Return to Headlines

Have you ever met a cat that was allergic to mice?

Custodian with NEISD way sign

Have you ever met a cat that was allergic to mice?

Probably not.

What about a custodian who published a book she wrote when she was seven?


Then, you need to meet Montgomery Elementary School custodian Candice Copes.

This year is Copes’ first year as a custodian at Montgomery. She previously worked at Royal Ridge Elementary School. While Copes loves her job and making sure the classrooms smell amazing for the teachers and students, she lights up when she talks about reading.

“I love reading to the students. I absolutely love to read to the kids.”

It is probably hard to catch Copes without a smile, but ask her about reading to the students at Montgomery, and that smile gets wider, and her eyes light up. That excitement is contagious. And she hopes her love for reading is contagious too.

Mr. Sniffles book coverHer favorite book to read to the students is Mr. Sniffles: The Cat Allergic to Mice. Copes wrote the book when she was seven after her mom shooed a cat out of their house. Copes’ young, imaginative mind assumed the cat wasn’t helpful and then wondered if the cat might have been allergic to mice, and Mr. Sniffles was born.

Years later, she found the book in a box of her things at her mother’s house and published the story for all to see. While the story is cute, Candice says the book offers readers a lot at every level.

“It’s not a book that you just sit and read. Kids have to participate. The kids have to make the sounds. They have to sneeze when the cat sneezes or grunt when the man grunts,” said Copes.

“As the older kids read my book, they see my mistakes. I never revised the book. The kids can go through and fix all my mistakes. So, fourth and fifth graders can correct the punctuation and spelling errors.”

Copes hopes her story can inspire students to fall in love with reading and maybe even write their own stories someday. You can find the book on Amazon.

Inspiring her favorite people #theNEISDWay

Evan Henson
posted on: 02/15/2023