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Connie Macomber, teacher Cooper Mountain Elementary School

For the past 30+ years, Connie Macomber has spent her days at Cooper Mountain Elementary School, shaping the lives of hundreds of students.

In a District where it is not uncommon for teachers to move from one school to another, Connie is a rare case. In 1984, she began at Cooper Mountain as a student teacher and this June, she will end her extraordinary teaching career in that very same building. "Every year this place has had new and fresh ideas. I just always felt like it was never dull or uninteresting in this school," says Connie.

Through a long career, it's the little things that matter most to Connie. "When students come back as adults and tell me what they have done with their lives and how I have inspired them in some way, it means a lot to me." She is a teacher who thrives on the connections she builds with her students and will surely miss their spontaneity.

There are a lot of lessons teachers put together for students, but along the way, Connie has learned a few lessons of her own. "It's to be patient and to listen and give that child a chance to really explain themselves, tell about themselves and I think kids have taught me how to do that." Her advice for new teachers, ""Give yourself some slack!" She wants new teachers to know it's okay to mess up. "That is how you learn."

When she's not in the classroom, Connie is outside. Next year she plans to take advantage of the extra time to do more of the activities she loves: biking, skiing and backpacking. This may not be the last we see of Connie. She hopes to serve as a substitute teacher on occasion. But for now, she says, "It's been a great ride!"