AEC Teacher Highlight for November

AEC Teacher Highlight: Mrs. Kotran
Posted on 12/09/2022


Mrs. Kotran is our December Spotlight staff member for December.  

Mrs. Kotran taught math at North, Garfield High School and AECHS for 21 years.  She then spent two years as an instructional specialist before moving into administration.  She was an academy principal at Firestone High School for three years and is now in her third year as the academy principal here at AECHS. 

When asked why she chose education as a career Mrs. Kotran said, 

“I struggled with Math myself at the beginning of middle school due to the language barrier and wanted to make a difference for those that struggle knowing the frustration that comes along.”

Mrs. Kotran said she came to AECHS because she wanted to make sure that students graduated from high school ready for college so their future would be more promising.  Mrs. Kotran said  “I am a first generation college student. I know the hurdles that take place and wanted to bridge the gap and make it happen for those that need it.”

Mrs. Kotran said that AECHS is such a special place due to the support (students, teachers and parents), the climate (speaking the same language and being on the same page at all times) and most importantly the buy-in by ALL teachers and their engagement/contribution to the school.

When asked about a special memory she had of AECHS she said, “being part of the first graduating class at AECHS, looking at all the students and feeling the family bond they made through their 4 years of high school, (however, this feeling re-occurs EVERY year with our graduates :)”

Mrs. Kotran wanted students to remember to  learn how to learn, learn how to fail, then get back on your feet and retry until you are competent, accept help from others as well as help others and build confidence.Learning these skills will pay off in the end. Students should make use of all the resources available to them

She also wanted parents to remember that supporting their child, teachers and school is a major step for your child to succeed and become an independent learner. Guide your child at all times and monitor their progress through home access and Brightspace. Communicate with teachers and administrators if you are concerned about anything. 

Here are some comments about Mrs. Kotran from staff and students:

Mrs Kotran is a very kind and joyous teacher. There was a time a few days ago where I was stuck in my math word problems. I had a thought to ask Mrs Kotran for help. So she took her time to help me which made it easier for me to understand and also gave me a method to work on myself next time when I get questions like that. I am very thankful for her help and she has a precious smile.

Freshmen, Prena Pokwai

Mrs. Kotran was a huge help to me throughout the years that I have been at Akron Early College, and I am very thankful for it. She pushed me to do better and without her I don't think I would've made it as far as I have. She helped me a lot with the ACT, and I was able to get a decent score which put me into my college classes that I struggled to get into. Once I qualified for my college classes, she also helped me with the material for them which I am also grateful for. Mrs. Kotran is a great teacher! She always gives me the confidence and motivation to be successful and to keep moving forward in my schooling career. I'm glad that she is the teacher spotlight of December because she deserves it!

Senior, Ryan Ritchey

I'd like to thank Mrs. Kotran for all the dedication, support, and assistance she provided me during my junior year while my grade was preparing for the ACT. I know without her help I would not have achieved the score I received. She not only helped me learn the material, but she helped build my confidence to be successful while taking the test. There is really no way I can repay her for all the help she gave me and the junior class last year. Thank you so much Mrs. Kotran for all your help during the ACT; I don't know what I would've done without your help! 

Senior, Isabella Salzgeber

Mrs. Kotran is an essential member of the Early College team. She is a gifted motivator and an untiring supporter of staff and students. Anyone who has had the good fortune to work alongside her is quick to share their admiration-students and colleagues alike.  Mrs. Kotran leads by example through hard work, passion, and a commitment to excellence.

Academy Coach, Mr. Brad Scott

Mrs. Kotran is always ready and willing to help anyone in need.  She goes out of her way to find time to tutor, mentor and just sit with students and talk. She is truly a leader for both students and staff and I love working with her!

Counselor, Bambi Berger

Mrs. Kotran’s dedication to helping students is unwavering. There is not a single moment she isn’t willing to drop whatever she is doing to help a student in need, academically or otherwise. She never missed a beat and she is a constant example of the kind of educator I want to be. 

9th and 10th Grade Geometry, Ms. Nicole Shoenfelt

When I was coaching football at North High School I used to have a quote hanging up in my office that said “No one will outwork me.”  When I think of Mrs Kotran I often think of this quote because she exemplifies it in everything she does.  In addition to being such a hard worker, Mrs. Kotran is kind, compassionate and a wonderful role model for our students.  I am proud to work alongside her leading AECHS. 

Building Principal, Mr. Tom O’Neil


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