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Posted May 2, 2011

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Eisenhower Teacher Says it's All Part of the Job

Eisenhower Mid-School teacher Kathleen Cox, left, inspects the award check she received as teacher of the month, along with Adrian Chavez of Pepsi.

Kathleen Cox doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. As far as she’s concerned, giving a student a ride to school when necessary just goes with the job.

Cox’s story made the front page of the Albuquerque Journal in April, when a student’s mother let the paper know that Cox had been giving her daughter a ride each day while she battled an extended illness and while her car wasn’t working. Elizabeth Shellberg is a sixth-grader at Eisenhower Middle School, and her mother has been suffering with melanoma.

Cox has been named Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month for April. She is in her fifth year at Eisenhower, but spent the first 29 years of her career at Eldorado High School.

“It’s not abnormal to reach out to kids in need,” Cox said. “Teachers have always given a helping hand to kids who needed it.”

Maybe she considers the driving to be typical because this is not the first time she’s done it. Cox said she gave rides to a number of students during her years at Eldorado. She said she took some down to CNM (which was TVI at the time) so they could prepare for registration and helped others find jobs.

“We’ve always said that we have teachers in APS who go above and beyond the call every day; that’s why this award was created,” APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus said. “Kathleen Cox puts a name and face on the ‘dedicated teacher.’ And she’s been doing this for more than 30 years, which is incredible.”

Pepsi joined forces with the Foundation last school year to create the monthly recognition for teachers. Award-winners receive $50 from Pepsi.

While Cox is a bit embarrassed by the front page article, she said “I’m glad to have the positive attention for all teachers.”

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