Pleasanton Teacher of the Year, Sharon KotzurFree Access

This bit on Sharon’s Facebook page was the perfect introduction to her as a teacher. Sharon: Doing Art, using your hands, weaving makes your mind more peaceful. The next day a sophomore boy who is weaving on a loom: “This is peaceful. I don’t feel like hitting anyone right now.”

Sharon Kotzur provides a place and time in the stressful day of high school students to feel peaceful as they create. That is not to say that she does not have high expectations for these students because she is quite good at getting them to give her their best effort. This is documented in the fact that the Pleasanton High School Art Department received 67 Regional medals with four advancing to the State competition at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event this year. While not all the students are Sharon’s, she is the Department Chair so has a hand in making this happen. Her students also participate in UIL (University Interscholastic League) competitions and she always has several student projects advance to the State level.

Over her 33-year career at Pleasanton ISD, Sharon has impacted many students. She is especially good at accepting all students where they are–artistically, emotionally and socially. She teaches students with a wide range of abilities and behaviors. She has become a teacher that students know will help with their struggles as well as be a straight shooter. She is honest and counsels them to be successful in school as well as life. Sometimes a student needs an adult to advocate for them. When one of her students does not have that adult at home, Sharon steps in to help the student navigate a path to success. This includes building portfolios and filling out scholarship applications. Sharon also advocated for an Advanced Placement Art class at Pleasanton High School and got the necessary training needed to teach it. This allows students to test for college credit which is always a bonus in the ever-rising costs of college tuition.

Along with teaching art classes, Sharon Kotzur has sponsored the Art Club and been a Class Sponsor. Being a Class Sponsor is a huge commitment. It means working in the concession stands at sporting events. Yes, after teaching all day/week, Sharon then would work in the concession stand in the evening. She takes her responsibilities seriously because she knows it ultimately impacts the students. And, being the class sponsor as well as an Art teacher means that when your class becomes juniors and seniors, you are on the Prom Committee. This is a huge commitment of time and energy to provide an evening to remember for PHS students.

Sharon has also provided a way for the Art Department to show off their students” talents through an Art Show at Artrageous. For three years, the community has been invited to come and view the variety of projects and vote for their favorites. The students act as docents. It is amazing the talented work that is on display.

 

 

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