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Cook has 42nd first day back to school

On Monday, LBW Community College’s director of student activities and cultural diversity Diaon Cook began her 42nd year in education at the college.

“I still get anxious,” Cook said. “I still get those butterflies on the first day of school. I’m excited to see the students and get started. Since I’ve been out of the classroom, it does feel a little different, but this morning we got to greet the students outside and it was great.”

Over her 42 years, she said the students have always remained the same.

“I mean, other than the way they dress,” Cook said. “They are all the same on the first day of school. They still ask for directions to their classes and the bookstore. The one thing that is different now is that they have their schedule on their phones instead of printed out on a sheet of paper. The excitement from the students will always be there though.”

Cook said she is looking forward to bringing more activities and things to do to the college.

“In my role, I am always looking for things to bring and clubs to add for the students,” Cook said. “We always want to get students more involved, not only in their classes but in clubs and organizations. I always encourage kids to get involved, meet new students and make new friends because I think that goes a long way.”

The best part of her job has always been the students, Cook said.

“Everybody knows what my favorite part of the job is,” Cook said. “I just love working with the students. I love watching them grow from their first day to when they are walking across the stage on graduation. Especially the students that work with me for two years, just watching them grow into confident students with goals and leadership skills. Watching them leave is so bittersweet, but then I remember that I get a whole new group the next year and the cycle repeats.”

Cook said she has always felt fulfilled in Andalusia, which is why she has never left.

“I have always enjoyed it here in Andalusia and at LBW,” Cook said. “I never felt like I needed to go anywhere. I never felt like I needed to go somewhere else to be fulfilled. Time just goes by so fast. You don’t even realize how fast it’s going until somebody may say something to you.”