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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Local Legends: Cheryl Cooksey

Cheryl Cooksey was born in California, one of three girls. She moved to Sharon, Oklahoma when she was 3, where her father was a police officer. Her dad eventually took a job in the oilfield and moved the family to Woodward. Ultimately, she found herself near Enid and graduated from Chisholm High School in 1976. She attended Autry Tech for a time, and studied commercial art and graphic design, and received her bachelor’s degree in education from Phillips University. After graduation, she returned to Autry Technology Center where she has been the graphic arts instructor for the last 30 years! During her time at Autry, she has received numerous awards, including the SkillsUSA Marsha Daves Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020, the National Trade and Industrial Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education in 2017, the Oklahoma Carl Perkins Community Service Award, was honored as the National Educator of the Year by Printing Industries of America in 2006, received the National SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year award in 2000, and was honored as the Region IV ACTE New Teacher of the Year in 1998.

Many people have loved and respected Mrs. Cooksey over the years, including former student Cameron Kaiser who said, “Cooksey is the most caring individual I have ever met. I would not be where I am today without her. To say she has positively impacted the lives of everyone she has come in contact with is an understatement. The world is a better place with Cooksey in it.”

Another former student, Maria Palmer agreed, “To know Mrs. C is to know the most dedicated, selfless and caring person. The everlasting impact Mrs. C has on your life through her teachings, mentorship and friendship is what makes her legendary.”

Finally, yet another former student, Sean Gibson, raved, “She becomes more of a mentor than a teacher to her students, where she pushes them to find their own talents when they don’t realize it themselves. Her students leave with the newfound confidence they discovered through her teaching and a new Cooksey story to share with other past students.”

 Her influence is shown by the fact that all three former students have followed in her footsteps and currently work for Autry Tech as well.

She has been married to her husband Patrick for almost 14 years, and has an adult son (Justin Licklider). In her free time, she has covered the Enid Speedway as a reporter for the Enid News and Eagle for the last 25 years. Her love of racing had taken her to actually driving in enduro races.

As most of the 700 students that have graduated from the Graphic arts program at Autry can attest, Mrs. Cooksey is a true Local Legend!


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Robert Faulkhttps://enidmonthly.com
Robert R. Faulk is the Publisher and Editor of the Enid Monthly. Robert graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Political Science and has his J.D. from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He is originally from Oklahoma City, but is happy to have lived in Enid since 2004 and calls it "home."



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