By Andrew Au Yeung & Waleed Awan
Many seniors will remember Senior Information Day for its excitement and laughter. Part of that laughter can be attributed to the distinct accent imitations done by a new face at Brooklyn Tech, Ms. Kelly Nottingham. She joined the community this year as the new AP of Parent & Student Engagement.
She noted that her accents were not from acting lessons, but from imitating her Trinidadian heritage and mimicking her British family members. However, she did do some acting in the past.
Ms. Nottingham said, “Actually, when I first went back to New York I did some acting.” She joked, “I decided eating was more important than acting so I dove into my education career. Acting was a little hard to pay the bills.”
Pursuing that education career, she became part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which allowed her to get a master’s degree during her first two years of teaching from the College of Staten Island. She also has an undergraduate degree in interpersonal communication and a master’s degree in education leadership from Baruch College.
Before coming to Tech, she worked at a “high-needs school” where she had to oversee everything from math to discipline. In addition, she mentioned that the students there didn’t seem to value to their education.
This is why she chose to work at Tech, a school where students are dedicated to their education.
As the AP of Parent & Student Engagement, she is now responsible for the “fun stuff,” such as senior activities, clubs, sports, and aiding with students and parents’ outside problems.
She elaborated, “If a parent has a problem with a teacher, the parent can just email the teacher directly. I don’t have to get involved directly; the parent can just directly email the teacher. Only when the teacher doesn’t answer within 48 hours, then parents email me.”
And, according to Ms. Gloria James, the secretary at the Parent and Student Engagement Office, she has been doing well. Ms. James said, “She’s great. She really meets the needs of parent and students. And she’s efficient and loyal.”
So far Ms. Nottingham is enjoying the less stressful environment and says that the transition has been great with the help of the staff and students.
Ms. Nottingham said, “I like how driven the students are…they speak well to each other and to me and we can have intellectual conversation. I like that the best.”
Students who have worked with her share a similar opinion.
Steven Walters ’15, a student assistant of Ms. Nottingham, said, “She can be the most hilarious and fun person, at the same time she can be serious when she has to be.”
There is, however, more to her than just her funny accents, her fun personality, and her job. She is also the mother of a two-year-old son, to whom she dedicates her weekends.
She said, “On the weekends I go on trips with my son, so it’s like a hobby right now.”
A great parent with a more than qualified background, and generally fun person, Ms. Nottingham will certainly use those qualities for the best for the Tech community.