Experience the Moravian Effect
John Cupples ’03
Teacher and Coach, Allentown Central Catholic High School
Twice a month Inside Moravian tells the story of one of Moravian’s alums who exemplify what we call the Moravian Effect. The added value from their Moravian experience is created through Moravian’s emphasis on strong, personalized majors, hands-on learning opportunities, and encouragement of a deeper enjoyment of life—which is nurtured by engaged faculty and alumni. Surveys of our graduates show that these qualities help them grow in four years into focused adults who succeed and excel in an increasingly challenging world.
After graduating from Moravian College, John Cupples ’03 traded in his football jersey for a coaching position at his high school alma mater, Allentown Central Catholic High School (CCHS), and his student routine for a teaching spot at an elementary school. He continues to bridge his two passions: teaching and coaching.
“I really got the best of both worlds,” says Cupples, who enjoyed the “tight family aspect” at Moravian, as well as at CCHS and his elementary school in New Jersey. During the school year, when football season is at its peak, Cupples makes the half-hour commute from his Lehigh Valley home to Franklin Township Elementary School in New Jersey where he teaches fifth and sixth grade, and then he returns in time to make the practices at CCHS.
“I knew I wanted to teach elementary school kids and I knew I wanted to coach high school,” says Cupples, who uses time management skills he learned as an undergraduate to handle his busy schedule.
Switching gears from student life at Moravian to coaching his college team (he was an assistant coach at Moravian for two years) exposed Cupples to the intricacies involved in coaching. “When you’re playing you don’t realize how much goes into coaching,” says Cupples. “Having that opportunity to coach at Moravian opened my eyes to that.”
As an undergraduate, Cupples had to organize his time between practices, games, and his demanding elementary education program. With inconsistent high school grades, Cupples realized from the start that he had been granted a special opportunity to attend Moravian.
“I knew there were people there who wanted me to succeed,” he says. “That sparked a hard work ethic, and it helped me continue that work ethic.”
Nearly a decade after graduating, Cupples received his master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Scranton. Graduating in 20 months with a 4.0 GPA, Cupples attributes much of his success to the lessons in organization and time management that he learned as a student. “They gave me what I needed to succeed and that’s what happened.”
Whether he is on the field or in the classroom, Cupples takes these lessons with him. “The expectations I have of my students and my players are the same expectations people had of me when I was at Moravian,” says Cupples, who knows his teaching and coaching philosophy is a product of his time as a student and coach at Moravian and CCHS.
“You can learn from each of those people you meet along the way,” says Cupples. “I’m kind of a mix of everyone who has coached me over the years.”
By Kelly Fackenthall ’12
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