Wolfforth Chamber honors several residents for their commitment to community

Mike Cohen, right, watches as Wolfforth Chamber President Joe Hanslik names him the teacher of the year for the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

Mike Cohen, right, watches as Wolfforth Chamber President Joe Hanslik names him the teacher of the year for the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

It’s possible that the most surprised face in Wolfforth on March 27 belonged to LuAnn Curry.

Luann and Randy Curry, former Frenship High School athletes who now photograph many sports stars and school events in Frenship, were honored at the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture with a Spirit of Wolfforth award.

Luann Curry, pictured, and her husband Randy,  were awarded a ‘Spirit of Wolfforth’ award by the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

Luann Curry, pictured, and her husband Randy, were awarded a ‘Spirit of Wolfforth’ award by the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

Luann Curry said she sent her husband to a high school girls soccer game, not realizing that they were to be honored at the banquet. They couldn’t take the risk that they would miss a single photo opportunity, Curry said.

She was very honored by the award after the couple’s work to visually document life in Wolfforth, she said.

Nick Enns, who works as a contractor for the city of Wolfforth on several small projects, said he was equally surprised and glad that he showed up to receive his own Spirit of Wolfforth award.

Enns decided to move to Wolfforth from Canada 12 to 15 years ago after driving through it several times, he said.

Holding his award to his heart, he laughed when asked to turn it around for the cameras.

Nick Enns, left, poses with an award at the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Banquet.

Nick Enns, left, poses with an award at the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Banquet.

“I’m so proud of this here, I’m holding it so that I can read,” he said.

Jackie De La Garza, Wolfforth’s first female police officer, also was honored with a Spirit of Wolfforth award. She was nominated by Police Chief Rick Scott for her work as an officer and on code enforcement.

De La Garza said she was equally surprised to receive the award and honored. She joked that she thought she was just showing up for a free dinner, not an award.

Wolfforth Police Officer Jackie De La Garza accepts her award at the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Banquet as Chamber President Joe Hanslik looks on.

Wolfforth Police Officer Jackie De La Garza accepts her award at the Wolfforth Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Banquet as Chamber President Joe Hanslik looks on.

Mike Cohen also was honored at the banquet as the chamber’s Teacher of the Year.

Described in Bennett Elementary School Principal Michelle Elliott’s nomination as a “kid whisperer,” Cohen is in his first year of teaching at Frenship, but his fifth as a teacher.

Cohen and his wife moved from Minnesota to the Lubbock area so she could work on a music degree at Texas Tech.

He works with special education students at Bennett, and describes his favorite part of that job as being able to connect with both students and families, showing them that there is always hope for progress.

Cohen said he is uncomfortable with the description as a kid whisperer.

“It was a co-worker who sees me as someone who has an innate ability to understand what kids want and where they’re coming from,” he said.

His efforts to understand students and his belief that their behavior always means something is probably what led to the description, he said.

Regardless of whether a child needs intense help or just a bit of help with a few parts of their day, he said it is his goal to help them accomplish what they need “so they can be a kid, and be as typical of a student as possible,” he said.

“I would never expect to be recognized in that way at all, so to be nominated in my building and being given this award, it was quite a surprise,” Cohen said. “It’s very humbling. It’s quite an honor.”

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