Jefferson Middle School’s Minority Achievement Coordinator Timothy Cotman has been named Arlington Public School’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
“I want to congratulate Tim on being selected as this year’s Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “Tim makes a lasting impact on the lives of students. He engages them and is an active listener. He also makes great effort to involve all parents and focuses on developing lasting relationships with students, as well as their parents, that last for years.”
Cotman has been an APS educator for 22 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University, and has earned a graduate certificate in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.
“Tim is a Jefferson gem who is always behind the scenes quietly and humbly supporting student success in a multitude of innovative and creative ways,” said counselor Amelia Black. She added, “Tim is not one to take credit or highlight his efforts, but on any given day, he can be found leading lunch groups, organizing and attending college visits and leadership conferences, mentoring students, or any other variety of student services.”
Cotman is unique among middle school Minority Achievement Coordinators because of his extensive background in facilitation and programming. For many years, he designed, implemented, and facilitated cultural competency training for APS. He is also a member of Community Seeking Education Equality and Diversity (SEED), providing training for APS staff on equity education. “When he’s not directly impacting students, he’s continuing his efforts behinds the scenes. [He] facilitates and trains other staff through Challenging Racism, a diversity education program that is for community members,” said counselor Erin Pennington.Principal Keisha Boggan said, “Tim has served Arlington Public Schools for the past 22 years with commitment, professionalism, and passion. He is highly regarded by students, families and colleagues.”
Cotman has expanded resources and partnerships aimed at supporting students’ academic needs. His efforts have resulted in partnerships with the Arlington Chapter of the Links, Inc and EduFuturo which sponsor the school’s first Lego League Robotics Team for girls of color and immigrants; the Real Madrid Foundation that facilitates a soccer program focused on academics and character development; the Reach Far Foundation which has a literacy program for sixth grade African American boys; and the MiKiDo Mmiial Arts Center which facilitates an after-school program designed to teach anti-bullying and conflict resolution skills.
As Minority Achievement Coordinator, Cotman has fostered an increase in staff collaboration and communication in addition to increasing academic rigor and experiences through programmatic development among all students. “Tim provides an environment where students, parents, staff and administrators all feel valued.
His thoroughness is evident in the care and organization he puts forth in teaching, coaching, facilitating, mentoring, and parent outreach,” said Minority Achievement Coordinator Carolyn Clark. She added, “Tim encourages his students to be involved in extra-curricular activities such as drama productions, sports, mentoring programs and unique volunteerism opportunities. In addition, he urges staff to learn more about issues that directly impact education policy and take increased ownership for their child’s education.”
Cotman will serve as Arlington’s nominee for the 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year Award, and is one of 20 metropolitan area teachers who have been recognized as a finalist for The Washington Post 2018 Teacher Award.
On Tue, May 8, the School Board, staff and the APS community will recognize Cotman and the 34 other APS teachers who have been named Teacher of the Year for their individual schools. The celebration will be held at Washington-Lee High School, and will also recognize this year’s APS Principal of the Year and the Support Employees of the Year. The reception will be at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s APS Teacher of the Year school-based honorees include:
Abingdon Elementary School – Sara Edmonds
Arlington Career Center – Micah S. Stein-Verbit
Arlington Community High School – Maria Rosario
Arlington Science Focus Elementary School – Abby James
Arlington Traditional Elementary School – Elizabeth Snead
Ashlawn Elementary School – Susan DeMatties
Barcroft Elementary School – Denise Renee Brown
Barrett Elementary School – Elizabeth Rente Sullivan
Campbell Elementary School – Shannon O’Connor
Carlin Springs Elementary School – Thomas Mitchell
Claremont Elementary School – Samantha Kirch
Discovery Elementary – Kristen M. Zarkowsky
Drew Elementary School – Jesse Williams
Glebe Elementary School – Eve Rutzen
Gunston Middle School – Lateefah D. Johnson
H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program – Leigh Buckley
Henry Elementary School – Ashley Snyder
Hoffman-Boston Elementary School – Nida Williams
Jamestown Elementary School – Joseph Puzzo
Kenmore Middle School – Eurith Bowen
Key Elementary School – Lina Tenjo Tipton
Long Branch Elementary School – Alyssa Watkins
McKinley Elementary School – Jennifer Bluestein
Nottingham Elementary School – Sarah Garratt
Oakridge Elementary School – Olivia Funnye
Randolph Elementary School – Wyatt Webber
Stratford Program – Nancy A. Williams
Swanson Middle School – Laura Goodwyn
Taylor Elementary School – Meghan Reed
Tuckahoe Elementary School – Margaret Egan
Wakefield High School – John Clisham
Washington-Lee High School – Timica Shivers
Williamsburg Middle School – Robert Tuttle
Yorktown High School – Christine Wiedemann