top of page

Matt Cockrell an Educator with heART

Late Sunday night Matt came into our room and said he’s gone……… I knew immediately he was speaking of our sweet friend Matt Cockrell. Over the past few weeks Matt Cockrell had been fighting Covid, he was struggling but he was young, healthy, a newlywed, we were certain he’d pull through. So we prayed, we sent good vibes and we were positive just like Cockrell would want us to be. But the news we didn’t expect came, we are in shock and feel helpless.

So we thought it would help to share our memories of Matt. We had the honor of connecting with Matt through Twitter, Matt Grundler and Matt Cockrell immediately became friends and soon Cockrell was a staple of #K12ArtChat. He was fun-loving, loved teaching, wore his heART on his sleeve, and was always there to support his colleagues.

Matt is gone but he will always be a part of our art family and K12ArtChat.

Here are thoughts from more of Matt’s art family.

Name: Matt Grundler @artguy76 on Twitter

Thoughts: Such an amazing educator. From the first time I talked with him, we found that we had so much in common. To the time I suggested to him the idea for a chat to be centered around all of the hosts being named Matt. Matt was a truly caring, passionate educator, he wanted so deeply to not get his students to be successful in his art classroom, but also to be successful in life. Thank you Matt for connecting with me and leaving your mark on the world. You will be missed, my friend!

Name: Jeanne Bjork @bellafiore3 on Twitter

Thoughts: Matt’s enthusiasm for his students, clay, and all things education was contagious. I loved how he challenged all of us to have fun with our students, setting up competitions, performances within the classroom, and celebrating the fact that we GET TO teach art. His ideas were fabulous and his desire to improve as an educator was also really touching. He participated in chats and workshops and more. He connected with so many of us in the ArtsEd PLN family. My biggest regret is that I never got to meet him in person. He made the world, especially the art education world, a much better, brighter place. We will all miss his presence.

Name: Chris Parker

Thoughts: I first met Matt during the start of the pandemic as we both fumbled through our zoom presentations at the virtual NAEA conference. I remember being in a breakout session room talking about where we were from and telling each other about our lives both inside the classroom and at home. After being in quarantine for a while, it had been a little while since I had talked to someone like that. It just seemed to bring things back to normal for a little while. It was obvious that he was passionate about teaching and his family and was one of those guys who was really genuine and just a great guy. We had connected a few times in the last year and a half and I am sad that I couldn’t have actually had that conversation in person. Rest in peace, my friend.

If you'd like to add your thoughts/ memories, please leave comments below, tweet them or add them send them to the family via the guestbook in Matt Cockrell's Obituary.

Matt's family has asked in lieu of flowers; memorial contributions may be made to the Martha Layne Collins High School Art fund 801 Discovery Blvd. Shelbyville, KY. 40065

Sending loving thoughts to Matt's wife Carly and his family,

The K12ArtChat Community

1 Comment

Mrs. Shannon Fish
Mrs. Shannon Fish
Sep 22, 2021


I knew Matt as a vibrant part of the #K12ArtChat Twitter collaborations. My high school Art students and I will continue to be inspired by lesson ideas from Matt. Each time I use the phobias project he freely shared I will tell the story of an enthusiastic Art teacher who threw pottery with his feet and played ping-pong to teach life lessons. Matt was forever reminding of the important role Fun has in the classroom (I capitalized that for him). While I never met Matt in person, his light was a bright one, and his memory will live on. The world is a better place because he was here. Thoughts and prayers for peace and strength for Carly, h…

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
Search By Tags
bottom of page