John Smith was announced as the 2023 Cook County School System Teacher of the Year during the Back to School Celebration held on Thursday morning, July 28, 2022, in the Carolyn Harris Performing Arts Center.
Smith’s family joined him on stage as he received a plaque and $1,000 check in recognition of the honor, as well as a $500 check for being named Cook Middle School Teacher of the Year.
The 2023 Teachers of the Year are: Cook High School, Constance Thomas; Cook Middle School, John Smith; Cook Elementary School, Staci Howell; and Cook Primary School, Stephanie Boykin.
The Back to School event started with breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. last Thursday in the high school cafeteria. The School Nutrition Department prepared a fabulous breakfast. The program began at 8:45 a.m. in the CHPAC auditorium. The program was intended to get community leaders, teachers, administrators, staff, and students excited about the new school year.
The audience at the Back to School Celebration was brought to their feet by the CHS Hornet Band and Cheerleaders! Friendly competitions were held for the Spirit Stick and Best T-Shirt. CPS will be holding on to the Spirit Stick for one more year, and CHS flew out with the T-Shirt Award for the second year in a row.
William Mitchell, Hypnotist-Clean Comedy Hypnosis Shows, provided special entertainment by mesmerizing school volunteers at the Back to School Celebration.