In the classroom … with Ashley Cozza

7th grade math teacher helps students create, reach goals

Ashely Cozza, of Loyalsock Township, is a seventh grade mathematics teacher at Warrior Run Middle School. In only her second year of teaching, she said she enjoys the challenges that come with reaching the needs of her students on a daily basis.

A 2011 graduate of Loyalsock Township High School, she received a bachelor’s degree in middle level education — grades four through eight, with certifications in mathematics and language arts from Shippensburg University in 2015. She is now pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership with a principal certification at Bloomsburg University.

Cozza’s nominator describes her as dedicated — a positive influence on her students with a good sense of humor.

She said her main inspiration to become a teacher was her mother, a librarian at Loyalsock Township School District. And now, inspired on a daily basis by her own students, she gets to learn and grow along with her students, she said.

“Teaching is a career where you can affect students every day and impact their life in a positive manner,” Cozza said. “I aspire to work to the best of my ability each and every day to provide each and every one of my students with the positive relationship and education they deserve.

With a student-focused teaching style, Cozza works hard to engage her students and create stimulating activities to make math relevant and challenging. She focuses on skills that allow her students to think critically and solve problems inside and outside of the classroom.

“I strive to create a positive rapport and a safe haven for learning,” she said. “This environment allows my students to feel comfortable enough to take risks and step out of their comfort zone.”

She also encourages her students to create their own personal goals that they can achieve independently. “As a teacher, it is my role to help my students recognize their individual strengths,” she said. “We work together to create goals and outline what it will take for them to reach success.”

Cozza credits numerous past teachers and college professors with contributing to her development and success as a teacher. But the biggest mentors in her life, she said, are her parents, “who guided me down a path that lead me to achieving my dreams,” she said, adding that the support from the faculty and staff at Warrior Run has helped to challenge her to be the best teacher she can be.

“The one place where you can truly impact a student’s life is in the classroom,” Cozza said. “I pride myself on being a leader and a mentor to all the students within my classroom. It’s always rewarding to have those students who come up to you and let you know the difference you’ve made.”

When not teaching, Cozza enjoys spending time with her family and friends, attending workout classes at the gym, scrapbooking and bike riding.

To nominate an exceptional area teacher or college professor for the “In the classroom” teacher feature, email information to education@sungazette.com. In the classroom is published on the first Monday of each month in the Education section, as nominations are received.

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