiasm, pride in their work, and strong teaching skills and in communication, according to a statement from the district.

The Apple Award and Golden Bell Award winners are certified support staff and teachers who demonstrate excellent character, performance and service to the district, according to a district statement.

The PRIDE award winner is a member of the community who goes above and beyond to help schools.

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