First impressions are often the ones we carry with us for a lifetime. Cottondale Elementary School is indeed fortunate to have Trisha Pumphrey teaching first grade.
Trisha graduated from Cottondale High School and continued her education at Troy University. She graduated from Troy with a degree in Elementary Education and returned to the panhandle to teach.
Her first five years were at Kate Smith Elementary School, fresh out of school. After five years as at Kate Smith, Trisha moved to Grand Ridge Elementary School. She remained there for three years, before returning to Kate Smith. After ten years, she returned to her hometown to teach at Cottondale Elementary. This is her second year at Cottondale.
Mrs. Pumphrey is a first-grade teacher at Cottondale Elementary School with 20 years’ experience as a primary grades teacher. Last year, 2016-2017, was her first year at CES. In her first year at Cottondale Elementary, 100% of her students met their growth targets in Reading and 93% met their targets in Math.
Trisha’s love of teaching is witnessed everyday with her students and her co-workers. Her award-winning smile brightens her room every day and proves contagious to her students. Cottondale High Principal Ken Granger and his wife Nikki have a son, Noah in Pumphrey’s class. Recently Nikki sung her praises about an out of the box activity Pumphrey had done with her class, “Noah is so blessed to have you. What a way to get back in the groove after a long break.” Dad Ken Granger had the same sentiments, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a teacher do this, my son came home talking about it.”
Those sentiments were about a ‘ringing in the New Year’ project, but could have been for so many of Pumphrey’s out of the box ideas. Holidays are a time when it is very hard to have children’s attention for very long. This past year, Pumphrey designed a Polar Express train for her students to take an imaginary ride. They played in snow, read books and had discussions on their ride on the Polar Express about snow, weather that makes snow, and much, much more. The children were all smiles, and learned about what factors need to be present to make snow. All of this while the students were treated to hot chocolate and cookies!
Principal Jessica Craven has nothing but praise for Pumphrey, “Trisha is the kind of teacher you wish you could clone. She has high expectations for her students and works tirelessly to help each one to reach their goal. I’ve never seen her with less than an enthusiastic and cheerful attitude. She generates joy and a love for school and learning in each of her students, which is an invaluable ability for an educator to have. Her classroom is the perfect mix of love, fun and education.”
Pumphrey says, “I am so very blessed to be at a school where I look forward to going to work every day and never want to miss. I have the privilege of working with an amazing faculty and staff at CES. I love teaching first grade because of the excitement on my students’ faces when they grasp a new skill. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than to have a student hug you and say they love you. I enjoy and strive to make learning fun and memorable for my students. I truly believe there is no other place I would rather be than teaching young children.”
Trisha is married to Tony Pumphrey, and they have two children, Logan and Landon who both attend Cottondale Schools. They attend First Assembly of Cottondale, where Tony serves as a board member and Treasurer. Tony and Trisha have also served as Children’s Church Pastors and Sunday school teachers for the past sixteen years.