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Bartlett High’s Cotie named Teacher of Year

By Seth Hancock
  “Grandpa Rossy” was in attendance at the Board of Education meeting in School District U-46 on Monday, Nov. 7.
  OK, sorry Chicago Cubs fans not exactly, but Bartlett High School teacher Gary Cotie said he felt like retiring Cubs catcher David Ross when he was honored during accent on achievement for being named Teacher of the Year by the Technology Education Association of Illinois. At 39, Ross became the oldest player to hit a home run in a World Series game during Game 7’s thriller that snapped the Cubs 108-year championship drought.
  “I kind of feel like the story with the Cubs,” Cotie joked. “I look at Grandpa Ross, and he can still hit a home run. Alright, so I guess this old grandpa can still hit a home run.”
  Cotie has taught at Bartlett for 15 years and will retire after this school year and helped initiate the implementation of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in the 2007-08 school year. He teaches PLTW classes principles of engineering and digital electronics as well as electrical fundamentals.
  Brenda Pacey, an affiliate director for Illinois PLTW, nominated Cotie for the award.
  “Gary’s drive to help students succeed is very evident and students value the way he treats them professionally and encourages them to meet high standards of academic rigor, career preparation and professional demonstration of their efforts,” Pacey said for a district press release. “He is also friendly, down-to-earth and always shining the spotlight on his students and colleagues.”
  Mary Fergus, director of school and community relations, said at the meeting: “This award is an acknowledgment of an outstanding technology teacher who keeps abreast of developments in technology education and uses this knowledge to constantly upgrade classroom curriculum or activities. Furthermore, this individual is also active in professional organizations, and maintains a positive rapport with students, faculty, administration, and the community.”
  Cotie said at the meeting that part of what makes a good teacher is humility as he said he constantly is looking to learn from his colleagues and students, and he hopes that is passed on to those under his tutelage.
  “It’s important to listen and you’ve got to listen to your students, you’ve got to listen to other staff members and no matter how great you might think you are, there’s always something you can learn by going into another classroom and watching another teacher,” Cotie said. “There’s always something every day.”
  Cotie added: “I tell my students, ‘did you learn something today?’ And they go ‘yeah,’ and I say ‘that’s great.’ Every day we should learn something.”



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