Ex-Cooper Teacher Named to School’s Hall of Fame
A former Cooper teacher is being inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame this weekend. Howard Schwartz says he’s not sure why he was chosen.
After 25 years in business, teaching was a second career for Schwartz. He was easily recognizable around school for his neckwear. To honor one of his former teachers, he wore a different bow tie to school every day. His passion was working to build Cooper’s Business Education Department.
“I had a wonderful experience in business, consequently I thought if I could get the kids excited about that as a career option for themselves, they would pick up on that,” said Schwartz. “I have that feedback from so many kids and so many parents who had never thought about pursuing a career in business. Because of the strength of our program we were able to do that.”
As CCX News looked for old yearbook photos, we started to get the idea about his teaching philosophy.
“I didn’t want to be in pictures I wanted the kids to be in pictures.”
A Philosophy of ‘Kids First’
It’s true. Even though Schwartz coached students in the Quiz Bowl program and was an advisor for the National Honor Society, you won’t find many photos of him.
“Because of sort of my philosophy of sort of loving kids first and teaching them second we built that department up to four full-time teachers, three computer labs, fully funded computers labs, 19 courses,” Schwartz said.
Now, Schwartz is joining 34 others in Cooper’s Hall of Fame. Other members include actor Steve Zahn and E.J. Cooper himself. But Schwartz says so many other teachers are also deserving. He isn’t sure why he was chosen.
“I take this all with a grain of salt because I worked for the kids,” said Schwartz. “That’s what I did, I worked for the kids, that’s my employer and you don’t come from business without an attitude of working for the customer and these kids were my customers.”
Schwartz said every student deserves the best teacher possible. That’s why he only hired teachers with advanced degrees for Cooper’s Business Education Department. Schwartz taught there between 1999 and 2012.
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, April 14, at 2 p.m. at Cooper High School. The public is invited to attend.