Wesley Cooper is a teacher at Westmar High School in the coal region of western Allegany County. Wes, in addition to being a teacher, is also a professional, although seasonal, archaeologist. He has done most of his research in Ireland, Cyprus and Great Britain. Additonally, he has worked in Ohio and on the Lost Towns project here in Maryland. He has a Bachelor's and Master of Arts History degree from UMBC and is a candidate for a doctorate in Midievel Archaeological History from Leicester Uiversity, England.
Mr. Cooper has planted the seeds of enthusiasm for archaeology by integrating it into every fcet of his World History classes. He teaches with a colorful, charasmatic, adventursome style, serving as an exciting mentor and role model, to which his students aspire and seek to emulate. His students have "traveled" within their classrooms, to exotic places around the globe. They have handled, analyzed and identified sherds of ancient Roman ceramics. They have critically weighed the physical evidence from his excavations in Cyprus, reconstructing the spread of Christianity. They have built models of High Middle Age Castles.
Wes Coooper incorporates archaeological adventures into his lessons that stimulate students to consider the vast scope of human culture. He has effectively, and most miraculously, brought Classical Archaeology to life in the mind of his teenagers. His enthusiasm is contagious and his efforts are inspiring young people to join us in our passion for archaeology. Continuing to mold the educational environment his efforts to develop a comprehensive, hand-on archaeology curriculum in Allegany County inspire us all and show him to be deserving of this award.