About the Teacher
Mr. Kaufman's Professional Biography
Michael Kaufman currently serves as the program director for LCPS-TV and works an independent videographer for Capturing Arts. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan in Musical Theatre, and his Masters in Educational Administration at Oakland University. He has been teaching for 29 years, 5 at Brandon High School in Ortonville, 13 at Kimball High School in Royal Oak and 11 years at the Pankow Center. Mr. Kaufman was named Michigan Theatre Teacher of the Year in 2004, was a finalist for Michigan Teacher of the Year in 2005 and represented Royal Oak for the Teacher of the Year in Oakland County in 2006. He also holds certification from Apple Computers in Final Cut Pro Editing Software and was recently nominated for Media Educator of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014 taking Honorable status in 2013 from Specs Howard. In 2015, Mr. Kaufman's TV & Broadcast Media program was one of only 20 school programs in the state to win the Education Excellence 2020 award from the State of Michigan School Boards Association. In 2016 Mr. Kaufman was chosen as one of 35 video educators across the United States to attend the PBS Student Reporting Labs Teacher Bootcamp, creating a PBS Student Reporting Lab within the Broadcast Journalism course as one of only 4 PBS SRL's in Michigan.
In 2014, one of Mr. Kaufman's video students won a $2000.00 scholarship from the Courageous Persuaders organization for their Public Service Announcement Video titled "Drinking Haunts," which graphically displayed the dangers of drinking. His students also won the "Best In Show/Audience Choice" award for a $1000 scholarship at the Orchard Lake Student Film Festival, second place overall and 1st place in the PSA category. His students have received $2000 in prize money for 3 different videos in the Meijer Great Choices Video Contest and received multiple top 10 awards for numerous PSA's as well. He believes his greatest accomplishment is the numerous students across the globe working in the entertainment industry that began their careers in his classroom.
Mr. Kaufman has directed the musical at L'Anse Creuse High School-North for 7 years where they have repeatedly sold out performances with over 100 students participating in the program. While in Royal Oak, the drama club under his direction was a state finalist in the MIFA theatre festival for 7 years, and represented the best in the state for 2 years at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. They also won the Showcase Award (first place) at the National Theatre Festival in Orlando Florida, and were the only group offered the opportunity to perform for a Disney audience at the Magic Kingdom.
Quotes from Students
Sometimes the best way to learn about a teacher is to find out what other students think. In 2012, Mr. Kaufman was nominated for Specs Howard Media Educator of the Year. In an online poll there were over 5000 votes in barely over 3 weeks. Those who voted could leave a comment if they wished. This is a sample of some of the comments made by students regarding their teacher, Mr. Kaufman.
In a cage match, Mr. Kaufman would destroy the competition. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin and “ Macho Man” Randy Savage (God rest his soul), tremble in fear of running into Kauf-daddy in a dark alley. In all seriousness, he is the lone reason that I've come to school on many days. His class is by far the highlight of my day, so thank you Mr. Kaufman for brightening up my day, every day. - Mike Setchell
Through his talents, experience, and incredible passion for what he does, Michael Kaufman helps students realize potential that they never knew they had. By caring enough to reach each student in a way that makes them comfortable with learning, and excited about the possibilities, he changes their lives inside and outside of the classroom. - Josh Raab (Class of 2000)
Koffee K is the best!
Dr.K is the best!
Koffee Kakes is the Best!
K-Swag is the Best
Mr. Micheal Kaufman Is the Best!!!
- Jason Lanham
Mr. Kaufman is honestly the best teach I have ever had. He definitely encourages all of his students to learn and do as well as possible. He goes out of his way, and dedicates his time and effort to be on top of everything and get the best for the Pankow Video program. Thanks to our great teacher and his motivation towards all the students to do so well we took first place in the Macomb Lip Dub Festival. To me taking this class was more than just a credit, it became a family. Mr. Kaufman is awesome, and I’m so glad I had such an influential person to guide me through my last year of high school. - Karlyn Hilai
Hey Mr. Kaufman, you're an awesome teacher. If it wasn’t for you, I might not be going into the media industry for a career in the future. Your class really helped me decide on my future. - Jake Amato
Mr. Michael “K swag” Kaufman has opened my mind to the wonderful world of media! Before this class I thought that making videos was rocket science. Well I figured out its really not because of his teaching! K swag is so cool he has a meme about himself! Can you say that your teacher has a meme?!?!? - Tyler Bejma
Mr. Kaufman is the greatest teacher ever! He’s is a wonderful TV & Broadcasting teacher, he has taught me so much over the few years that I’ve had him. He is the most qualified person I know to win this award! He definitely cares about his career and all his students and their futures. - Jacquelynn Meldrum
Mr. Kaufman is one of the best teachers I've ever had. He always encourages us to do our best and he seriously has the mindset of 'for the kids' because everything he does, he does for his students. He is an amazing man who has been one of the most sacrificial teachers and he should be known for his excellence. He has helped me realize what I'd like to do as a career. Through fun and hands on projects, I've learned more about filming and editing techniques than a book could ever teach me. Each day in Mr. Kaufman's class is a new lesson having to do with improving the composition of our work. Through the two year class, I've gone from a rookie video maker to winning contests for exceptional projects. Thank you Mr. Kaufman, for not only teaching us, but showing us what we can accomplish. - Katie Baker
Michael Kaufman is an incredible teacher who not only will teach you a subject, he will hands-on show you through an example he has either already created, or he will make one for you. If he doesn't know how to do it (which is rarely), he will find someone who does or find out himself. He goes above and beyond to improve his students' production and cinematographic skills whist also improving upon their character, self-confidence, and moral standards. He spends some of his own personal time staying after school hours working with students. He has helped me to decide that I want to be a producer in the future, and has let me rent some basic equipment after the creation my own production company. I thank him greatly for that. "It's all about the money! Now go make some, and have fun!" - Michael Kaufman - Thanks for everything you do, Mr. K. - Alex Jacobson
Mr. Kaufman is the best teacher ever and is a blast to have as a teacher! We learn so much in his class that I have never learned in any other video class and our videos come out amazing GO KAUFMAN YOU ROCK! - Anthony Randall
Mr. Kaufman made me realize how much I liked video. He motivates his students to do better and to not be shy about your work. - Mercedes McCarty