Lauren, Angie, Layton and Landon Coward enjoy time at the Neshoba County Fair.
Lauren, Angie, Layton and Landon Coward enjoy time at the Neshoba County Fair.
While students, teachers and parents begin the familiar routine of getting back to school this week, one area teacher will begin her 15th year in the classroom.

Angie Coward, a first grade teacher at Neshoba Central Elementary, is excitedly looking forward to the 24 new, little faces and personalities she will be instructing this year.

"Seeing their little lightbulbs come on is one of my favorite parts of teaching. Children learn a lot in first grade and it is very challenging. When the kids discover they can do something new like reading, it is so exciting to see their joy over their accomplishment," Coward said.

"It takes a few days at the beginning of each school year to learn their personalities. Once I figure them out, I am able to adjust my teaching to the ways they will learn the best. Every child is different and I take that into consideration when teaching them," added Coward.

Seeing former students around town and hearing how well they are doing since leaving her classroom brings Coward great joy.

"It just assures me that I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing when I see my old students and hear that I did something right when I had them as a student. Besides the academics, I want every student of mine to know that they can do anything when they leave my classroom" Coward said.

Coward is married to Brett Coward, and they have three children. Lauren, 18, will be a sophomore this fall at East Central Community College and enjoys being a cheerleader for the EC Warriors. Landon, 10, plays football, baseball and basketball and keeps the Coward family busy attending year-round games. The youngest child in the Coward family, Layton, 13 months, is the perfect child for this family's busy life.

"Layton is a trooper. He just goes right along with whatever we are doing or wherever we are going," said Coward.

Coward has found with having so many years between her first child and her last child that her parenting styles have changed some.

"With Lauren, I worried about little things like her outfits getting dirty. With Layton, I don't worry about little things. I'm much more relaxed. I just enjoy him being a baby. He totally completed our family!" added Coward.

With the hectic travel schedule the Coward's keep attending all of the games Lauren cheers for, as well as, all of the games Landon plays in, Coward makes a point to slow down long enough to schedule special date nights with her husband.

"We met at Vowell's Grocery store many years ago. It was love at first sight. I fell in love with his smile, eyes and charisma. He was and is such a gentleman. With both of us working so much, it is really important to me to make ourselves take time out for each other, even if it's just five minutes watching TV at night," Coward said.

The Coward family enjoys taking annual trips to the beach or the mountains each year and see that as a time to regroup and relax. This year, the family took time out to go to the beach.

In addition to time out at the mountains or the beach, they enjoy staying at the Fairgrounds during the Neshoba County Fair each year.

"We love the Fair! Being with family and friends, who we don't normally get to see is so much fun! The older kids love the midway. Layton has enjoyed the lights and the horses this year," Coward said.

The Cowards attend Ocobla Baptist Church.

Certainly, Coward has a lot on her plate with three children and 24 more at school each day, but she still makes time to prepare meals for her family.

"I cook a lot in the crockpot. It is easy and is already prepared when we get home. My kid's favorites are chicken parmesan and chicken quesadillas," Coward said.

Coward has shared some of her family's favorite recipes.

Crock pot chicken quesadilla

5-6 split chicken breast

1 can of mexican or regular diced tomatoes

Packet of tacos seasoning

10 -12 large tortilla shells

Place chicken, tomatoes, and seasoning in crockpot cook on medium/high.

Place chicken mixture in tortillas and cook on griddle or quesadilla maker until golden brown.

Crock Pot Parmesan chicken

4-6 chicken breasts

Can cream of chicken

Can of cream of mushroom

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Mix cream of chicken , cream of mushroom and Parmesan cheese. Pour over chicken in crock pot on medium / high. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Heaven In A Crockpot

1 box fudge brownie mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

1 package chocolate chip cookie mix

Mix your brownie mix, 1/4 cup melted butter and 2 eggs in one bowl, mix your chocolate chip mix with 1/4 cup melted butter and 2 eggs in one bowl, spray your crock pot and then alternate your pouring your mixes in your crock pot. Cook on high 2 hours. Top with ice cream!

Tater Tot Casserole

3 pounds ground beef

Pound of bacon, center cut

Large onion, diced

Can cream of chicken soup with herbs

Can cream of mushroom soup with garlic

Package of mini tater tots

Package of shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese

Brown ground beef completely. Fry bacon and crumble. Mix together everything but cheese and tater tots. Add 1/2 can water and stir all ingredients to be sure soups and meats are completely incorporated. Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish and spread tots over mixture. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and the tots are golden brown.

Peanut butter


1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup peanut butter smooth or chunky

1 egg

1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix and bake at 350 for 10-15 min.

Koolaid ice box pie

Can of sweetened condensed milk

10 ounce cool whip

Any packet of kool aide packet

Mix and put in graham cracker crust until frozen. This makes 2 pies.