Student teacher leaves mark on Hamilton, heads to Ecuador

Mr. Cooper works with his second hour Biology students Ray McCrary and Alyssa Genther.

During the first trimester of the school year, science teachers Mrs. Sarah Kapenga and Mrs. Angela Morris shared the mentoring of a student teacher, Mr. Kyle Cooper. Their students got to know him throughout his time here.

Mr. Cooper, who attended Zeeland West High School where he played football, will be receiving his degree from Grand Valley State University where he studied for a biology major with chemistry and earth science as his minors.

His interest in fishing and hunting introduced him to biology, then chemistry and earth science.

“Science allows us to learn more about the world around us. It explains how and why things work,” said Mr. Cooper.

“I always liked helping others,” Mr. Cooper said. “Teaching allows me to do that everyday.”

Ever since he started coaching football at Zeeland West, he knew he wanted to be with kids more often.

Throughout his time at Hamilton, Mr. Cooper kept improving his teaching abilities. He had a busy time, making lesson plans and coaching football. He learned how to juggle different responsibilities better.

“He got more comfortable with what he was telling us,” Kimberly Dent said.

“They enjoyed learning from him, and they can sense that he truly cares about each student,” Mrs. Kapenga said. He explained things to students and went through everything when asked.

Unlike most student teachers who stay in one school for their entire student teaching, Mr. Cooper has taken a different path.  Saturday, October 29, Mr. Cooper left not just the high school but the country all together.  He traveled to Ecuador to finish his student teaching.

“Basically it came down to wanting to do something different, something other than go to school, get a job and work the rest of my life,” Mr. Cooper said, adding that he wants to experience something other than the “bubble” of West Michigan.



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