A.P U.S teacher, Walt Cochran, Returns to Teaching


Mike Hibit

Walt Cochran coaching the varsity cross country team at the JK Gold Classic in Wichita Kansas.

Jarrett Reiter, Reporter

Walt Cochran, an A.P U.S history teacher and cross country coach at the school has returned from his year-long hiatus as a middle school admin to continue his 21 years of teaching and coaching at GEHS.

“At GEHS, I’ve coached men’s and women’s soccer, I’ve coached scholars bowl,” Cochran said. “When I started teaching at Spring Hill high school, I coached JV basketball. I was head of cross country. I coached track, and I also coached volleyball.”

Cochran follows his passion by teaching both standard and AP courses for U.S. history. Throughout his years of teaching his students have done amazing things. One time he saw his students reach nationals at the history bowl.

“You know, every day is really a fun day for me to teach U.S history, It’s what I’m really passionate about,” Cochran said. “There are so many amazing stories, I think over my career having a group of kids win the Kansas History Bowl and go to Washington D.C to compete in the national competition was a highlight.”

Cochran makes projects that are over certain areas of history. This gives the students the ability to be creative and make something memorable.

“One year, we had a project that we did over the Gilded Age, and my kids decided to make a timeline on a used car,” Cochran said. “They buffed it, they painted it, and made this massive timeline on a car, It was crazy”.

Cochran’s passion for U.S. history isn’t just talked about to his students, but also to his colleague, Derrick Abromeit. Some of the information was already known by Abromeit.

“I think he is really passionate about his topic,” Abromeit said. “He’s just really into U.S. history. He likes to do cool creative things. He likes to get kids involved in their own learning, and all of his students love him”.

Cochran is currently the head cross-country coach and the distance coach for track and field. With his own view of success in sports, he values any amount of success from the teams or individuals he coaches.

“Really, I’ve enjoyed coaching for so long,” Cochran said. “Obviously seeing kids have success, and success is defined both individually and collectively especially if it’s a team sport. You know, whether it’s an athlete meeting their own personal goals, or having a team qualify for state or win a state championship or regional championship, all those moments are celebrated. But really for me in coaching, it’s watching the individual success of kids at every level.”

While coaching Scholars Bowl, it’s noted by Deb Osborn, another coach, that Cochran adapts to whatever he is coaching and overall wants to commit to being a good coach.

“I haven’t coached any sports with him, but I did use to coach Scholars Bowl with him, and he definitely is all into whatever it is that he is committing his time to. He wants to do well. He wants to improve. He’s always looking for ways to do that, and at the same time, he’s very approachable and obviously beloved by kids.” Osborn said.

After his year-long hiatus of being a middle school administrator, Cochran is back to teach and coach a new year of students.

“Oh, I so love it. I’m so thankful to be back in the classroom and coaching again,” Cochran said. “I get up every day, and I’m thankful for this job, and I’m thankful to come to work and work in a great place with great people”.