Mike Cohen Received AZ 2008 American Star of Teaching
Retired engineer and second-career teacher Mike Cohen was honored Tuesday, Oct. 7, as
's 2008 American Star of Teaching.
A representative of the U.S. Department of Education made the surprise announcement at Palo Verde Magnet High School, where Cohen teaches engineering.
After retiring as a senior engineer from a Fortune 500 company, Cohen decided to teach after noticing that few minority students and women seemed to be entering the engineering profession.
With more than 30 years of engineering experience, Cohen
built Palo Verde's engineering program from scratch, increasing the number of students from 20 five years ago to 130 today.
also boasts a 100 percent graduation and college-bound rate of success.
Cohen helps students after school and on weekends prepare for competition, such as building robots and generators.
also works with community leaders to provide internships, employment, and support for scholarships to universities so that students can continue their academic studies.
"Mr. Cohen is a superb example of unprecedented results in classroom focus at the most rigorous level," said Palo Verde Principal Tina Isaac.