He can find the perfect parking spot in any lot. He calls it his super power, inherited from his grandmother. He’s an avid reader and a master chef (especially when it comes to spaghetti sauce). He loves Asian food and coffee but detests the taste of turkey, although he enjoys carving them. Plus, he’s a huge Grateful Dead fan and greatly resembles the actor Paul Giamatti.
Not only that but, Mr. Michael Krupnikoff, BHS math teacher, is no stranger to the phrase “go with the flow.” From college to this very day, he has been easygoing and enjoying the simpler things in life.
In high school, Mr. Krupnikoff discovered a deep interest in Japanese culture. One day he stumbled upon the show Shogun and fell in love with the Japanese lifestyle. He studied abroad in Tokyo and he almost majored in Japanese studies in college. Although he ultimately did not major in the subject, Mr. Krupnikoff is still learning more as the advisor of the Japanese Club at BHS.
“I chose accounting because I figured if I could speak [Japanese] it wouldn’t matter about a degree,” Krupnikoff explains.
Mr. Krupnikoff graduated from Bucknell University with a business degree and moved to Los Angeles shortly afterward. According to Mr. K it was a “went out to visit, yup I’m staying” type of situation. He spent eight years there working in commercial real estate, and then moved to Stamford, CT to continue his work.
But Mr. Krupnikoff had always kept the thought of teaching in the back of his mind, starting in college. “Back in college, I didn’t think I had the patience to do it. After my company’s reorganization I decided to make the jump and give it a try.”
Now, years later, he is teaching Geometry and Trigonometry to Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors at BHS. And he loves it.
He loves the fact that he can teach the same lesson four times in one day and each one is different. He loves that every class, every student, and every day is different.
“I like interacting with the students. I like to see that light up moment of ‘Aha, I got it’,” Krupnikoff describes.
Also, Mr. K genuinely cares for all of his students. He is dedicated not only to teaching in the classroom and helping kids learn mathematics, but also making the high school experience a bit easier.
“He is there for any student, and not just his own. You can go and talk to him about anything you need to talk about,” Shelby Bellamy ‘16 discloses.
In the classroom, Krupnikoff always makes sure to keep students on their toes and add interesting aspects to the lesson. He loves to tell personal anecdotes, as well as “wake up” his students in the morning, usually by teaching at a very high volume.
“My passion for my subject is what I think keeps my students engaged. I bring a lot of energy to the classroom and I think it gets them excited to learn. At least I hope,” Krupnikoff describes.
Indeed, his students are always engaged in class. Maddy Kroot ‘15 explains with a laugh, “Mr. K always manages to keep his classes’ attention. It’s physically impossible to sleep in his class.”
Mr. K also put his math mind to work on the CAPT assessment; he was one of the item writers for the test. After every session of the test, students ask him if he has written specific problems from the assessment.
Krupnikoff replies, “Is it about coffee or Japan? If it is, I wrote it.”
Be sure to visit Mr. K in room 219 if you have any questions about math or Japan, or just to meet one of Bethel’s best.