Marissia Potamianos and Jamie Beoheim
Staff Writer and Editor of Promotion
On Friday, March 24, Jamesville-DeWitt High School social studies teacher Andrew Cottet attended the NYS Council of Social Studies in Albany where he received the Susan Wasserman Young Professional Memorial Award.
This award commemorates his hard work and dedication to teaching, something his colleagues have already recognized. He is “extremely energetic, involved, and an intelligent professional who is totally committed to teaching to his students,” said J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini. Mr. Cottet was humbled by recieving this award and gives the credit to his department. “I work with incredible people in the social studies department and they are the biggest and greatest asset I have,” said Mr. Cottet. Mr. Cottet believes that he didn’t deserve the award any more than any teacher in his department.
Even though Mr. Cottet has been at J-D for five years, fellow social studies teacher, Donna Oppedisano nominated him for this award. “He really stands out to me,” said Ms. Oppedisano. “When he first came (to J-D) he hit the ground running and knew what to do and worked hard at his craft. He is dedicated to his kids and to the school,” she adds. “Mr. Cottet is one of those teachers with incredible intelligence, incredible instincts about kids, with a love of history and social studies,” said Ms. Oppedisano.
Students agree with Ms. Oppedisano and believe that Mr. Cottet is an outstanding teacher in the J-D community. “He knows how to engage the class very well and he’s funny,” said senior Zac Ripich, who has had Mr. Cottet for two years in a row. “He’s a very good balance between a nice guy and a nice teacher,” said junior Marissa DiGennaro. DiGennaro adds that he’s relaxed but he’s strict enough so “he commands his respect.” Mr. Cottet deep passion for his classes and his students is very evident to them through class conversations. “You can tell that he really cares about his students and what he’s doing which makes it easier for us to excel in his class,” said senior Alex Catanzarite.
“I’ve always had a passion for history and took many courses in college because of it, but did not realize that I wanted to teach until the end of my college career,” said Mr. Cottet. The thing that pushed him the most was having “great experiences with special professors” that made him pursue becoming a teacher. “I love the story that history tells, I love that it can help us to understand how we got here and where we are going,” said Mr. Cottet.
“This award is one further piece of evidence that we have the best teachers around,” said Mr. Gasparini. He also added that the J-DHS students are very blessed with the quality of construction in the classrooms and parents should be reassured that their children are in the best hands. Mr. Cottet couldn’t have been nominated for this award without his supportive family and co-workers.