Elementary school teacher reconnects with students on eve of graduation
Graduating high school is a milestone, a time to look forward and a time to reflect. For some North Point High School graduates, they got to gaze back on their fourthgrade year thanks to Joe Coscia, a Piccowaxen Middle School math teacher. He saved classroom pictures of his students with assignments they completed. At North Point’s recent awards night, Coscia presented his former students with their fourthgrade work, according to a news release.
His first full year of teaching in the county was at William A. Diggs Elementary School in the 2008-09 school year. “I had such a great connection with this group of students, I started saving some old work and pictures from that year,” Coscia said. “I regularly keep student work, but I had a plan for this group of students for eight years now. I wrote them each a little letter that I enclosed with the work as well.”
The kids appreciated it. “It was really emotional for us,” Coscia’s former student, Jennifer Longhi, said in the release. “He has been my favorite teacher since fourth grade. Everything was understandable, relatable. He made everything fun.” Longhi has remained friends with her Diggs’ classmates Temitope Williams, Samantha Jones and Callie Maginnis, who Coscia also visited during awards night with their assignments.
Coscia got the idea to reconnect with graduating students from a former coworker, Hank Sinkey. Sinkey would write his former elementary students letters when they graduated high school. Coscia said his first group of students he taught as a rookie teacher left an impression on him.
“We had a ton of fun in fourth grade that year,” he said. “Seeing them just made me smile. They were the same exact kids, just doubled in height. We talked and I got to learn their future plans. It was really cool.”
Piccowaxen Middle School math teacher Joe Coscia, third from left, is pictured with North Point High School graduates Temitope Williams, Jennifer Longhi, Samantha Jones and Callie Maginnis. Coscia was their fourthgrade math teacher when they were students at William A. Diggs Elementary School.