Mrs. Cooper graduated from Montana State with both her Bachelors and Masters in agricultural education. Instead of hopping right into the high school classroom Mrs. Cooper took a different route. She enjoyed Montana State so much she taught classes at the University for incoming ag ed students. After a couple of years she moved back to her alma mater and began teaching at Salmon Jr/Sr High School in 2008. From new classes to new programs and events, since arriving in 2008 Mrs. Cooper has changed a little bit of everything.
About eight years ago Mrs. Cooper and a group of volunteers were thinking about new ways to improve their programs when they had the idea of utilizing the land adjacent from the school. After some research the school partnered with the Lemhi Regional Land Trust – a private organization devoted to private lands and conservation in central Idaho who purchased the land and now let’s Salmon Elementary through Jr/Sr High School use it for education purposes. “Ag fits in all curriculum and this school garden really brought it to life,” Mrs. Cooper. From the photography class using the garden as their canvas and the 2nd graders growing record breaking size cabbages to using it in traditional agricultural education classes everyone plays a part in using the garden.
Mrs. Cooper also gave a lot of props to her supportive community throughout her years at Salmon. “Being in a small rural town, we are really appreciative for all the support that our chapter has received whether that be during our Flocking fundraiser or our Spring Feed the community is very generous and has allowed our students to be able to travel and learn more outside of Salmon,” Mrs. Cooper.
“I love being an ag teacher because it is something different everyday especially with FFA and SAEs. Watching the students find their passion and their voice is so fulfilling. I come back everyday to see the growth in my students.”
On top of being an ag teacher and FFA advisor at Salmon Mrs. Cooper has also taken on several other roles as the senior class advisor, 4-H leader, National Teacher Ambassador for National FFA, and a Nutrients for Life Ambassador. Not only is Mrs. Cooper a great advisor for her students but also a reliable and valuable resource for other teachers around the state.