Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE, Scott McIntyre // Buy this photo
Editor’s note: This is the third of a series of reports on the six Golden Apple winners in Collier County leading up to the May 10 Golden Apple banquet. The reports are publishing twice weekly in the Daily News leading up to the banquet.
Golden Apple teacher: Andrew Klatzkow, Mr. K.
Family: Wife and four sons, three who are already students in the Collier County school system and the youngest will be entering kindergarten next school year.
Current position: Fourth-grade gifted/blended teacher at Corkscrew Elementary
Experience: Teacher of severely and profoundly multi-handicapped in New York City; classroom teacher of self-contained socially maladjusted and emotionally disturbed elementary and middle school students in New York City and Miami; inclusion teacher; varying exceptionalities classroom teacher; ESE program specialist; first grade ESE cluster classroom teacher; fifth- and fourth-grade gifted/blended classroom teacher at Corkscrew Elementary in Collier County.
Education: B.S. in special education from State University of New York at Geneseo; M.S. in special education from the City University of New York at the College of Staten Island; State of Florida certification in varying exceptionalities K-12, social science 6-12, elementary education K-6, as well as gifted and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement.
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Q: How long you have lived in Collier County?
A: Eleven blissful years.
Q: How did you get into teaching? What made you want to be a teacher?
A: I started on a federal grant to work at a restrictive institutional setting to teach residential students to develop the appropriate behaviors and skills needed to be mainstreamed into group homes in the community. It was a very rewarding position that I was happy to work myself out of.
At first, I wanted to help those who needed help by teaching them how to help themselves and that grew into the practice of teaching everyone to work toward their fullest potential as a student and as a person.
Q: What is your teaching philosophy or style?
A: To teach to the student’s needs and have them show off their strengths while engaged in logical, creative or critical thinking in a safe and fun setting as the students develop knowledge of as well as ways to apply the curriculum in an in-depth extended manner.
Q: What does receiving this award mean to you?
A: The Golden Apple is a wonderful process where both the students and I enjoyed opening our door for the community to see that great things are happening in our public schools in Collier County. I am proud of what we accomplish at CES and I am elated that others did not only see it but recognize that what we have going on is truly special, from the creative and research projects to the development of the writing process, the demonstration of cognitive processing and application of mastered learned content, to the once shy student volunteering to be part of a class play.
Q: It has been said that the Golden Apple Award gives teachers a public platform to discuss their profession. What would you like the public to know about your profession?
A: Teaching is a curriculum-driven, diagnostic, prescriptive, evaluative, team profession that requires the unique personal touch of the teacher who builds upon the previous school year and helps prepare the student for the next as they work on the present. The individual should never be taken out of the teaching equation, for students should be exposed to different styles and techniques as they develop their own cognitive and character traits. Teaching is the skill of the one that depends upon the collaboration of the many, which includes the administrative, educational and supportive staff of the schools, as well as the participation of parents along with involvement from the community at large.
Thoughts from Corkscrew Elementary Principal Kimberly Lonergan:
“Andy Klatzkow is a wonderful teacher! His enthusiasm to teach all children and his positive classroom are fabulous. His students never want the day to end. Many of his previous students stop by to visit to keep the connection with him. He is a credit to our profession. The Corkscrew family is very proud of Andy Klatzkow, a true educator!” Compiled by staff writer Brittany Shammas