TCHS Pickering Campus Dean Receives Prestigious Award

Education news

PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Mark Cottom, dean of students at the Technical College High School (TCHS) Pickering Campus, was recently recognized with the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award, a special program within the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) that honors educators worldwide. Cottom was nominated for his outstanding dedication to excellence in education and because he serves as a positive role model to his students.

Each year, student members of NSHSS are invited to nominate an educator who has made a significant contribution to their academic career. The award honors educators who serve as a role model to students and have helped inspire students to develop as leaders, scholars and citizens. Nigel Cook, current TCHS Pickering student, nominated Cottom for this prestigious award.

“I nominated Mr. Cottom because he is a strong leader in our school. I’m not sure how he does it, but he checks in to make sure each student is doing well. I see Mr. Cottom as more than our dean – he’s a role model and mentor. He’s also very athletic so I’m always challenging him to arm-wrestle, and he always wins. I’m happy that Mr. Cottom was selected because he deserves it. A military officer, law enforcement officer, teacher, dean of students and now honored as a real champion,” said Cook.

“People in education do not do their jobs for recognition, so when you receive recognition, it catches you off guard,” stated Cottom. “It’s my complete honor and pleasure to be the dean of students at TCHS Pickering. This position affords me the opportunity to positively influence every student in the building. Being responsible for the discipline of students is a position with little recognition, so you can understand my surprise when I found out that a student took the time to recognize and thank me for what I do! It goes to show that no matter what your position is in education, you really can make a difference,” he added.

In addition to being connected to meaningful content, resources and personal networks, as an Educator of Distinction, Cottom is able to apply for grants to attend professional conferences, pursue advanced degrees and enhance the delivery of classroom instruction. He is also eligible to apply for the Claes Nobel Educator of the Year award, which provides $5,000 to one educator and $1,000 to nine other recipients.

The NSHSS was formed in 2002 and helps to advance the goals of high-achieving students through unique opportunities such as internships, international study and scholarships. Currently, there are more than 1.7 million NSHSS members located throughout 170 countries. Members are inducted for life and have the opportunity to be connected to resources that help develop their strengths and encourage them to pursue opportunities from high school to college and throughout their careers.

For more information about NSHSS, visit: For more information about TCHS Pickering, visit:

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