Educator of the Year Mr. Kostka

April 6, 2009
By Eric Reddy BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
Eric Reddy BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Entering high school I didn’t know a thing about woodworking. The closest thing I did was put together a birdhouse with the help of my dad. Sophomore year is when I met the educator that changed my life: Mr. Kostka. On the first day of class, he told me he knew my brother and I thought, this can’t be good whenever a teacher knows my brother, it’s because he didn’t get along with the teacher. But Mr. Kostka said he liked him when he was in his class and asked how he was doing in college. I thought, this guy must be cool if my brother gets along with him.
I shortly found out that Mr. Kostka was willing to help others if they were going to put up the same amount of time to learn. Mr. Kostka is always willing to drop what he’s doing and help you. While working with him, I have come to understand his humor and joke right back with him.
The second semester of sophomore year, I didn’t have him as a teacher because he was at a different campus, but with the knowledge he’d taught me in the short span of first semester, the other students came to me for help before even going to the teacher. Every year with Mr. Kostka, we would start off the beginning of the week with a new technique or new tool demonstration and for that I can’t thank him enough because now I can pick up any tool or machine in the shop and know how to operate it safely. To this day he keeps teaching and helping me.
Earlier this year, I found a small picture of a bench off the Internet and showed him it. From the second he saw the picture, he never doubted me. We sat down and started drawing and designing it. As we got a rough idea of the project and class was over, he said to me he was going to take home the plans and sit down without distractions to come up with dimensions and make every fit together properly. I never knew another teacher that was that willing to spend their personal time to design a student’s project. To do something like that shows he is not in teaching for the money, but into teaching to see students come up with ideas and to work with them to get a final project. Every story he tells has a good meaning behind it to keep you motivated to keep working and every project that I bring home gets endless complements and for that I have one man to thank, the educator of my life, Mr. Steve Kostka.

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