Cooper Faculty Make An Impact on the World Around Them

Sharing Talents and Professional Expertise

Four faculty members of The John Cooper School are making an educational impact outside the classroom and have been recently recognized for their professional expertise.
Teacher Awarded Highest Honor by French Government
Middle School French teacher Susan Dworaczyk was recently named “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques”.  The award is the most distinguished recognition possible by the French government for those in the academic field who are not French citizens.  Monsieur Le Consul, Alexis ANDRES, of the French Consulate in Houston, bestowed the award at a formal ceremony attended by colleagues, family members, and friends that was held on campus April 15. 
Originating with the Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in 1808, the award is a national order bestowed by the French Republic to distinguished academics and figures for major contributions to the promotion of French education and culture. Decisions on nominations and promotions are accorded by the Minister of National Education in Paris, France. The Chevalier designation is the highest award of the Order.
Dworaczyk has a distinguished teaching career that spans 32 years and includes numerous accolades. She has taught at Cooper for the past six years. Dworaczyk currently serves as President of the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) and has been instrumental in the success of the Texas French Symposium, where she has served as President for the past ten years.
English Teacher Named Co-Editor of National Publication
In addition to teaching Upper School English, Peter Elliott teaches the Literature and Arts Magazine Production course that produces Inkblots magazine each spring. He has taught English at Cooper for 15 years and in total, 20 years.
Elliott has been practicing what he teaches by submiting his own work for consideration. By frequently submitted his poetry for publication, and being actively involved with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Elliott has been named Co-Editor of Poetry for the English Journal, a NCTE publication that profiles ideas for English language arts teachers in middle, junior and senior high schools.
As co-editor, Elliott will help lead the effort to publish Volume 109 that will run September 2019 to July 2020, producing six issues that contain poetry submitted by English teachers.
Visual Arts Department Chair’s Work Exhibited Worldwide
Visual Arts Department Chair Bob Mosier has had his art exhibited around the world and published in numerous books and magazines. An accomplished sculptor working in metals for many years, Mosier’s most recent creations have been “thread paintings,” created using a sewing machine to create 3-dimensional images.
Under the title “Actual Depth,” Mosier’s work and thoughts about it, were recently published in Envision Arts Magazine. Two of his thread paintings are also featured in the Spring 2019 issue of Infinite Rust Literary Journal.
Another piece by Mosier, entitled “Chaos: A Thread Theory,” was one of 10 pieces from U.S. artists and among 77 from around the world accepted to be exhibited in the Skies 2019 Show that ran through March at the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery in Pennsylvania. Earlier this year Mosier’s works were on exhibit at the Sebastapool Center for the Arts in California and Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati Ohio. He will have an exhibit of his fabric work in September at The Redbud Gallery in Houston. Mosier has taught art for 20 years at Cooper and 43 years total to students ranging in age from elementary through graduate level.
Department Chair Brings Educational Expertise to The Hague
English Department Chair Alexis Wiggins was one of four teachers and college counselors who were invited to spend four days at the International Baccalaureate (IB) headquarters in The Hague in late April. Their task was to develop professional development workshops for high school teachers.
Wiggins, who is in her second year teaching at Cooper, created a three-day workshop on concept-based and inquiry-based teaching, a practical approach for how to let concepts and inquiry, not just content, drive the teaching and learning in high school courses.
While there, Wiggins researched the work of Harvard’s Project Zero, thanks to a partnership between the IB and Harvard University. She interviewed math, biology, physics, chemistry, Spanish, English and history teachers around the globe on how they use concepts and inquiry in their courses so other teachers can learn from their experiences. Wiggins, who will begin her 18th year of teaching next fall, was selected for this opportunity due to her experience as an instructional coach. Wiggins is a published author and conference speaker on the topic of inquiry and student-led discussions, and published a book, The Best Class You Never Taught in 2017.