Halcyon Community Spotlight: Stephanie Cooke



Community Spotlight: Stephanie Cooke, Halcyon’s First History and Individuals & Societies Teacher


Author: Will McAdam

From her sailing boat in Columbia Stephanie Cooke, Halcyon’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) History and Individuals & Societies Teacher, shares her reflections on the exciting time she joined Halcyon and the lasting impact the school's innovative approach to learning, particularly EdTech, has had on her career. View the video.

Stephanie's journey at Halcyon began with a chance encounter at a Facing History and Ourselves training course, where she met Halcyon’s founding Headteacher. The prospect of working in an international, innovative, and entirely digital school sparked excitement in Stephanie. "It sounded really exciting," she recalls. Little did she know that this decision would mark the beginning of her role as a pioneering teacher at Halcyon.

As Stephanie settled into her role and took on the additional responsibility of Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) Coordinator, she found joy in working in a small school environment. "I enjoyed working in a small school where I got to see the students as individuals," she reflects. This close-knit setting allowed her to witness students developing their passions independently, fostering a sense of individual growth.

Halcyon's commitment to innovation extended beyond the confines of the classroom, and Stephanie highlights the impact of school-wide residential trips, Model United Nations conferences, and Global Issues Network conference events. These experiences were more than just excursions; they were opportunities for students to collaborate, build confidence as public speakers, and engage in meaningful and practical learning opportunities. "[With these opportunities] I could see how Halcyon was going to be quite innovative in using experiential learning and collaboration as a learning focus," Stephanie notes.

Reflecting on her first day at Halcyon, Stephanie vividly recalls setting up everything from scratch alongside a passionate group of educators and administrators. The excitement of collaborative curriculum building set the tone for Halcyon’s pillars: innovation, collaboration and community. "It was a really, really exciting time," she reminisces.

Now, residing on a sailing boat in Colombia, Stephanie tutors students and even supervises some Halcyon History Extended Essays remotely using Starlink satellite internet. Whilst her journey has taken her to unexpected places, Halcyon's influence is evident as she incorporates EdTech techniques learned at the school into her current work. "Halcyon really inspired me to use technology and the EdTech techniques that I learned while at Halcyon," Stephanie affirms, showcasing the enduring impact of her time as a teacher at Halcyon.