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Kauffman finds inspiration in students

Photo by Ethan Winkler ’17 | Ms. Deborah Kauffman lectures her class on “Dante’s Inferno.”

By Ethan Winkler ’17

After almost 20 years on campus, Ms. Deborah Kauffman said that there is one thing that keeps her coming back every year: her students.

“I learn something every day that I didn’t know the day before because of you,” Ms. Kauffman said. “When I get into the class and I have this relationship with you and this dynamic happens between students and teacher, I can’t see myself do anything else.”

Many of her students feel the same way towards her, including Martin Eslava ’17.

“She has a great rapport for students and we are always eager to go to her class,” Eslava said. “Because Ms. Kauffman is so passionate about what she does, she inspires her students and genuinely interests them.”

Another thing many of the people on campus see in Ms. Kauffman is her kindness and openness to students.

Student Ian Gray ’17 recognizes this through the many past students that come back to Brophy and stop by to catch up with her.

“Almost every day in class, a former student of hers walks by the door and says hi to her for a second,” Gray said. “She’s one of those people you can have an easy conversation with.”

He also said she lets her students express their thoughts in the classroom.

“No idea is going to be too stupid to her,” Gray said. “She’ll listen to you and let you speak your mind.”

Following a short teaching stint at Desert Mountain High School, Ms. Kauffman brought her talents to Brophy in the fall of 1997.

Ms. Kauffman said female teachers are more respected on campus than in the past, and she is happy with where it is right now.

“Well, it has gotten much better,” Ms. Kauffman said. “But obviously it is a school that’s filled with lots of ‘testosterone’ and not enough ‘estrogen’.”

With the large difference in number of males to females on campus, she said having women on campus is important.

“The diversity of the teaching staff is so much better for [students] if you have a good number of women,” Ms. Kauffman said.

With that in mind, she said that this type of teaching environment might not be for everyone.

“You have to be a strong woman to survive at Brophy,” Ms. Kauffman said. “I think that it isn’t for every woman, but if you are a strong woman, you find this as a beautiful place to work.”