A day in the life of a middle school student is filled with energy, awkwardness, failure, success, and lots of noise, chaos, and emotion. Leading children in these preteen years can be challenging, but also the most rewarding job at a school. So much growth happens during these years that a child might not even resemble their middle school self when they cross over into high school. I can’t imagine Susan Cook, CCA’s Logic School Head, in any other place besides leading students and teachers as they navigate the tumultuous and treasured middle school years. When I sat down to interview Susan, I was surprised to discover she started her career right out of college as a Mortgage Loan Processor in a bank.
I am not sure there is a more polar opposite work environment from a school than a bank. Banks have a little less noise and energy than the hallways of a middle school. Needless to say, she hated working at the bank. At her father’s urging, she left the bank to pursue a career in education.
Susan was born in Lubbock and eventually went to McMurry University, where she earned a degree in Psychology and English. She later went to Texas Tech University, where she earned a master’s degree in education. She taught public school for 12 years before she came to teach 4th grade at CCA 10 years ago. She was a beloved 4th-grade teacher and excelled in the classroom. In time she transitioned into her current role as Logic School Head (5th-8th grades). She is married to Kelly and has two children and three grandchildren.
It has been an honor to have my children grow up through Logic School under the leadership of Susan. She is a master at loving children even when they mess up and partnering with parents in the crazy middle school years when your child seems to have lost their mind. I am grateful for Susan’s heart of grace. I hope you enjoy getting to know her more through this interview.
Why did you choose education as a career?My father always told me I should be a teacher, but I didn’t consider education until I started working at the bank and realized that it wasn’t the right place for me.
What is the career highlight you are most proud of?
When I taught in public school, I had a student who had no support at home. I pursued him all year and wouldn’t let him get away with anything. At the end of the year, he told me, “Mrs. Cook, you have been the biggest pain in my butt all year, but thank you. I love you. No one ever believed in me before, but you did.”
What do you love about CCA?
I love that CCA is a community of believers with the ultimate goal of pointing our students to Christ while they are learning by what I believe to be the most effective way to learn through classical education.
What is one thing you wish parents knew?
I want parents to know how much we genuinely love their kids, and we are for them and their families.
Who are your heroes or who do you admire?
My parents are both heroes to me. My mom has a heart of grace and loved all people regardless of how they treated her. She understood people operate out of their pain. My dad is a man of tremendous integrity. He has the ability to see from all perspectives and bring people with opposing views together.
\What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being with students is my absolute favorite about my job. Being separated from them is the worst thing about distance learning.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?I love to spend time with my family.
Would you say you are more of an introvert or extrovert?I am an introvert who loves people.
What is your definition of success?
I believe success is living a life with grace while chasing the hurting and pursuing love.
Susan lives out her definition of success well at CCA. She loves her students and teachers with grace, notices when they are hurting, and loves them wholeheartedly. Thank you, Susan, for your service. CCA is a better place to be because of you!