The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Meet your neighbor, Ralph O. Kaufman III, who is the new part-time biology instructor at West Central High School. Ralph was born and raised in southern Illinois but now lives in Burlington, IA.
Both his parents are deceased. Of his 9 siblings, two are now deceased, and the rest live south of here from Southern Illinois to Tennessee to Indiana.
He has been married to his wife Linda since 1991 and combined they have 5 children, 12 grandchildren with a great grandchild due in February.
He attended Western Illinois University where he earned a B. S. in Biology Education adding a zoology emphasis in 1974 and then a M.S. in Biology in 1994. During high school he ran track and cross country.
He was a resident assistant at WIU and was a Grad assistant for two summers at the A. L. Kibbe Life Science Station in Warsaw.
He did his student teaching at Southern #120 and then taught there for two years.
For 31 years he taught at Mediapolis IA retiring in 2007. Since then he has sold cars for Shottenkirk in Mt. Pleasant, IA; taught one year at Waco High School in Wayland, IA; did long-term subbing at Mediapolis, IA for a 12 week period; served as an adjunct professor at Mt. Pleasant's Iowa Wesleyan College (for 5 years) and at Southeast Community College in West Burlington, Iowa (since 1980) where he now teaches coaching authorization classes.
He has worked as a tax-preparer at H. & R. Block for the past two years.
He is an avid bow-hunter, switching to traditional bow hunting (using a longbow) in 1990.
In the spring he is a turkey hunter, having chased them from Montana to Florida.
Kaufman is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation serving them as a 19 year volunteer, past president and now treasurer of the local chapter. In the past he has served 2 terms on the state NWTF board.
A favorite quote from environmentalist Aldo Leopold is "A mountain lives in fear of its deer."
His own personal quote is "I teach because I do not know how to not teach."
In his new position at West Central he finds the students to be very pleasant and respectful.
He appreciates the flexible scheduling the school's administration has provided for him and notes that it "feels good to be back where I started teaching, sorta, anyway."