Top Teacher: Emily Shatraw - Columbia High School |

Top Teacher: Emily Shatraw - Columbia High School

Sam Hesler
Updated: March 09, 2022 03:33 PM
Created: March 09, 2022 08:56 AM

EAST GREENBUSH - For Emily Shatraw, teaching English is about more than just the great literary classics like Shakespeare or "The Great Gatsby." 

"I want them to be able to communicate. I want them to talk, to have a conversation with another person," Shatraw explained. "When you have a boss or when you have a manager, I want you to be able to express yourself with that person, whether it is positive or something maybe you are struggling with as well. That's very big for me as a teacher because they have grown up in such a technology-based world."

Ms. Shatraw has been teaching at Columbia High School for 16 years, and while students say they've learned about the basics like similes and metaphors, she's also helped prepare them for their next steps. 

"She does a lot for her students college wise. Our first whole month of Intro to Literature was writing our application essay and doing college things like the Common App," said Emily Seely, a senior at Columbia High School. 

You'll find students in and out of her classroom all day long, often coming in during their free periods or lunches to have a quiet moment and escape some of life's stresses. 

"She's always that person you can come and talk to whenever. School-related or not, I would always come in and talk to her about my problems. 

At the end of the day, Ms. Shatraw wants her students to leave feeling one way. 

"I just want them to sort of feel like they had a good time," she said. "Sometimes we might be the only positive interaction students have during the day.

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