Copperas Cove High School career/technology education teacher Sandra Perry’s classroom inspires learning because she brings real-world experience to the class. Her classroom is physically set up to be conducive to learning, including a mock patient room where students practice nursing skills and also learn through a simulated pharmacy.
CCHS Principal Jimmy Shuck selected Perry as the school’s Teacher of the Year. Perry advanced and won CCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and competes at the state level in June.
“Because of the rapport she has with her students, they are sponges in her classroom and absorb the knowledge,” Shuck said. “She incorporates hands-on learning so students are practicing the skills they will need to be successful in the nursing and/or pharmacy industry.”
In Perry’s pharmacy tech classroom, students were given ingredients and tools to create a solution that ultimately turned into lip balm. During the skills lab, Perry monitored and facilitated learning, requiring students to be very precise in measurements and ingredient combinations in order to produce a product.
Later, in reflection, Perry made a real-world connection to the lab and working in the pharmacy, emphasizing the importance of being precise in all aspects of the job including measurements and ingredients because a mistake may be detrimental to a customer’s health.
Perry sets up her lesson plans to ensure students obtain the skills needed to be successful on industry tests and make a smooth transition into careers in the medical field. In addition to teaching, Perry is also the head of the CTE department, the largest department on the CCHS campus.
“Mrs. Perry spends a lot of time being proactive in doing research to locate professional development opportunities for teachers so they are current in industry knowledge and also learn pedagogical strategies to enhance teaching methods,” Shuck said. “She also puts a lot of thought in the course offerings that the CTE department may incorporate by doing research about the workforce industry to ensure that we are teaching courses at CCHS that transfer to jobs after graduation.”
Perry also serves as one of the coordinators for high school mentors. She assigns mentor teachers to teachers who are new to the teaching profession or are new to CCISD so that they have a source of support and guidance.
Perry constantly follows up with mentees to ensure they are getting the support they need to be successful with their students.
Perry has worked as a teacher at CCISD for 22 years and is a registered nurse.