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"Mr. Coffey took the abilities I had and transformed them to productivity. Where originally I was unfocussed and lazy, with his help I bit the bullet and strived to achieve: working so hard to redeem my GPA, being elected to my high school leadership Cabinet, being chosen as graduation commencement speaker, and attaining countless leadership positions. I was even voted Most Likely to Succeed by my class! What a polar opposite to the failing 16 year old I was when I first met this great man." Those are the words that a former student used to explain why Lynn Coffey of Kickapoo High School is a great teacher. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with that former student and Lynn Coffey himself for this feature.
Lynn Coffey is the chair of the Business and Marketing Department at Kickapoo High School in Springfield. He teaches computer courses, not always the most exciting material.
Students say there’s something special about Lynn Coffey that sets him apart as a teacher. Clayton Rothschild is now a university student at Baylor. He was one of Coffey’s students for 3 years.
Many of those opportunities came to Rothschild through the Future Business Leaders of America or FBLA. Lynn Coffey sponsors the program at Kickapoo. He uses the program to reach out to students who maybe haven’t found their niche. Coffey says it’s easy for teachers to like motivated students…it’s harder to reach out to those kids who need extra encouragement.
Many of Coffey’s students participate in FBLA competitions at the state and national levels. They’ve had great success in the competition and have earned national recognition. But he wants his students to know that those awards are not the most important achievement.
Coffey begins developing a relationship with his students on the first day of class.
Coffey says he wants his students to enjoy his class and to start thinking about what they want to do in the future.
Kickapoo graduate Clayton Rothschild understands that. And he thanks his former teacher.