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This profile was last updated on 12/30/04  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Joe Kozar

Wrong Joe Kozar?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Pastor
    Willow Creek Baptist Church
  • English Teacher
    Grant County High School
  • Youth Minister

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • Master of Education degree
    Georgetown College
  • Kent State University
  • Bachelor of Science degree , English/Secondary Education
    Asbury College
Web References
Grant County News
www.grantky.com, 30 Dec 2004 [cached]
Kozar teaches life lessons with literature By Wayne Yeager, Staff Writer
...
Joe Kozar discusses Gulliver's Travels with his Grant County High School senior English class.Kozar was named a semi-finalist for the Ashland Teacher of the Year.
DRY RIDGE , Joe Kozar doesn't teach literature at Grant County High School.
He teaches about life.
Using classic tales like Paradise Lost and Gulliver's Travels, he shows students at GCHS that the authors were writing about real life and that the author's struggle can help the students sort out some of the problems in their own lives.
"These authors did not write for you to read their work in a vacuum," Kozar said."They wanted humans to know how they struggled with their life and how they overcame it.I love watching students' faces when they capture what we're talking about.It's fascinating to read what they say after the light comes on."
Kozar, an English teacher at GCHS, was recently named one of nine semi-finalists for the Ashland Teacher of the Year Award, a list that was narrowed down from 41,000 nominations.
While Kozar was excited and surprised to be named a semi-finalist, he's not certain he belongs among those honored.
...
Kozar, who is also the pastor at Willow Creek Baptist Church in Bracken County, has been happy to oblige.He wants his students to know he cares about them and their lives.
"It's very important to me that they know I care," Kozar said."You can't convince everyone that you do, but that's why I always stand by my door and talk with students.I make myself available before and after class and I try to cultivate relationships with parents."
Kozar considers Jesus Christ as the ultimate teacher and not just because of his faith, though he believes you can't separate faith from life much like you can't separate life from literature.
He admires the way Jesus used different methods to get the attention of his followers and didn't always do what people expected.He tries the same method in his classroom.
One day, when his class was noisy and he couldn't quiet them down, he wrote the word "Test" on the board, sat down and began reading a book.After a few moments the class quieted down and asked whether they were being tested.He then began class.
No topic is off limits either, as long as it fits the framework of the lesson being taught.
While discussing Gulliver's Travels, he delved into the Catholic-Protestant conflict, economy and the government and art versus intellect.
At one point, he posed a hypothetical question to the class.If someone proposed to make all American laws revert back to the Constitution,doing away with Social Security, welfare, the Internal Revenue Service and every other government service not specified in the Constitution,but in 50 years America would be a utopia, would you do it?The students response: No, because they weren't willing to suffer for 50 years to get there.
Kozar tied that into Lagarda in Gulliver's Travels, where they were asking questions and didn't want to know the answers.
"We're not always sure we want the answers," Kozar told his class.
He then used the examples of drug counseling and marriage, both of which require sacrifices that some are unwilling to pay.
That's one of his techniques.He engages students and he hopes they engage him back.
"A lot of people underestimate teenagers," Kozar said."Teenagers can do what they want to do.They're that good.Grant County has some of the best and the brightest, both in terms of teachers and as students."
Kozar, though, only spends half his day teaching.In the morning, he teaches three classes of senior English.After lunch, he switches to the role of writing consultant, where he spends most of his day working on professional development for teachers in preparation for portfolios and works with seniors on their portfolio pieces.
In addition to teaching, writing consultant and pastoral duties, Kozar also chairs the English department.He admits it's a lot of work with many roles to play, but he enjoys what he does.
"Sometimes I don't know how I do it," Kozar said."But I believe in the strength of the Lord to get me through it."
Kozar, who is married and has two children, lives in Dry Ridge.He's been a teacher for 14 years in the Grant County school system and has been a pastor for five years. (He was a youth minister for three years before that.)
He may have many different roles as well as a family, but don't expect Kozar to leave the classroom any time soon.Despite overtures by the school to make him a full-time writing consultant, he's resisted the urge.The Ashland Teacher of the Year semi-finalist doesn't want to leave the classroom behind.
"For where I am in life, it would kill me to leave the classroom,"
Kozar said.
2005 Kentucky Teacher Awards
www.ashland.com, 5 May 2004 [cached]
Joseph Kozar, Grant County High School, Grant County Schools, Dry Ridge, Ky.
Joseph Kozar has 13 years' teaching experience, with 12 at his current position.He attended Kent State University, majoring in English Education, and graduated from Asbury College with a Bachelor of Science degree in English/Secondary Education.He also has a Master of Education degree from Georgetown College.Kozar is a member of the International Reading Association; Phi Delta Kappa; the National Council of Teachers of English; and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.He has served as his school's English Department chair and is a past member of the Site-Based Decision Making Council.He was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year for Grant County and Grant County High School Teacher of the Year in 2004.He also was named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers and is a past Ashland Inc.Golden Apple Achievement Award winner.
Grant County Schools
grantcounty.schoolpointesites.com, 19 Mar 2010 [cached]
Mr. Joe Kozar
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