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Future Educators

Cindy Ramunno
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyKylan Kottenstette, left, and Will Britt. Britt says that given the opportunity, he would love to return to the valley to teach.
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Around the nation, teachers are overworked and underpaid. It was John F. Kennedy who said, “Modern cynics and skeptics … see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.” Still, there are those rare young people who have a burning passion to teach and coach. Two of those are EVHS seniors Kylan Kottenstette and Will Britt.

Both participated in sports at the school and were team captains this year. Both have held jobs where they are responsible for teaching/coaching kids, and both want to teach middle or high school students. Kottenstette’s parents are teachers, and Britt’s dad coached several of his youth teams.

Kottenstette will attend Hastings College in Nebraska. He has helped coach middle school wrestling under his dad, Kevin, and has also helped with several youth camps.

“I want to make an impact on students the way that I was impacted by teachers and coaches during my schooling,” says Kottenstette. Having grown up in a family of teachers, does he think teaching has changed over the years?

“I think teaching has become harder over the years here because of the new Teacher Advancement Program, where teachers are evaluated by their peers who may be biased or inconsistent, rather than a highly-qualified administrator,” says Kottenstette.

Teacher Ron Beard says that Kottenstette would make an amazing teacher. “Kylan is a great leader, student, athlete and role model. He sets such a good example for younger students in the way he lives his life and carries himself daily,” says Beard. “Kylan will have a huge, positive influence on his students.”

Britt grew up in Gypsum with his parents, Gail and Bill. He’s a commissioned youth leader and has helped lead four mission trips for his church youth group, FLY (First Lutheran Youth). In addition, he has taught Sunday School and taught preschoolers at Prater Lane for the past two years.

“I love kids, and want to teach in a smaller area,” says Britt. Would he come back here if the right position opened up? “Definitely,” he says.

This fall, Britt will attend the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to begin his journey. Teacher John Ramunno says Britt possesses incredible inner strength and shares that with his peers.

“Will is committed to everything he does. He’s funny, hard-working and holds himself to very high standards ” he’ll be a great coach and teacher,” says Ramunno.

Inner strength and what lies inside these two young men is what will make them great educators, because “The best teach from the heart, not from the book” (Anonymous).

Vail Colorado


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