By Tobby Oniga ’16
You cannot say you go to Midwood high school if you don’t know Ms.Kaufman. A former student and math teacher, Ms.Kaufman has been in this school since most of the current students were in their mother’s stomach! Today, Ms.Kaufman is the coordinator of student affairs, or as students say, Midwood mother.
Ms.Kaufman journey in Midwood didn’t start with her, but actually her mother. Her mother was a former student and teacher in Midwood.
“Midwood high school was very different when I went from how it is now,” said Ms.Kaufman. There was nothing such as technology in Midwood. Teachers wrote on black boards, and students had to write down everything. They even had type writers in some classes.
Home economics was also something that Midwood previously used to offer. The courtroom on the fourth floor actually used to be a kitchen, where students were able to take cooking class .Students were even given the opportunity to take a sewing class.
Also, there were a lot of differences between what boys could do and what girls were allowed to do. For starters, boys and girls were not allowed to participate in the same gym class. Teams were only for boys, and not for girls .However, there was a group put together for girls, so that they could be judges during games for the boys.
One thing for sure is that students were in control. Commissions were clubs that was unsupervised. Teachers did not get involved at all; it was completely student run. Ms.Kaufman use to be a part of the recreation commission, students decorated the gym for the dances. Also, student’s elections were held twice a year, and the voting process was counted by hand.
Students were allowed to have dances every month. They were even given the opportunity to host a dance with Madison and Lincoln high school. Students were also given the privilege to decide whether or not they wanted to have the annual prom! The annex building that is used for science today was actually an old elementary school. During Ms.Kaufman’s first year in Midwood, only freshmen were allowed to be in the annex. However, as time passed every grade was allowed to be in the annex, but at different time periods. For example, sophomores who were on a team had classes in the annex so that they could finish early.
Also, instead of receiving the average or advanced diploma, students could have received a business/commercial diploma, an academic diploma, or a general diploma. Ms.Kaufman’s real journey in Midwood began from helping out a French teacher.“I remember there was a French teacher who wasn’t good at math, so I helped him learn it. From then I knew I wanted to be a math teacher,” she said.
After college, Ms.Kaufman returned to Midwood high school to fulfill her dream.
Not only was she a teacher, but Ms.Kaufman was also a SING leader and the cheerleading coach for 25 years. She didn’t get paid for having practice with the cheerleaders, she only got paid when they had to cheer at games.After many years, Ms.Kaufman was finally asked to become coordinator of student affairs. She has been in room 417, since the fall of 1998.
When asked about whether she was retiring, Ms.Kaufman response was “I will retire tomorrow or 2017”.