Science teacher Adrienna DeCock named FHS Teacher of the Year

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Reporter

Adrienna DeCock

When Fergus High School science teacher Adrienna DeCock was asked by FHS counselor Karen Durbin to help hand out awards during the annual Student Award Night in May, DeCock had no idea there was a surprise headed her way. In order to make sure DeCock was present at the awards night, Durbin even had Plan B ready in case DeCock said no. Durbin talked to DeCock’s husband, Brendon, who is a math teacher at FHS. Durbin told Brendon he needed to tell his wife she needed to be at the awards assembly. Fortunately, Plan B did not have to be used as DeCock accepted the offer to help Durbin with handing out awards.

The evening went as planned with DeCock helping Durbin give out awards to Girls and Boys State delegates, DAR Good Citizen, and students with high ACT achievement scores.

When FHS student body President Nick Sweeney stepped to the podium to announce the students’ selection as the 2017 Teacher of the Year, DeCock said she was shocked.

“It was a big surprise,” she said. “I didn’t even know I was eligible for the award.”

“Besides, when I looked at all the other teachers who were also eligible for the award, I had no idea I would be selected,” she added.

In the past, the “Teacher of the Year” award was announced at the end of the year barbecue for the Lewistown staff. This year, the students decided to announce it at their own awards night. Most of the public is not even aware of the selection of the “Teacher of the Year,” unless they happen to look at the pictures of past Teachers of the Year.” DeCock’s photo will now join the other Teachers of the Year on the wall above the counselors’ offices at FHS.

 

DeCock teaches earth science and AP physics

DeCock just completed her third year of teaching at FHS.

“I teach both ends of the spectrum in science,” said DeCock. “I teach all of the sections of freshman earth science, as well as advanced placement physics.

“Math and science has always come naturally to me,” explained DeCock. “Originally, I wanted to go into nursing, but after I had a coaching opportunity at Huntley Project, I decided to go into teaching.”

DeCock and her husband are both graduates of Huntley Project High School. DeCock began her college career at the University of Great Falls and finished at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. DeCock attended college in Pablo because Brendon was teaching and coaching at Ronan.

“The college was just starting its four-year degree program for a broadfield science major,” said DeCock, “so it worked out well for me.”

The DeCocks spent four years in western Montana. Brendon taught and coached wrestling at Ronan, while Adrienna was going to school. She also spent two years as an assistant volleyball coach at Polson and one year as the head coach in Ronan.

“After traveling for six hours to come home to Huntley when Reagan was a baby,” said Adrienna, “we decided we needed to get closer to home.”

It worked out there were two high school teaching positions at Fergus when the DeCocks applied. Adrienna was hired as a science teacher, while Brendon teaches math. He was the assistant wrestling coach his first year at FHS, and is now the head coach. Adrienna will begin her second year as a volunteer coach for the volleyball program at Fergus.

Reagan is now four years old, and has a younger sister, Reece, who is one year old. Adrienna is enjoying spending the summer with her two daughters.

“We have only seen Brendon about six days this summer,” said Adrienna. “He is busy working on his master’s degree at Bozeman, as well as working construction.”

Adrienna will spend part of her summer getting ready for another school year.

“We have new science textbooks this year,” Adrienna said, “so I need to spend time on aligning my textbooks with our curriculum.”

Adrienna enjoys teaching earth science and AP physics.

“Each one of my earth science classes are so different,” she said. “There is never a dull moment. You have to be able to answer any question that comes up.”

Her AP physics class is just as challenging.

“This will be the first year we were not able to have everyone take AP physics who wanted to,” said Adrienna. “We had 33-35 students signup to take the class, but we had to cut it down to a cap of 20 students. For the first time, I will have all seniors in my AP class.”

Adrienna wants to see more of her AP class earn college credit for the class. In order to receive three semester credits for an in-state college, a student must take the AP test at the end of the year.

“I only had three take it this year,” explained Adrienna. “One of my goals for my class is for more of them to take the class, and then take the AP test to earn those college credits.”

Watching the excitement in her eyes as she talks about the upcoming year teaching high school, it is easy to understand why the students at FHS selected Adrienna DeCock as their “Teacher of the Year.”

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