Smith County Insider’s “Educator Spotlight” series is our way of celebrating the incredible educators in Smith County who go above and beyond for their students, both inside and outside of the classroom!

Smith County Educator Meranda Cook – Principal at Defeated Elementary School

Today’s “Educator Spotlight” features Meranda Cook, Principal at Defeated Elementary School.

Meranda is from Pleasant Shade, and she began her teaching career in Macon County teaching 5th grade. She moved back home to Smith County in 2006. This is her 17th school year in education.

Smith County Insider interviewed Meranda about her experiences as an educator, and this is what she had to say.

SCI: When did you realize that you wanted to be a teacher? 

MC: I have wanted to be a teacher my entire life. When I was a little girl, I often played school. It never failed, I was always the teacher. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

SCI: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

MC: The most rewarding part of my job is definitely the kids!  What other career could you have where you receive compliments, smiles, and hugs everyday. It’s also very rewarding to watch your students grow and develop into successful young adults and feel that you may have had a small impact on their lives.  Once my student, always my student! 

SCI: What inspires you?

MC: I am inspired mostly by my students and employees.  There is a great sense of pride when students graduate DES, and I feel we have equipped them with all the tools necessary to be successful, not only in high school, but also in life.  It encourages you to keep on doing the best you can do. In addition, my employees give 100% day in and day out and are truly an inspiration to me. I’m so proud of my tribe!

SCI: What’s the best piece of advice you have for your students?  

MC: Always be honest and do your best. Be proud of who you are and learn from your mistakes. 

SCI: What do you like to do in your free time?

MC: In my free time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.

SCI: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Smith County Insider?

MC: I love my school and  community! I can’t imagine raising my children anywhere else. 

Thank you for your leadership and dedication to your students, Meranda!

Don’t miss Smith County Insider’s next “Educator Spotlight”!