At Peabody Magnet High School, a Title I school in Alexandria, social studies teacher and department chair Cheronda Cooper has developed a dynamic law magnet program that gives students firsthand experience in legal and political processes. She and her students organized a political forum in which local political candidates presented their platforms, culminating in a schoolwide mock election. Cooper also sponsors and coaches the Peabody Mock Trial team, which advanced to the state finals last year. When the school's English scores on the Graduation Exit Examination (GEE) began to fall, she was assigned to teach an English class, which helped students increase their GEE scores, with 85 percent passing the test. To increase interest and enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Cooper created and sponsored an AP Parents Night, in which parents were given sample AP tests, invited to read the same novel being read by current AP students, and return to school during school hours for a class discussion. The program drew 100 percent enrollment among parents and is now an annual event.
1991 Louisiana State University, B.A.