THE FORT ATKINSON SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED
NATIONALLY AS HAVING AN OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT TO
AND, THERE IS OVERWHELMING RESEARCH CONNECTING MUSIC
EDUCATION TO OVERALL STUDENT SUCCESS...IN BOTH SCHOOL
AND IN LIFE.
THIS MONTH'S TOPNOTCH TEACHER IS INSTILLING INVALUABLE
LIFE LESSONS THAT HE HOPES HIS STUDENTS WILL USE BEYOND
THE WALLS OF HIS CLASSROOM.
AND HE'S DOING IT WITH A WHOLE LOT PASSION, ENTHUSIASM.
Band, Orchestra and Chorus teacher Fort Atkinson High
School one, two, and one, two, three, four
NATS - MUSIC
THE SOUND OF MUSIC IS ALIVE IN FORT ATKINSON, AND
IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF TOM COOK.
So, Tom I understand that you have been teaching for
Tom Cook Yes, 35 glorious years.
THE LAST 25 AT FORT ATKINGSON HIGH SCHOOL AS IT'S
BAND, ORCHESTRA, JAZZ BAND AND SHOW CHOIR DIRECTOR.
IN THAT TIME HE'S TOUCHED THE LIVES OF CLOSE TO ONE
He's taught us life lessons like never settle for
your, like, right here.
Just always go past your potential.
Always keep working.
So, I'll remember these life lessons he taught us.So,
more than just music.
He's not like other teachers.
He really connects with the students and has a passion
for what he does.
Cook, he's like another father for music.
MORE THAN TEACHING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF HORN PLAYING,
DRUM RUDIMENTS, VOCAL TRAINING OR HITTING THE RIGHT
NOTES IN A JOHN COLTRANE OR MILES DAVIS PIECE, HE
SAYS THE LIFE LESSONS HE'S INBUING HIS KIDS WITH MEAN
SO MUCH MORE.
I always told them that once they take a lick from
the lollipop of mediocrity, they'll suck forever,
so don't do that!
don't suck".If they were here and I said, "what are
you supposed to do
TOM COOK IS HOPING TO CREATE GREAT PEOPLE, NOT JUST
GREAT MUSIC.AND, HE DOES IT AMPLIFIED WITH A BIT OF
Cook, like he made the environment fun.
He's a jokester.
And, laughter well, it's funny when he dances when
He does this little salsa dance and he does this little
thing like Lacrosse.
He goes like this.
So, it's pretty fun.DW You think I could get him to
do it today? Maybe.
He's blushing like a sweet potato.
TOM COOK Sweet potato?
DW What life lessons would you want them to loook
back and say, you know what, I think that was Mr.
Cook who told me that?
TOM COOK Be happy.
Do what makes you happy.
Dont hurt people.
That kind of stuff.
That's what's important.
One, two, three.
AFTER 35 YEARS OF TEACHING, MR.
COOK HAS DECIDED TO RETIRE THIS YEAR.
HE SAYS HE'LL HAVE PLENTY TO KEEP HIM BUSY...LIKE
REFURBISHING HIS SAILBOAT..AND HIS DUNE BUGGY.
BUT, EVEN THOUGH HIS FORMAL TEACHING YEARS ARE OVER.
IT'S A GOOD BET THAT TOM COOK WILL CONTINUE TO INSPIRE
AND MOTIVATE WHEREVER HE GOES.
AND, YES...HE'LL UNDOUBTEDLY BE DOING IT WITH THAT
FANTASTIC SENSE OF HUMOR.