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Kortney Kopchick (CATA)

What do you teach and why did you become a teacher?

I teach both CP and Honors Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science. I always loved high school and nature. Old Dominion University had a specific program for geology students to become Earth science teachers. I was able to major in geology and minor in education. 

How do you show your school spirit?

I attend our performing arts shows and our musical productions. I try to attend at least one game per sport during the various seasons of sporting events. I bring my dog, Butterbean, to sports practices! I love letting the kids play with him on the soccer field! I also attended the cars and caffeine event held by the Automotive Technology Academy. It is always wonderful to see former students who come back during these types of events. Lastly, I always participate in pep rallies – anything from the pie in the face to the dancing contests!

What or who inspires you?

Kim Fisenne! She was the absolute best principal I ever had. She made me want to be a better teacher each and every day. 

In which other teacher’s class would you like to enroll for a day? Why?

Shelly Pentecost. I love art...which leads me to my hidden talent…

What is one of your hidden talents?

I make junk journals. These are repurposed books made with all sorts of repurposed materials and interesting papers. A few years ago, our library updated our books. They were having to throw out old books and as an environmentalist, I had to ask myself, what in the world can I do with old, outdated books?  I discovered junk journaling. I currently sell them at 47 K Marketplace in downtown Monroe. It’s wonderful and people find them to be pieces of art as well as a more sustainable type of journal. 

If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?

Don’t do anything you don’t want the whole world to know!

What is a professional motto or quote that you “work” by?

Be adaptable and ready for change.

What do you enjoy most about working in UCPS?

My students. I have worked at CATA for 17 years and my students are some of the smartest, most interesting people. I love watching them grow up and see the wonderful things they accomplish as adults. I also love teaching “families.” I am currently teaching a student of a sibling I taught over ten years ago. It’s amazing!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Making kids “recycle right.”

List five adjectives that describe your personality. 

  • Dedicated
  • Compassionate 
  • Engaging 
  • Creative 
  • Fun