Visionary, philanthropist, gifted businessman, lover of art and archaeology, Mr. Lloyd Cotsen left his mark on several areas of human endeavor. However, the creation of the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING remains his most enduring legacy, offering both a unique insight into the business titan, as well as a striking model of what one individual can do to help change the state of teaching and learning in public schools.
Believing that his achievements were made possible, in part, by the teachers he had growing up – those “magicians” who challenged and inspired him – Mr. Cotsen decided to help more educators hone their magic, and develop into the kind of teacher who makes a real difference in the lives of students.
But what individuals involved with the ART of TEACHING have come to understand is that in actuality, Mr. Cotsen was the true magician. His vision, commitment and investment in sustained quality professional development and support for teachers and school administrators, coupled with his elevation of the level of respect he extended to educators, created the conditions under which thousands of teachers have blossomed and thrived.
“Lloyd Cotsen was an extraordinary human being,” commented Jerry Harris, ART of TEACHING Executive Director. “He was a quick witted engaging man, who invested in the future by investing in teachers. Countless students will experience the magic of an excellent teacher for years to come, because of the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING.”
Mr. Cotsen’s vision and mission for the ART of TEACHING remain secure under the steady guidance of his loving wife, Mrs. Margit Cotsen, who shares his passion and dedication to developing excellent teachers for generations of future students.
Barry Munitz, The ART of TEACHING’s president, reminded us all that Mr. and Mrs. Cotsen never compromised their commitment to the public school classroom, to its teachers and students. He emphasized, “although we have lost our strongest champion, his spouse, and our leadership team are dedicated to honoring his conviction that the finest teachers are the essence of our nation’s future.”
“People often ask me how I could amass such a Collection over the course of thirty-five years and then give it away. I do not think I am giving it away – instead, I feel I am sharing it with more people. Yes, every object, every textile, every piece of folk art…they strike an emotional bell within me…they appeal to my curiosity, to the discovery of the extraordinary in the ordinary.”