Educator of the Week - Amber Cowgill

Amber Cowgill, Student Council Teacher & Cheerleading Athletic Coach, David Douglas High School, Portland, Oregon

Nominated by Lisa Vu (student)

Amber is the Student Council teacher, the Activities Director, state winning cheerleading coach, and a full-time mom. She is always everywhere doing everything and somehow manages to make it all look so seamless. She's everyone's mom and pushes all of her students to be the best they can be. She is very welcoming to all walks of life and makes school a warm and positive environment that students look forward to going to and being a part of.

As one of her cheerleaders and student council members, I have grown very close with her. She is my aid, my counselor, my mom (not literally), my cheerleader, and my friend. She's very invested in her students and goes the extra mile to help them in achieving all that they can. When life gets tough she's the first person many people turn to for advice and support. She drops everything to be there, listen, and understand a person's situation and tries to fix anything and everything that is within her capabilities. She has turned many students' lives around by encouraging them to join the cheer program. With the strict regimen of cheer, kids learn discipline, perseverance, reliability, leadership, and countless other fundamental life skills. They become better students, athletes, and well-rounded people after having her in their lives. She pushes them to make better choices and love what they do. Being that David Douglas has an overwhelming number of immigrants and low income students, it is not uncommon for teachers at DDHS to come into contact with students who are struggling. She's had many students who are struggling to even go to high school nonetheless, college. Albeit, she's managed to help many cheerleaders as well as student council kids get into college. She even contacted colleges and got one of her low income cheerleaders nearly a full ride! She is very dedicated to her work and loves to make school fun and exciting. She is constantly coming up with new ideas for school events, spirit weeks, and just appeasing as many people as she can. She is very open minded and accepting of all walks of life; students and faculty alike love to just hang out in her classroom because of who she is and the positivity she radiates.

Congrats, Amber, from all of us at K103! Get to know Amber Cowgill:

What inspired you to become an educator?

I knew that I wanted to work with kids in some fashion. I had a counselor in college that helped me decide what direction that would take me. I took a variety of classes about education and knew that becoming a teacher was my destiny!

What do you like most about teaching?

I always had a passion for working with others and kids especially. I feel like you have to love what you do in order to do it well. Kids are funny and say the silliest things because they are learning about who they are as a person and what beliefs that they hold. I love pushing their thinking outside the box and I truly believe we don't give our youth enough credit!

What has changed the most since you began your career in education?

Honestly, technology and the use of it in the classroom. Teaching kids appropriate time and place has been a challenge to say the least.

What would you like parents to know about your job?

I would love for parents to know that I love what I do and I LOVE working with their kids. Kids just need positive adults that are supportive in their lives.

Share a favorite story about your years in education.

Just one of my favorite stories, that is SO hard---there are way too many to share! I would say my favorite part of education is when kids come back and thank you for being their teacher.

Each week during the school year, K103 and Concordia University will honor a local educator.  Each week, our honored educator receives:

  • $103 Gift Card for Classroom School Supplies
  • The Crystal Apple Award
  • A Concordia University Continuing Education Scholarship

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