Tupka Takes Teacher Of the Year

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History teacher Frank Tupka takes a picture with fellow staff members before open house night.

Juanito Briones and Aliya Prosser

        Teachers can communicate information to their students in a variety of ways. What separates the teachers that simply teach their lessons from those that stimulate critical thinking is their teaching style. Mr. Tupka, a teacher of the Social Studies Department, won Teacher of the Year this 2020 because of his ability to get his students engaged, and his passion for history. 

        In order to effectively teach a number of subjects, Tupka does his part to make his classes informative and interesting to students. Tupka teaches three history classes, Modern World History, AP Government and Politics, and AP European History. With all of these subjects, he is able to grasp the attention of his students because of how real and comical he makes his lessons. Mrs. Gilman, a colleague of Mr. Tupka in the Social Studies Department, says, “Mr. Tupka creates meaningful lessons for his students that teach them valuable content and skills but always with a little bit of humor mixed in.” This method of teaching makes Tupka’s teaching style stand out upon others, making his activities a beneficial experience for kids. 

        Along with his unique way of teaching information to students, Tupka’s value for his students’ success separates him from most. He is the type of person that is always adjusting his lessons and extending himself so that his students can reach their goals. He builds relationships with his students through one-on-one review sessions, and in the daily class time. Mr. Cesare, another colleague of Tupka in the Social Studies Department, claims, “What makes Mr. Tupka successful is the fact that he is genuinely in the teaching profession to do what is right for kids. His classroom is always filled with students stopping by to visit, to hear his stories, to see his caring nature, or to crack a joke when needed”. Tupka expands his position from a teacher to a reliable educator because of the bonds he creates with students every year. 

         Colleague and boss to Mr. Tupka, Mr. Max Berkowitz, attributes Tupka’s success to this ability, “His ability to build strong relationships and make connections with his students has been exceptional. Students respect and trust him because they know that he will do whatever it takes to help them reach success,” says Berkowitz

        Not only does Mr. Tupka build bonds with each student he has, but he also creates meaningful lasting ones. Senior Dylan Fernandez has had the pleasure of having Mr. Tupka as a teacher for all four years of his academic career and holds Mr. Tupka to the highest regard. 

        “Mr. Tupka has without a doubt had the biggest influence on my life out of any of the teachers I have had over the past four years. It would be an understatement to say he was just the best teacher I have ever had because he has been so much more than to me. He has been a friend, a life coach, my biggest supporter, and my hardest critic. I am a very different person than I was four years ago, and I can attribute a lot of the positive changes in my life to Mr. Tupka.” said Fernandez

        Tupka makes it a point to connect with students no matter the situation, despite not having an educational class with them. Junior Jaime Visocchi says “Mr. Tupka’s creative and welcoming environment makes it easy for anyone to talk to him for anything. He always keeps a positive attitude and never fails to cheer me up whenever I see him.”

        With numerous testimonies and accounts praising Mr. Tupka’s teaching, passion, and overall character it’s no wonder that he’d be nominated for Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Mr. Tupka on the award!