Colby Cuppernull joins English department and students and teachers are happy about his arrival


Credit: Lexi Tuley

Colby Cuppernull discusses Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” with his honors English 11 class. The students have been studying Shakespeare and his works for about two weeks.

Lexi Tuley, Graphics Editor, Tower Talk Team

Many teachers at Loy Norrix have eagerly awaited the arrival of the new member of the English department, excited to have their plan hours back instead of substituting for the teacherless class.

Cuppernull joined the English department on Sept. 12, 2022 coming from his last two weeks at Lakeview High School, in Battle Creek, Michigan. 

Cuppernull filled one of the forty job openings Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) had at the beginning of this school year, according to West Michigan school districts look to fill teacher positions amid nationwide shortage by Emirroroa Austin from New Channel 3. 

Every school district in Michigan has been affected by teacher shortages this year, including Lakeview, which Austin reported had eighteen openings at the beginning of the school year.

Brianna English, another teacher in the English department, was in charge of assigning student work for Cuppernull’s Honors English 11 class. English said that he seemed to be really excited to join Norrix and that she’s glad to have another teacher in the department.

“Some people can be hesitant to work in this building because of the rumors that surround it and not know that there are some amazing things here that happen everyday,” said English, “and I think he came in with a really positive attitude and I think that that makes him a good fit.”

English also mentioned how glad she is that Cuppernull is here because it will provide students with more quality instruction from a consistent teacher, instead of the rotating substitutes they’ve had before. 

Junior Emma Doren, who is in Cuppernull’s Honors English 11 class, finds that Cuppernull’s teaching style helps her a lot during class. 

“[He] makes things a lot easier and I do well in this class,” said Doren.

Cuppernull seemed especially excited about the move to Norrix. He said that it’s a great opportunity to bring his professional life closer to his personal life. 

“It’s been tremendous, it really has been such an incredibly positive thing for my family,” Cuppernull said. “I knew it was going to be a difference, I had no idea it was gonna be as big of a difference as it was in such a positive way.”

Cuppernull said that the change eases the burden on his wife and allows him to be more present in his own kids’ day thanks to the shorter commute.

In addition to positive effects that the transfer has had on Cuppernull’s personal life, he also seems to be enjoying the changes in his professional life. Home being closer to work will allow Cuppernull to go to more school events, such as plays or football games, that he couldn’t attend at Lakeview due to the commute distance and time

Cuppernull also appreciates that he has more flexibility and is allowed more creativity in his teaching at Norrix.

“The community is a little bit more open,” said Cuppernull, referring to the freedom he has in the curriculum.

Cuppernull said that he is excited to be at Norrix and that he’s really enjoying his time here so far. 

“I think we’ve got a lot of really great students here. I can tell that Norrix is sort of actively working towards building a really positive school culture, school climate: that’s a really exciting thing to be a part of and to see,” Cuppernull said.