Teacher of the Month

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Teacher of the Month- Karey Anne Coppage

What is your educational background?
I received my Bachelors in Science in Special Education and Elementary Education from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock. I received my Masters in General Education from Salisbury University. I have been teaching at Centreville Elementary School since 1997! (5 in Special Ed and 20 in 2nd grade).

What drew you to teaching elementary school?
When I was 5 years old I told my family I wanted to be a teacher!  My desire increased watching my younger sister struggle in school and eventually being diagnosed as learning disabled. I also admired how my parents advocated for my sister to have the appropriate placement, teachers, and accommodations and to ensure all her needs were met. I have always enjoyed working with and around younger children (I started babysitting when I was 12). As a teenager and young adult my mom teased that I was the “Pied Piper” of the neighborhood when it came to the younger children. I just seemed to always be a magnet for them and enjoyed making crafts, playing games and reading to them.

What are some aspects of teaching you find difficult? What about aspects you find rewarding?
Every job has its challenges. I try not to focus on that at all! Overall it is just trying to and the time to get it all done: planning, meeting all the student needs, creating engaging centers, making bulletin boards, and grading.  The most rewarding part is when a child has the “aha” moment or a parent sends a little note saying how important you were in their child’s life. I love getting invited to graduations, weddings, and baby showers of students I had in 2nd grade. That shows me I made that connection and showed them how much I cared!

Was there a teacher you had in school that left a big impact on you?
Yes!   There are so many that paved the way but one in particular who I felt laid the groundwork for me to want to be a teacher. Her name was Mrs. Henk. She was my First grade teacher at Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic School in Hamilton, NJ. She had such a positive in influence on me! I still remember doing plays in her room, reading books to her and talking with her at the end of the day. She was also the teacher who helped my parents diagnose my sister and get an IEP for her. I kept a relationship with her through college. She attended my high school and college graduation parties.  There were several others along the way but the common thread was that they all made a point to make a connection and a relationship with their students. They all took time to get to know me as a learner and a person. They wrote a special note when I had a dance recital or basketball game coming up, or they checked in when they saw I was acting a little different. is stuck with me!

When you’re not teaching, how do you spend your time?
I have been married for 16 years and we have 3 children: Christian (16), Emma (13) and James (9). They keep us busy with soccer, wrestling, basketball and lacrosse. We enjoy going to the beach in the summer and going to Six Flags! I am also very involved with the American Heritage Girls Troop MD0414. We volunteer at Wreaths Across America, American Legion (Jeff Davis Post 18) events, Project Linus, Feed a Family, Toys for Tots and many more community events. When I can, I enjoy reading books!  Last summer I read over 20 novels. It is nice to get lost in a good book!

What is an American Heritage Girls Group? How did you get involved?
American Heritage Girls is a Christian-based organization that focuses on God, country, community and family. I have been involved for 7 years when my friend Erin Zimmerman started a local troop in Centreville.

Know an amazing local teacher who makes a difference? You can nominate them here.