Interview With Mr. Krais

Interview With Mr. Krais

Alexandra Risi

This past month, I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Krais, who is the supervisor of the Law and Public Service Program here at Colts Neck High School. He gave me many valuable pieces of information, about his personal experiences during high school, running a magnet program, navigating through COVID and CNHS as a whole. Mr. Krais has always loved history class. Two of his all time favorite teachers were Social Studies teachers. Although Mr. Krais admits that he wasn’t the best student in school, a piece of advice he explained is “If you are able to make a connection with at least one of your teachers and form a sturdy bond with them, you will be able to succeed.” These two special teachers propelled him forward through school, and actually inspired him to become a history major later in life. He even scored a 5 on the AP US History Test! 

Mr. Krais noticed in graduate school that he actually loved working with children, and this is what sent him into teaching. He taught at Freehold Township High School for 14 years, and worked in the Global Studies program, which is very similar to the Law program at CNHS. These years of teaching gave him great experience and prepared him for his future job. Mr. Krais feels “A good supervisor is someone who can understand both the teachers and students, and truly comprehend what their needs are.” So by teaching for many years before taking on LPS, Mr. Krais was able to gain valuable perspective on roles he would eventually oversee. 

There have been quite a few changes made in the law program while Mr. Krais was supervisor. The first year in his role was the first year they had seniors in the program. Krais helped create a new curriculum which would encompass all aspects of law and public service. He also pioneered the internship program for seniors, where they would be able to do an internship at local places, and go to work, but be counted as “in school” since their job was a learning experience. Mr. Krais believes that this program can help students experiment with different types of jobs, and learn more about the real world before leaving high school. Additionally, he expanded the Speaker Series so that more public speakers would be able to communicate with the students, creating a more interactive learning environment. 

Speaking of an interactive environment, Mr. Krais said, “One of the main differences between high school when I was a child and high school now is that many years ago, there was less interaction between the teachers and students. It was mainly a teacher reciting notes, and students simply listening, waiting to be assessed on it in the future.” There weren’t many varied teaching strategies, and these were things that Mr. Krais wanted to change with the Law program. He wants things to be more hands-on, so that the students are not just learning simple things that can be found on the internet, but rather learning how to apply this knowledge in the real world. So although the students haven’t changed much over the years, the teachers and education have changed drastically.

 When asked about an achievement he’s most proud of, Mr. Krais doesn’t really think of himself as someone with “achievements”. Rather, he works to better himself and the teachers in this school, and hopes to build on his accomplishments every single day. When discussing administrative challenges in a pandemic, Mr. Krais believes that the reopening of schools is tricky, since the students need to be both healthy and engaged. “The district has done a great job at managing both of these things so far,” and he believes that students will be positively impacted by any steps that are taken forward.

 Overall, when talking about the students, Mr. Krais is in awe of their resilience. This pandemic has just shown him even more that no matter what is thrown at students, they will always find a way to meet what is required of them, and make the best of their situation. Some teachers have advised that in order to make the best of an uncertain time period, students should involve themselves in clubs. Mr. Krais agrees with this statement, and said that he doesn’t push for kids to join any one particular club, but instead encourages them to explore their passions, and figure out what clubs interest them the most. 

For freshmen this year, there is lots of confusion and uncertainty with school, and some students are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. A piece of advice that Mr. Krais has for freshmen is, “Remember that the only thing that is constant is change”, meaning that we should always maintain a positive attitude and understand that things may seem like a major problem at the time, but go away after a matter of days.

 Finally, when asked about Colts Neck High School, Mr. Krais says that the staff and students are what make the school so special. The students are “some of the nicest students” he has ever met, and the staff are “some of the most dedicated staff” he has seen in a long time. These two factors make Colts Neck a great place to be, and he loves it here.