Principal Vince Phillips devised a creative plan to surprise Ty Cook with the announcement that he had been chosen as Catoosa County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Mr. Phillips asked Mr. Cook to come to the office for a meeting. While Mr. Cook was in the office, students lined the 7th grade hall, the band was positioned, and Superintendent Denia Reese and Mr. Cook’s parents, Chris and Teri Sullivan, were hidden at the end of the hall. When Mr. Phillips led Mr. Cook down the hall, the band was playing and the students were cheering, "Mr. Cook! Mr. Cook!"

Superintendent Reese said, "Needless to say, Mr. Cook was totally surprised. His face was priceless when I told him he has been selected as Catoosa County’s Teacher of the Year. This is a great honor for a very deserving teacher."

According to Principal Phillips, "Mr. Cook makes the classroom come alive for his students by creating and implementing lessons that not only engage his students in the learning process, but he also makes learning fun. He is a great teacher, and he also plays an important leadership role at Lakeview Middle School. He helped lead the implementation of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program in our school that has really changed our school culture. He also sponsors the Garden Club each year. Mr. Cook achieves his goal to make a positive difference in the lives of students everyday. He is loved and appreciated by everyone at Lakeview Middle School."

Superintendent Reese said, "You can tell from reading Mr. Cook’s application that he has a passion for teaching and student learning. Mr. Cook’s application will be submitted to the Department of Education to be considered for the Georgia Teacher of the Year honor, and I’m confident he will impress their committee as well. Mr. Cook is a great example of an excellent teacher. I am confident that he will represent Catoosa County well at the state level."