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The school district’s Innovator of the Month — recognized by the Board of Education each month — appears in the Shelton Herald the second week of each month.
Art has always been Mike Cooper’s life.
Admittedly not a strong student in his younger years, Cooper recalls his sixth-grade teacher pushing him to embrace his creativity, which not only lifted his grades but also set the trajectory for his future role as an educator himself.
“I was a poor student ... I had trouble focusing. In sixth grade, I was having trouble with reading and math, but my teacher saw my potential through my sense of humor and my drawing ability,” said Cooper, who grew up on Mad magazine and Garbage Pail Kids.
“She let me do some book reports and writing assignments in comic book form.
“This opened my mind to effectiveness in visual communication,” added Cooper. “I knew then I wanted to have an art related career or become a teacher. I never forget my perspective as a kid with difficulty learning. If I ever did become a teacher, I wanted to become a teacher I always wish I had as a kid. We always say art is so important, but art really can change a person’s life.”