The clarinet-playing, sushi-loving, snake-despising Mr. Kaplan joined Milken’s math department this year with the hope of enhancing the high school experiences of his students.
When not teaching his multiple math courses, Kaplan spends his time listening to bluegrass music, especially his favorite song “Tangled Up In Blue” by Bob Dylan. At age 27, he picked up playing the clarinet by attending classes filled with 7 year old novices. Kaplan is also fond of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and playing soccer.
Raised in Los Angeles, Kaplan attended Brentwood High School. He often reminisces on his senior lock-in, a sleepover at school, and recalls his classic middle school experience of being stuffed in a locker. Kaplan left the nest after attending college at Berkeley and headed to Washington D.C., only expecting to stay there for a year. Kaplan explained, “That was sort of the initial plan and then 6 years passed and so I sort of thought it was time to head on back home.”
“It’s sort of interesting coming back to a place where you grew up and experiencing it as an adult,” Kaplan reflected. By the time he returned to Los Angeles, Kaplan had spent two years teaching at a charter school and four years at a pluralistic Jewish day school.
Milken seemed pleasantly familiar to Kaplan, having many of the same aspects of his previous school. “I love the communal aspect of it, the pluralistic Judaism aspect of it, and the relationships that are forged between students and teachers,” Kaplan explained.
When asked what he would do if he were not a teacher, Mr. Kaplan resorted to saying, “Wishing I were a teacher.” Mr. Kaplan has made teaching his priority. It is clear that he will be a dedicated educator, inspired by his passion to influence and impact future generations of students.