The Cotsen Foundation hosted an end-of-year celebration for its graduating ART of TEACHING mentors and fellows at the Skirball Cultural Center on May 20th.
The afternoon was a celebratory luncheon in honor of the graduating Cotsen Class of 2018. Kicking off the luncheon, Margit Sperling Cotsen, founding director and board chair, and Barry Munitz, president and director, came to the lectern to welcome to fellows, mentors, alumni and administrators.
“This is truly my most favorite event,” Mrs. Cotsen remarked. “We’re here to celebrate your graduation from the ART of TEACHING program. A graduation usually signifies an ending, but today is really the beginning of your journey with us.”
Called to the speakers’ table, six fellows and a mentor took their places and prepared to speak about their journey in the ART of TEACHING.
Speaking on behalf of the 2018 graduating class were the following representatives: (Click the link to watch on YouTube)
Sussan DeMatta, fellow, Old River Elementary, Downey
Dionna Spencer, fellow, Woodcrest Elementary, Fullerton
Patricia Arce-Marin, fellow, Robinson Academy, Long Beach
Dana Elliott, fellow, Wild Rose Elementary, Monrovia
Nancy Odell, fellow, Escalona Elementary, Norwalk-LaMirada
Carrie Smaker, fellow, Nelson Elementary, Tustin
Andrea Kabwasa, mentor, Burnett Elementary, Wiseburn
Concluding the program, Executive Director, Jerry Harris came to the lectern to thank his staff, and the graduates for their dedication to excellent teaching. “To our 2018 graduating fellows and mentors, you understand and embrace the gravity of your work. You continue to press for personal and professional excellence and you commit your time and your energy to prefect your craft and become the magicians that Mr. Cotsen so lovingly spoke about. So, I want to congratulate you and thank you for being extraordinary educators.”
With his closing remarks the newly minted alumni received their graduation certificates. Cotsen also announced their brand-new alumni pins, which were distributed to all alumni present at the event. The class of 2018 marks the 15th consecutive end-of-year graduation ceremony since the founding of the ART of TEACHING program in 2001. The Cotsen alumni network has since grown to 1245 educators.