By: Kenneth Apana-Korley
For years in the technology hallway at Hammond High School, one man stood firm while so many left along the way. A man named Alan Kostrick stood by his motto, “Kostrick Kares;” but now that he’s gone, everybody wants to know: Where is he now? With that question in mind, the Bear Press was able to get in touch with Mr. Kostrick through email and conduct an interview.
Bear Press: How’s Ohio treating you?
Alan Kostrick: Ohio has been an adjustment, I cannot lie. We are a diverse family and appreciate diversity, different restaurants, ethnic foods, and culture and I can say that it does not compare to that experience that you get in the DMV. The people of Columbus are friendly though and it has a bit of a mid-western hipster vibe.
It is great for now, but we will probably be on the go again in 2019 when my wife finishes her program of study.
BP: When you moved, did you hop on the Ohio bandwagon, or are you still a fan of your old teams?
Mr. K: Pittsburgh Steelers all the way! I have also always been a Cleveland Cavs fan so these have not changed. OSU Buckeye football is the culture around here, I was heartbroken when they upset Penn State in the fall.
So yeah, there is a soccer team here I am learning all about that as well. The Columbus Crew…but apparently the owner wants to move the team to Texas. Everyone seems
a bit upset.
BP: We know that you moved for familial reasons, but is it possible for you to further explain why you moved?
Mr. K: Yes, my wife got into OSU’s MBA program…an opportunity of a lifetime for her so we have to make the move. She is working so hard, almost half done now! Time flies!
BP: How is your daughter doing?
Mr. K: Hadley has adjusted well to Ohio life, she is at a
pre-school and has made a lot of friends. She misses her aunts, uncles and cousins in Maryland though. She is very serious about her gymnastics and we go every Saturday morning!
BP: What are you doing with your life now? What is your current career?
Mr. K: I found the most amazing opportunity teaching for a coding bootcamp company called We Can Code IT. The company has a focus on teaching people from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups to be software developers (check out our website, just google us). Our goals and mission align with the beliefs I had at Hammond. We truly are changing the lives of these folks in 14 weeks, and they go out and get hired at great salaries! I have learned so much being on a team with 2 highly intelligent and experienced software developers.
BP: Do you still keep in touch with your former students and coworkers?
Mr. K: I have a lot of former students who are now software developers and we message back and forth quite a bit…it helps me to know what is going on in the “real world” and what the current industry trends are. I had a chance to hang with many teachers right before the winter break. Osborne and Livieratos always want to FaceTime me when they are playing poker…I mean when they are planning their lessons for the next day, but I can’t seem to get connected with my terrible phone service. I also keep in touch with Petran a bit…miss you guys!
BP: For years you stood by your slogan, “Kostrick Kares” about the students at Hammond High, does that statement hold true today?
Mr. K: This is my purpose. I will always stand by that slogan. I haven’t pulled it out yet though…just waiting for the right time : )
BP: When are you coming back to us?
Mr. K: It would be so cool to come back. I have learned
so much in the last several months that I wish I knew. Change is good and so are new experiences, but coming home would be amazing. I would always welcome that opportunity.
BP: Do you have any advice or any closing comments?
Mr. K: Stick together! The Hammond community is special and is one to be proud of. It means a lot to me that you all thought of me and wanted to reach out for this interview. I hope someday I can give back to the community in a way that shows my appreciation for taking a kid from western pa, and opening my eyes to amazing things that people can do. You are the reason I am where I am at today, it all started at Hammond! Mr. Kostrick Kares!