Memphis poet reunites with teacher that changed her life

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The long search is over for one Memphis alum that has been searching for a high school teacher she credits with helping her become the successful poet she is today.

She said he changed her life and she wanted to say 'thank you'. Now, after years of searching, she reunited with the man that left such an impact.

Tara Stringfellow has been searching for Tom Cook, the Craigmont High School teacher she said made a difference in her life when she was at some of her lowest times.

With tears flowing, she was able to reunite with Cook.

"I've missed you," she told Cook.

Stringfellow reached out to WMC Action News 5 just days ago in an effort to find Cook. With the help of The Investigators, her wish came true.

With laughs and tears, the two laid eyes on each other for the first time in years. It was a moment that put a smile on both of their faces.

Cook is now retired and living out of state.

Stringfellow is still pursuing her passion for poetry. It's a passion that started in Cook's class.

"I'm still there. I have one more year and then I'm applying for PhD programs abroad so I'm applying to Oxford University of Kent and I just found out I got into the American University of Paris," Stringfellow said.

She said Cook left a lasting impact on her as a teacher and laid the foundation for her to become a published author, poet, and law school graduate.

Now, she is dedicating her next novel to the man who has never stopped believing in her potential.

"There's nothing that could stop you. Nothing," Cook told her.

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