Leslie Cricket Cobler
Milton Elementary School
“Cricket Cobler lifts us up so we don’t fall down,” said Donna Ballard, one of Cobler’s colleagues who works in the cafeteria. “She is our special go-to person whenever we need help or support. No matter what type of day she is having her door is always open and no question is silly or unsolvable. She keeps us up to date with deadlines and challenges so we stay on task. When our feet or bodies are so tired that we are already to hit the ground and say enough, Cricket finds a way to be our cheerleader, walking with us, and assuring us it’s ok to take a break.”
“I have been in the same classroom for 32 years,” said Cobler, a Milton Elementary art teacher as she proudly displayed what and her students recently created for staff appreciation day. “We made 300 unique glazed pins that we will be gifting to all of the employees in the building, “she said.
Over the past two years, Cobler has become a robust proponent of mindfulness practices. “I first became interested in learning more about mindfulness when I attended one of your workshops at a VEHI PATH Adventure conference,” Cobler said. Last summer she participated in an in-depth mindfulness course at the BEST Institute in Killington and discovered how mindfulness practices help her reduce her stress.
“I am now sharing my discoveries and practices with the staff and student body at large, introducing deep breathing and stretching exercises,” she said. With a singing bowl in her possession, Cobler invited the kindergarten students to gather on a carpet in front of the room. “Breathe deeply, smell the cookies baking and blow on the hot cocoa. We all bring in oxygen, making our hearts beat and our brains think,” she said. “Now release to help keep us calm and strong.”