From Our Schools: Cocanougher brightens BCHS with contagious smile
Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019
By MEGAN KIDD
Boyle County High School
If the saying is true that a smile is worth a thousand words, then one young lady at BCHS has written numerous novels.
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Senior Addi Cocanougher is well known throughout the student body because of her kind, social nature. Having grown up in the Boyle County School District, she has become a familiar face to all because of her infectious personality.
Even at a young age, Cocanougher was full of life and always smiling. Her mother Amy Cocanougher recalls a story that revealed her jovial nature at just two years of age.
“As a baby, she was really really happy. You could never take your eye off of her. One time she had gone through the cabinet and had completely covered herself from head to toe with sunscreen. She was so white!
“She came out completely covered and I asked her where she got that and she pointed, right over there!” her mother says laughing. Completely innocent, Addi smiled and giggled, her bubbly personality outshining her mother’s initial frustration.
This was a simple and humorous recollection of the happy-go-lucky person still smiling today. She has the ability to light up the room, and never fails to brighten someone’s day. Her advice is always, “It’s going to be okay. Just smile.”
Cocanougher’s enduring grin is the product of the love and support from her family and friends. Every day presents different challenges for her, but parental guidance has helped her immensely. Her parents gave advice long ago: “We always told her that if you always wear a smile, then there is nothing anybody could really say. They can remember one thing — there’s that girl that always has a smile on her face.”
She holds a number of unique qualities, one of which not many can relate to — she loves Mondays! “They’re fun, and I get to come to school and go to bowling practice.”
Being a four-year member of the girls bowling team, she has developed a love for the sport and the team. “I love bowling. They are all really nice.”
Her hard work at practice and competitions continues in the classroom as well. Being a star pupil in Tina Henry’s class, she always gets her work done and is never afraid to ask questions if she does not understand the content. She is always fervent to help her classmates and teachers alike.
“I’ve loved having Addi in class these four years. I have been teaching for 27 years and she has been the happiest student I have ever had on a daily basis. She makes me laugh and she tries the best that she can,” Henry shares.
“She has made a lot of progress since her freshman year. She has made the most progress in confidence and taking care of herself. She is part of voc (vocational) rehab now, and she got a job at Heartland Veterinary Hospital over the summer, where she is still working. Monday through Friday she volunteers at different places in the community (during school hours), and leaves early three days out of the week to go to work (at Heartland).
“Her progress this year has been less academic and more functional. She is preparing for after high school and working to be independent.”
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday without fail, Cocanougher is excited to finish her school work and travel by bus to the clinic to clock in. Dirty jobs await her, but her enthusiasm never wavers. “I wash dishes and clean out the kennels. It’s nasty, but it’s fun.”
Cocanougher’s positivity has certainly made an impact on others. Several weeks ago, when seniors were nominating homecoming candidates, Cocanougher was honored to receive a placement on the court. This joyful young lady was surprised with the outcome of the nominations. “I felt good. I was surprised. Like ‘Oh, my God!’ I just wasn’t thinking they’d say my name, but they did. I was happy.”
Her peers were not surprised. They knew her convivial personality and unending kindness would ensure her a spot on the ballot.
Nonetheless, the exciting tradition of homecoming ceremonies could bring a number of results, so her mom tried to prepare her. “We said that it was an honor to have your peers vote for you. We asked her what would happen if you don’t win, and she said, ‘That’s okay’ and we said, ‘Exactly. You won just because you were nominated.’”
This preparation was fortunately not needed. Cocanougher won by a well-deserved landslide. When asked how she felt, she had no words, just a huge smile.
It is no surprise that when asked how she would like to be remembered when she leaves high school, Cocanougher cheerfully proclaimed, “I’m just the happiest. I like to be happy.”
Megan Kidd is a journalism student at Boyle County High School.