Back to Blogging

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, as you can tell from the post just before this one…lots has changed for me professionally since the last post. I continue to serve as Instructional Technology Coordinator in my 10-school district in York, South Carolina, but I added the role of Public Information Officer about a year and a half ago.  Due to retirements in the district the position opened up, and I was working to coordinate our district’s AdvancED accreditation process, so I asked to take on that role as well to consolidate efforts.

The Public Information Office role has been a lot of fun, but a challenge to keep up with along with the other responsibilities. Being a PIO is a full-time job in all but the smallest districts. Our district is just on the fringe of the Charlotte media market, so we are able to “avoid” attention for some situations, but are frequently looped into stories involving Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools as well as the other districts in our county.  Often times it is a “this happened there, what does York do?” type of story, which doesn’t take much to respond to. Occasionally it is a significant story involving our district, which requires all of my time and focus.

My real goal in the PIO role is the same as other PIOs throughout all organizations: Tell the story of our students and staff. I’ve been successful in that quest a few times recently, including the always-tear-jerking Military Reunion I was able to video just before the Christmas holidays last year.  A York graduate returned home a day earlier than expected and surprised his sister in her classroom.  That video is here:


I’ve captured the Teacher of the Year announcement, student projects including t-shirt launchers constructed in a Physics class, and many more events in schools that only begin to tell the stories inside the walls of our campuses.

I’ve also been lucky enough to be working with PIOs in the other districts in my county who I have leaned on for support and guidance, taking advantage of their knowledge and training. The state’s branch of the National School Public Relations Association is also extremely generous with their time and resources, and like classroom teachers, love to swap war stories when they get together.

I’m going to try to blog more frequently over the next few months, in part to help tell these stories, as well as some personal talk, including products that I’ve bought and like to use, and probably some other random stuff. As with other bloggers, drop me a note and let me know what you think or what you’d like to learn. I’m @tcooper185 on Twitter as well.


Ordered a new Headset

I’m going to be doing more desktop videos with work in the coming year or so, and it looks like we may be adding Skype as well, so I saw this headset recently posted at the tech blogs and decided it was worth the $25 or so to

give it a shot.


The FREETalk Everyman headset is Skype Certified, meaning it meets Skype’s criteria for quality sound.  It connects via USB to the computer, but can also detach a standard headphone jack to connect to an MP3 player if you just want to listen to music.  I’m interested in seeing how well is works, and will report back.

Summertime is here

School’s out for the summer. In fact, it’s a longer summer due to S.C.’s mandatory late-start date where schools have to wait until mid-August to start. Lots going on…2 conferences (maybe 3), teaching 2 weeks, writing an online course. Most importantly, spending time with family and watching Evan grow up!

Another Bobcats season starts tonight

Charlotte Douglas Airport after
the team name was announced.

When my grandparents were alive and season ticket holders to the Charlotte NBA franchise, they would drive through the streets of Charlotte and see all sorts of Hornets sights…huge banner on the First Union building featuring the images of the leading Hornets players, everyone wearing purple and teal (although my wife would argue that the colors were ultimately the downfall of the team’s popularity), car flags and magnets. The Hornets were THE team in Charlotte.

Of course, this was before the Panthers, before Shinn slept with the Hornet dance team, before the NBA took a pretty serious drop in popularity.

The new team in town has been around for 3 years now, and begin another season tonight. I’ve lost track of Opening Nights I’ve been to…3 with the Bobcats, maybe 4 with the Hornets. They’re reporting that they “might” sell-out of tickets for tonight’s game…

The team is still building, and doesn’t have a strong base of fan support. Will Michael Jordan’s player personnel work make an impact? Will Bob Johnson break out some more money if the right player becomes available? Only time will tell…

I just hope I can take Evan to a playoff game in Charlotte someday and let him experience some of the many memories that I have. A packed house of screaming, yelling, towel-waving fans, a last-second shot that wins the game…

I still love this game.

Anybody ever used a mosquito deterrent in your yard?

For the last few years, companies have been making various mosquito repellants for your yard. While in Lowe’s the other day, I found this: The Intermatic Mosquito Sentinel 360 is at Lowe’s for somewhere around $200. Looks interesting…doesn’t use propane, but uses low voltage power (same as landscaping lights) to trap the mosquitos. It looks interesting…anyone use one? Leave me a comment!

Great pictures and video from listing car carrier Cougar Ace

Saw this on and then on Apparently a car carrier Cougar Ace coming from Asia has tipped over and is listing at sea. The United States Coast Guard is posting hi-res images and video of the car carrier. Check out the video of the rescue of the crew members…pretty cool stuff.

read more | digg story