Keeping Up With Kaminski


Michael Brandt '17

Kaminski passes out papers while substituting for Allie Paske’s AP Psychology class while Elida Ortiz ’18 looks on.

Just when all the students thought Eugene Kaminski left to California, Kaminski shows up at Jones.

“It’s not sitting in my rocking chair by the fire, petting my dog all day,” says Kaminski.

“I’m like at a big buffet table, tasting a little, traveling a little, studying a little, and working a little.”

He returns to Jones this school year as a substitute teacher.

“I enjoy coming back to Jones and substituting because it’s a great school,” says Kaminski. “The students are motivated and they take their studies seriously, and it grounds me in the youth of America.”

Along with his job as a substitute teacher, he is also managing a small service business that does investigations for plaintiffs who are injured in accidents.

“It frees me up to pursue academic and financial things that I like to do and are good at doing,” says Kaminski.

Kaminski decided to retire from full-time teaching because he felt he can no longer commit to meeting his personal criteria of “good teaching”.

“It’s not an eight hour job, it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation,” says Kaminski. “It’s a commitment that I can no longer make to the students without being tired at the end of the day.”

Being in a classroom everyday and teaching full-time will prevent Kaminski from having his freedom to do his academic research of corporate liberalism in the 20th century.

“When you’re working all day and you come home, you don’t want to sit [down] and read a book about the formation of the national socialist party in Germany,” Kaminski said. “You’re just wiped out.”

Kaminski is happy about his retirement and he thinks that having choices and not committing to one specific thing is the best.

“As an old friend of mine, Mr. Zale, [a former Social Science teacher in Jones] said, ‘Retirement is glorious and civilized’,” said Kaminski.

Despite feeling happy about his retirement, Kaminski misses some aspects of his job as a full-time teacher.

“I miss the students, I miss my colleagues,” says Kaminski. “I don’t miss the paperwork, I don’t miss the grading, and I don’t miss the mandatory part of the bureaucracy.”

Former students Liyi Wu ‘18 and Annesa Dey ‘18 also miss Kaminski as a teacher.

“I wasn’t a history person before I took APUSH,” says Dey. “But then I feel like he made the class so much more interesting.”

“I like most about the discussions we had in class, the seminars where we will just talk, and the funny stories he told us,” says Wu.  

Kaminski keeps in touch with the teachers in the Social Science Department.

“He’ll be getting his nails done, I’m not even kidding, or he’s at that spa and he would text us that he’s having an amazing day off and he would ask us how we are enjoying the day at work,” says Social Science Department Chair Jennifer Harned. “He’s [like] a senior who just graduated from high school and he’s rubbing it in our faces that we haven’t retired yet.”

The department has been making fun of Kaminski for running late to class as a substitute teacher, says Harned.

“We enjoy having him back and he needs to get to classes on time,” says Harned. “Just because you retired doesn’t mean you can be late to our classes when you’re subbing for us.”

Kaminski will be vacationing in Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs, California in January.

“You never know where it’s going to take you,” says Kaminski. “So right now, I am on this journey of the road less taken and it’s kind of interesting. It’s a little uneasy sometimes, but it was a good decision for me.”