Making the Grade: Charlie Krupanszky | SummitDaily.com

Making the Grade: Charlie Krupanszky

LORY POUNDERsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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Charlie Krupanszky’s easy-going attitude and way of explaining himself makes it clear that he is in the right position to make a difference.He is a special education teacher and department chair at Summit High School. He has watched special education evolve over time and is able to help some students get into college who 50 years ago would not have been given a chance. “It’s rewarding to be part of that process,” Krupanszky said. “Some of these kids are ones who years ago would be in fifth grade for three years because of dyslexia and then go off into the work world and people would shrug their shoulders.””The appeal is to help students maneuver through the complicated process that is public education,” he continued. “For many students it is straight forward. For students who have learning disabilities, it’s a much different world.”Also, the position “appeals to the renaissance aspect of my personality,” he said. He enjoys collaborating, nurturing, negotiating, “putting out little fires,” the politics and “guiding frustrated students. … It’s a fascinating field for me – all the eclectic parts that going into the role and role of the department.”

Krupanszky, who grew up in Canada, attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he played soccer. At the time, he said he was the “typical non-American,” but during college he found many aspects of life in the U.S. that he admired.He then found his way to Colorado in what he called a “typical story.”Shortly after college, while traveling west with a friend to attend a wedding in British Columbia, Krupanszky got his first taste of the state. They dropped someone off here on the way and that experience was enough to bring Krupanszky back.He wasn’t much of a skier at the time, but he fell in love with the mountains. After that he spent the summer car camping in the west and working jobs from serving in restaurants to carpentry.It was while he was in Leadville that he found teaching to be his calling.

The English major worked as a freelance writer and began subbing in schools there 11 years ago.”I accepted a long-term special education position and I fell in love with the field,” said Krupanszky who got his master’s degree following that experience in special education at Adams State College.Krupanszky moved to Summit County after a mine shut down Leadville and put a number of people out of work, he said. Today, he lives in Summit Cove with his wife, Jennifer Wright. Their children, John, 5, and Sophie, 7, both attend the dual language program at Dillon Valley Elementary School and Krupanszky’s older daughter, Emily Logsdon, 24, works at Serenity Spa and Salon in Keystone.Eight years ago Krupanszky began at Summit High School.

“For education the challenges are incredible today,” he said. “In a way it’s frustrating and also exciting to be part of the challenge, responding to the needs of the modern world. … It’s really an incredible experience everyday.”Also, SHS has a great staff to work with, he said. And, “It takes a team.””Even in my 10 years of teaching I’ve seen a strong change to the inclusiveness of regular teachers,” he said, adding that they do an amazing job of accommodating the needs of all different learners. However, he adds, “We still have a long way to go.”Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at lpounder@summitdaily.com.


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