American Graduate Champion: Debbie Cook

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.


Today’s champion is Debbie Cook! Debbie Cook is a tennis coach and AP U.S. History teacher in San Marcos, Texas. Recently, Cook lost her house to heavy rainfall, losing almost everything and stalling plans to open a woodworking shop with another teacher after retiring. The community poured out its support. Despite her losses, Cook maintained her positive attitude, keeping her chin up and smiling during classes and pushing her athletes in tennis matches. “Coach Cook would always make the entire team run whenever I used the phrase ‘I can’t.’ She believed in us not necessarily always win, but to give 110% every time we played,” her nomination form said.

“She touched everyone’s lives just as much as she did mine. She is genuinely compassionate and unselfish. I aspire to be like her,” Claudia Norman continued on the form. “Someone who may seem ordinary, impacted me on such a personal level that I attempt to be positive for her, then eventually myself. I see just how much an attitude can effect someone’s reality. Coach Cook exemplifies many of the attributes I wish to posses and learn throughout my life. She taught me and so many others that we can do it, we can be great.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.