Instructor makes a big impression

Kevin Kloppenburg likes to joke that he is “a giant in his field” and one of OTC’s newest adjunct instructors is just that.

At 6-8, 300 pounds with a size 17 shoe, the long-time Springfield Public Schools art instructor is making an impact at OTC in just his first semester working for the college and not just from his size.

“OTC is privileged to have Kevin as an instructor on our campus,” said Lance Renner, OTC’s dean of general education.

“Kevin has more than 30 years of teaching experience and brings unbelievable talent, inspiration and hands-on teaching to the students in his classroom. Students at OTC will be lucky to have Kevin as they enter the art world.”

OTC is looking for more instructors like Kloppenburg. Candidates are invited to the annual Adjunct (Part-Time) Faculty Career Fair March 21 at the OTC Springfield Campus from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The college is looking for part-time instructors in all fields and for all locations.

Kloppenburg is retiring from the Springfield school district in May after 30 years where he was chosen as the Missouri Secondary Education Teacher of the Year in 2012. He said the transition to teaching at OTC was a natural one. Currently, he teaches to two classes at OTC.

“I love it. It’s different from Springfield. The students are more mature and they want to be here,” he said. “The students come early and stay late.”

Kloppenburg grew up in Springfield. He attended Parkview High School and Drury University.

He has been interested in art ever since he was a child, looking for a way to remain still in church and avoid being disciplined by his parents.

“I would pick up a pencil and draw on the church bulletin,” he said.

Now, he specialty is making paper from scratch and using it for his artwork. A 3D paper sculpture he created is on display this month at the OTC Fine Arts Gallery in the Gilioz Theatre.

Kloppenburg said he would recommend other teachers look into teaching at OTC.

“I’ve spoken to so many people who are asking me if OTC is hiring. I feel so supported here,” he said. “I tell others how great it is here.”

Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.