Giving the Gift of Kindness

Rupali Hofmann creates a community for all students


Rupali Hofmann shows an envelope of letters she received from her students. The envelope is shaped like a heart and is filled with endless supportive and grateful letters. “I receive more from kids than they do from me” Hofmann said

With almost 1,800 students stampeding through the halls, it’s easy to blend in with the crowd. However, TAG advisor and Forum teacher Rupali Hofmann makes it her mission to, as she says, “see the students who aren’t seen.” Hofmann first started teaching at Monarch a few years ago, and very quickly made a positive impact on the student body with her leadership skills, bright smile, kind voice and big heart.

“I feel warm when I am with her; I remember this one time last year I came to see [her] and afterwards I just felt grounded and just so happy, like deeply happy” said TAG student Marly Ruprecht (11).

Along with helping gifted students who struggle emotionally, Hofmann also helps students who struggle academically.

“My mission in The Forum is to see students who aren’t seen. Whether they are identified gifted, whether they are struggling academically, whether they need a place to be,” Hofmann said.

TAG stands for Talented and Gifted, and while these students may excel academically, many struggle emotionally. Hofmann helps the students who struggle emotionally, because emotional intelligence is just as important, if not more, than academic intelligence.

“Emotional intelligence is what helps people be successful in life- being able to read faces, being able to understand your own emotions, being able to read other’s emotions- those are things that really help people be successful,” Hofmann said.

A lot of students in TAG struggle with perfectionism (trying to be perfect 100% of the time), as well as emotional intelligence. Hofmann helps them to understand that “good enough, is good enough. There is more to life than high achieving. I really want to support students in having a holistic life, they are aware of their emotions, they take care of themselves, they give back to society and the community- so [life’s] more than success.”

Despite being specialized as a TAG and emotional/academic support teacher, Hofmann wants to help, and lend the Forum to anybody who needs anything. She works with students of all kind.

“Other kids who come in here whatever needs they might have… to have hot tea here, I have a coloring station…[I really want people to know] The forum is a place for kids to come and be- wherever they are, whether they need to rewrite a paper for the third time, they have missing assignments, they are struggling emotionally, or if they are struggling with their race issues or gender issues, whatever it is, this is a place they can come and be” Hofmann said.

Hofmann gives back to students 24/7, whether it is the hot tea in the Forum, or the kind advice she gives to students and support groups she starts for the TAG parents.

“Ms. Hofmann cultivates a community, [she] just made us [feel] understood. We would work through mindfulness and having the opportunity to do that with someone, and in an environment where you feel safe is really important, because when you carry all those things around as baggage, or you don’t learn how to be mindful or present, it detracts from life in general. ” Ruprecht said.

In high school, Hofmann says she felt different, and alone.

“I struggled with finding a place. I wish I had The Forum, a place where I could just come and find a place where I could just be who I was and be accepted,” Hofmann said.

Working backwards from her high school experience, she tried to create the supporting and welcoming place that she wanted to have in high school.

Despite all the support and kindness she gives, Hofmann says that she receives more from the students.

“The students at Monarch High School are my highlight.” Hofmann said.