Fall 2022 Cooperating Teacher Appreciation: Chesterfield County Public Schools


This week we’re sharing our gratitude for the wonderful cooperating teachers throughout Virginia who welcomed our students into their classrooms for practicum and student teaching during the Fall 2022 semester.

Below are messages of thanks from our students who have worked with these fantastic educators!

Chesterfield County Public Schools

Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy – Amy Tirrell

Ms. Tirrell is a very caring teacher, who helped support us through our practicum, and taught us about teaching as much as she taught her students about art. I wouldn’t have made it through classes of preschoolers without her help. -Samantha Brem

Ms. Tirrell is a wonderful, passionate, and caring educator who only finds the best in her students. She has been a wonderful mentor to learn and teach alongside with. I hope that I can be just as amazing as her in my future teaching practice. -Juanita

Clover Hill High School – Haley Ferguson

Ms Ferguson is an amazing support for our preservice teachers. She is always willing to open her classroom and provide feedback to the students. She is a wonderful role model.

Cosby High School – Mary Jo McCoy

Mrs. McCoy was so wonderful to work with! She was very informative about the structure of her classroom and the school’s environment. She gave great feedback and was super encouraging. -Zoe Collin

Cosby High School was a bit of a trek from Richmond City, but it was well worth it. The school atmosphere is wonderful and all the students in Ms McCoy’s class were respectful and ready to learn. Ms McCoy herself was really nice to work with too! Laid back and fun, while still guiding us every step of the way in our teaching practicum, she was the model of what I might want to be some day if I ever have my own digital arts classroom. It’s a long shot, but I have been chosen to do Practicum in CCPS, and the thought of maybe being able to teach with her and the students of Cosby High again has me excited! -Ethan

Crestwood Elementary School – Chelsea Joyner

I have gained so much from my time spent with Ms. Joyner at Crestwood! Her wisdom and classroom management skills and tactics are impressive and have given me such guidance moving forward in the Art Education program and world. She always is willing to answer questions, explain some of her lessons and talk about the ins and outs of her position in Crestwood. The way she structures her classrooms and lessons encourages and motivates every student as an active participant, always willing to go the extra mile to make sure all her students are successful. Thank you so much Ms. Joyner for welcoming us with a warm heart and open arms. -Ashley Corvin

Elizabeth Davis Middle School – Erin Waldner

This was Erin’s first time as a practicum teacher, and she was absolutely wonderful! Very kind, helpful, understanding, and sweet!! I loved having her, it was honestly such an honor and a privilege– I couldn’t have asked for a better Middle School practicum experience! -Rae

Davis MS was a wonderful school and I had a great time with practicum thanks to Ms. Waldner. Every day I woke up raring to go thanks to the inviting atmosphere of the school and Ms. Waldner’s classroom and it made for a truly wonderful and educational practicum experience. -Ethan

Elizabeth Davis Middle School – Lydia Walters

My secondary cooperating teacher is Lydia Walters, who is a middle school art teacher in Chesterfield County. She has been so supportive through this whole process and is always giving recommendations of new things to try. I am extremely grateful for how much Lydia was willing to work through project ideas with me and her willingness to help with whatever I needed! -Madison Morgan

Elizabeth Scott Elementary School – Heather Levet

I would like to thank Heather Levet for being such an impactful teacher and member of Chesterfield county public schools. She has helped me immensely in the areas of teaching that are not always apparent. Things like time management, networking and finding inspiration. She has been an educator for over 30 years and just has an answer/solution for everything. She can handle crisis situations with ease and bring everyone back down to a relaxed place if need be. I am so thankful that I got to work with her and genuinely took all of her advice with me and I will carry it throughout my teaching career. -Anna Rush

Gordon Elementary – Ann Shumm

Ann Schumm worked with me as my cooperating teacher during my elementary student teaching placement. She was a great mentor and taught me so much about classroom management and working with elementary students. She made me feel welcome and comfortable right away and gave me a lot of amazing guidance. She genuinely cares so much about teaching and her students, and that brought so much joy to her classroom and the experience as a whole. -Jayce Bryner

Manchester Middle School – Megan Hartsoe

It has been such a great experience working with Megan- not only have I learned so much about how to approach the often intimidating task that is teaching middle school art, but I’ve had fun along the way due to her infectious positivity and unending support. Thank you Megan for all of your help! -Elise Wojtowicz

Matoaca Elementary School – Katie Bailey

I am so grateful for my elementary cooperating teacher Katie Bailey. She is an elementary school art teacher in Chesterfield County and also attended VCU. She has created such a positive environment for her students where their creativity can come alive and her classroom style was very inspiring. I am so thankful for all of her positive encouragement and support throughout my student teaching process. -Madison Morgan

Midlothian High School – Elizabeth Vesely

Ms. Vesely has been so great to work with. She has such a great room set up and rapport with the students. She is full of knowledge and advice. I am so thankful to have been placed in this classroom with her. Thank you Ms. Vesely! -Hattie Campbell

Midlothian High School – Kristen Joswick

Kristen was my cooperating teacher for my fall student teaching, and she was extremely helpful throughout the entire process! I genuinely would not be in the position I am today if it weren’t for her help in guidance. She has been an extremely positive role model, support system, supervisor, and fret. I know that with her advice and guidance, I am more than set to enter the teaching world. I cannot think Kristen enough for everything she has done for me. -Mercedes Feliciano

Monacan High School – Melinda Carson

Melinda Carson is a wonderful SBTE. Her reliability, positive attitude, and passion for teaching were an inspiration. Mrs. Carson is consistently available for anything anyone could need. She is an active member in her school community and a positive influence on all her students. The relationships she builds with her classes is truly inspiring. I was very fortunate to be placed with her this semester! -Hana Pearlman

Providence Elementary – Michelle Scheer

Michelle Scheer is an amazing art teacher who cares deeply about her students. She is dedicated to her profession as an art educator and to her school, Providence Elementary. Michelle invests her time inside and outside of the art classroom into her school community through art clubs, collaborating with other teachers, and assisting with parent pick-up. She encourages and nurtures her students to be their best selves, holding them to high expectations. I can not express in words the impact she made on me as her student teacher through her coaching and friendship. I hope one day that I can aspire to be as great of an art teacher as she is to my future students. -Kerry

Salem Church Elementary – Erika Ogier

My cooperating teacher, Erika Ogier, has been the best first teacher I could have shadowed during my first classroom teaching experience. Erika has provided a safe, creative space in the art room while encouraging future teachers to go above and beyond with teaching styles and methodologies. I have enjoyed seeing how art making is a way of learning, expression, and creative fun in Erika’s classroom and look forward to staying in touch in the forever future! -Jack Bolvari

Spring Run Elementary – Michele Kelly

Michele was my cooperating teacher for my fall student teaching, and she was beyond amazing! She was kind, understanding, helpful, and was always helping me improve myself. I cannot think Michele enough for all of the help and support she gave me throughout my students’ teaching. -Mercedes Feliciano

Thelma Crenshaw Elementary School – Jennike Duignam

Having the opportunity to work with and learn from Jennike has been excellent. She is always generous with suggestions and feedback. I have learned so much in what feels like a short time. The students at Crenshaw clearly love coming to art class thanks to the warm and inviting classroom Jennike has created full of wonderful handmade visual aids that line the walls. Jennike’s calming and positive presence throughout my visits helped me stay calm during my first teaching experience in an elementary school as a practicum student.

Tomahawk Creek Middle School – Ashley Klimek

Ashley is a wonderful teacher who handles middle school students with skill.  She goes above and beyond and sponders the Art Club after-school program.  She cares about art education, her students and working with pre-service teachers.