Ms. Kotlarchuk Interview

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Ms. Kotlarchuk Interview

Angelina Antonucci and Crystal Rosario

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The 2018-2019 school year has began and there are many new faces among the faculty here at Hawthorne High School. In the second of a series of articles, The Clarion is proud to introduce Ms. Kotlarchuk who is an English teacher here at Hawthorne High School…


CLARION: What made you want to become a teacher?

KOTLARCHUK: I had many amazing English teachers and they inspired me to want to teach.


CLARION: What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

KOTLARCHUK: Skiing, swimming, taking walks, reading, spending time with friends and family – especially with my three year old daughter, Melania.


CLARION: Where did you go to college?

KOTLARCHUK: Drew University and then New York Law School. Now: Masters Program at Ramapo College.


CLARION: Did you teach before? If so where?

KOTLARCHUK: I taught at Braden River High School in Bradenton, FL for 4 years. I then moved back to NJ and taught at Barnstable Academy in Oakland, NJ for 4 years. The past several years I was teaching at Cliffside Park High School.


CLARION: Why did you choose this subject to teach?

KOTLARCHUK:  I have always loved English. Growing up, English and Art were my favorite subjects and I majored in Sociology, English and Art in College. I enjoy reading, writing and literary analysis. I find inspiration through literature and I wanted to pass on the love of literature to my students.


CLARION: What part of teaching are you looking forward to the most?

KOTLARCHUK: I look forward to inspiring my students to love learning and to inspire them to aspire to reach their goals in life.


CLARION: Why did you want to teach in this district?

KOTLARCHUK:  I live in Oakland, so I know this area very well. I also have family here and my husband graduated from Hawthorne HS. In addition, teaching at Cliffside Park was difficult because the commute could be up to 2 hours each way on a bad traffic day. I thought that my time could be better spent working on projects for students, attending student events and getting home to spend time with my family, rather than sitting in traffic all that time.


CLARION: Tell us about your student teaching experience?

KOTLARCHUK:  My student teaching experience was wonderful. I taught tenth grade English and the students were great and supportive. The very first day, I will never forget. I had just started my first lesson on my own and right away, there was a shelter in place. After that was lifted, there was a crane that fell right outside the window with a loud crashing sound (they were doing construction). In the same class period, there was a fire drill. Throughout all of these interruptions, I was still able to guide the class through an entire chapter discussion of a Dostoevsky novel. My mentor teacher told me that day that she knew that I would be successful as a teacher because I had kept all the students on track during this series of events that were beyond distracting. With humor, we got through that day and, as they say, the rest is history.





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