Principal Kaufman Retiring

After educating for 18 years, traveling is the next step


After 40 years of being an educator, Principal Rick Kaufman is retiring at the end of this year. Kaufman has been at Eaton High School for 18 years and was supposed to retire last year in 2020, but due to Jay Tapia changing positions to superintendent and an unsuccessful principal search, he was asked to come back for one more year to serve as the principal. From all the battles our school has had this year, Kaufman has had a challenging job, which he accomplished in a great manner. For being one of few schools in the state of Colorado to have in-person learning, Eaton High School has exceeded expectations of students, teachers, and Principal Kaufman himself. 


Although he has been here for a great amount of time, Mr. Kaufman didn’t start his education career here. He taught for 20 years in Indiana and has been in administration for 20 years, the past 18 of those at Eaton High School. Kaufman has always been a rock and foundation for Eaton High School and strives to be a strong figure in the school. After the losses of students Eaton High School has had and broken students, staff, and families, Kaufman has always loved to see the support our school brings for everyone. “It’s stuff that is not publicized, but it’s just how the community supports people in the time of need,” Kaufman said, referring to the great people that the school is made up of. Being in a small town, just about everyone knows each other and in times of grief, Kaufman is always there to support who needs it.  


Mr. Kaufman’s wife has been retired for three years now and she has been patiently waiting for him to join her. Him and his wife have a passion for traveling, as they have been to the all contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and Europe. He said, “Traveling and just enjoying one another without having to be concerned about being on someone’s clock besides our own,” would be what he is looking forward to in retirement. Being in a school there are always bells ringing, meetings, and places to be at the right time, so traveling should be a relaxing change. 


For being here so long, there is going to be a lot Mr. Kaufman will miss from the school to the tight-knit community. Students, staff, and community members will be missed by Mr. Kaufman as he starts his new path in life. “The social aspect of connectivity of groups of students and staff will be a missing element,” he said. From teaching for 20 years to becoming a principal, the context on the impact he had on students changed. He went from having 120 students to 500, so the impact on the number of students increased. After receiving state recognition and awards in Indiana, Kaufman was prepared for the job that he has currently. 


Kaufman’s piece of advice for every student in this school is “All hands on deck.” This means to be helpful, be humble, and he advises to stay away from social media. He loves helping people that need it such as in the event of prom and upcoming graduation. His goal for all the students that graduate from Eaton High School is to become problem solvers, to be social in terms of interacting with employers and college professors, and to advocate out in the world. He has seen so many grades of students grow and graduate off into the world, He said,“It is cool to see people come back into the building as guest speakers for Eaton 101.” There are situations where Eaton graduates come back to the building to show students where they are in the world and how they have become successful from how the school prepared them. This makes staff proud when they see students that they had in class come back in the building. 


With great authority, Kaufman has a “class” he claims is his, including all the students and staff in the building. He is always helping the staff and students where he can, with approving plans or advising teachers. After many years, Eaton High School appreciates Principal Rick Kaufman being an educator and great role model to all the students and staff.