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 fourth-grade 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 fourth-grade work.
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. “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.”
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.