Cochran named ‘Educator Legend’
By Kathryn Purcell
Morgan County Primary School Pre-K teacher Jennifer Cochran didn't know what to expect when she walked into Monday's staff meeting after school. She had no idea that, by the end of the meeting, she would be accepting an award amidst the applause and congratulations of her peers.
Cochran was the first to receive the 'Educator Legend of the Month' award, the end result of an initiative sponsored by the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce's Partners in Education (PIE) program. "We wanted to catch good teachers who've gone over and beyond," Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach said, in a previous interview. "We also wanted to recognize businesses who support education in Morgan County."
From this idea, 'Educator Legend of the Month' was born. Any PIE businesses that choose to donate $100 or more to the program is eligible to sponsor and present the award, to be given monthly. The first to donate $100 and, therefore, sponsor this month's award was Madison-based Harris Home Furnishing.
"From our perspective, Harris Furniture wants to recognize how important we think educators are to the community," Harris Home Furnishing co-owner Nelson Hale said.
The award became even more meaningful as it turns out that Cochran, who has been teaching in Morgan County schools for 22 years, actually taught Hale's oldest child in second grade.
Cochran received both a certificate of recognition for the honor and a gift certificate to Harris Home Furnishing.
"I am just always so humbled," Cochran said, recognizing the school's faculty as the secret to her success. "I'm just one of many outstanding educators here...At the primary school, there's just such a sense of teamwork and family. We have amazing leadership. It's like a well-oiled machine."
Speaking about the Morgan County School System, Cochran spoke to the source of her desire to teach.
"It has always been rewarding to me to teach in a school I once attended," Cochran, a Morgan County native, said. "We all work really, really hard at our job. It's all about the little ones that walk through the door each day."
The 'Educator Legend of the Month' award is just one of the initiatives coming from the PIE program, others of which include the Annual Retiring Teachers' Luncheon, Job Shadowing Program and SAT/ACT Luncheon. Currently there are about 175 Morgan County businesses involved in the PIE program, the mission of which is "[t]o build an alliance and a mutually beneficial relationship between the Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County Schools, the business community and the community at large that will aid in providing quality education to all students in the Morgan County School System," according to literature provided by Burbach.
For more information on becoming a Partner in Education, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 706.342.4454 or e-mail email@example.com.