The story of a local teacher and a journey that comes full circle. It’s your something good.
“At four years old my father passed away of a massive heart attack,” said Christine Cook.
Cook’s life drastically changed.
“My mother was left with four children to raise on her own.”
A loving mother who wanted the best for her family.
“My mother did her research and looked for a better opportunity for us. She found Milton Hershey School,” an all-boys school.
“My brother Tom was enrolled, and I was in second grade and I grew up visiting him,” Christine added. “I think I secretly wished I could go.”
A dream that would come true in March 1979.
“At 15 I was accepted and enrolled,” Said Cook. “Senior class had 13 girls and 113 boys.”
And she thrived. Cook was the first girl to graduate from M.H.S. in 1981. And M.H.S. footed the bill for continuing education.
“I wasn’t sure of my career at that point. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, so I thought I love children,” Cook said. “Let me think about teaching.”
Cook earned her masters degree and a homecoming visit led to a spring surprise.
“I got a call saying ‘hey, we have a kindergarten opening are you interested?’ I said ‘absolutely.’”>
35 years of shaping young lives have gone by as she makes a difference. Standing on M.H.S. family tradition.
“My mother-in-law, my father-in-law were both long time employees.’ My uncle, well my husband’s uncle, was my softball coach, was my basketball coach. It’s not a career it’s a way of life.”
Remember those kids Cook always wanted?
“I have two children.”
Following in mom’s footsteps.
“Jennifer and Megan. Jennifer is a 4th grade teacher, here at Milton Hershey along with me. Which is amazing and our Megan is currently an intern at Milton Hershey. So, they grew up a part of it coming into the classroom.
Chris says the ability to come back and give back is a gift.
“To have the opportunity to give back to our kids and impact them in hopefully great ways, to help them grow up and be successful citizens.”
Retirement is within reach, but Cook isn’t ready just yet. She will go back to help Jennifer.
“The way she came and helped me so many years,” Cook said.
Daughter Megan’s dream is to work as a school psychologist for M.H.S.