Craig Kupferberg was ready for retirement until his dream job opened up.
Kupferberg, who retired last summer as assistant superintendent of Findlay City Schools, was almost immediately rehired as principal of Findlay High School for two years. It was a job he had held for six years until moving into district administration.
Some might see it as a step backward. Kupferberg sees it as a step into doing what he loves – getting Findlay students ready for life after graduation.
“I wanted to go back to my favorite job in education, and that was principal of Findlay High School,” he said.
A Deep History
Kupferberg, 56, has been associated with Findlay City Schools for years. He and his wife have both taught in the district. He was assistant principal at Findlay for a time before becoming principal at Cory Rawson. In 2003 he came back to Findlay as principal and later became assistant superintendent. Two of his sons are Findlay High School graduates and a third is currently a junior.
Craig’s connection to Findlay survived a levy defeat his first year of teaching, and a resulting budget crisis which resulted in both he and his wife losing their teaching jobs. They were rehired a short time later, and had no qualms about continuing in Findlay.
“The superintendent at the time asked me why I wanted to stay in Findlay. My response was that all districts go through issues but I’ve learned Findlay was a great place to raise a family,” he said. “And at that time we didn’t even have kids. I wanted to give back to the community.”
Giving back ultimately meant taking leadership again of Findlay High School, home to about 1,600 students and about 100 teachers. He has helped oversee a revamped main entrance that offers better security, and a renovated auditorium that showcases both school and community productions. An improved class schedule allows for more instructional time to better meet increasingly stringent educational standards.
Exciting Opportunities for Students
Findlay is one of the larger high schools in northwest Ohio, but that size, he said, is also its greatest strength. The high school Kupferberg attended as a student, outside Chicago, had about 2,400 students and was considered the smallest high school in the area, so he understands how daunting larger schools can be. With size, however, comes the chance for Findlay to offer more educational, social and career choices.
The high school has a bigger selection of honors and Advanced Placement courses than smaller schools. Students have unique opportunities such as archeological digs, a wide variety of clubs and sports, and a respected performing arts program. Most recently, students in Millstream Career Center’s engineering and CAD programs placed fourth in a national robotics competition – the first Ohio team to ever place in the top 10.
“The things we are able to offer our students at Findlay High School are unmatched anywhere in this area,” he said. “The students here get a huge array of opportunities they won’t find anywhere else.”
Kupferberg’s current contract goes through July of 2017. He is pursuing his doctorate in education at the University of Findlay, and said he will continue to be involved with local education in some capacity.
“We’ve been here over 20 years now and we’ve raised three boys here,” he said. “We both consider Findlay home.”