Miriam Cook, a new social studies teacher, is just one month into her first year at Tam, and is already focused on creating the best high school experience for her students. Although Tam’s environment may seem daunting to someone taking on their first full-time teaching job, Cook seems ready for the challenge. After attending college, Cook participated in an Americorps position, where she worked in a high school, mentoring students. This is where her love of teaching was sparked. “That’s when I realized that I would be silly to try to do anything else,” Cook said. “Figuring out what I wanted to do professionally—be a teacher—didn’t take me as long as I thought it would and I’m proud of myself for figuring it out, and then sticking with it,” Cook said. Even in the short amount of time her students have known her, Cook has already earned much of their respect. “You can tell that she really cares about us and genuinely wants us to succeed in both school and life, which is a good quality for a teacher to have,” sophomore James Hisanaga, a student of Cook’s, said.