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A photo of Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Jeffry Kaftan

Abbot Pennings HS 1981
2019 Academic Division: Education

Photo of Jeff Kaftan

Jeff received multiple awards in sports, leadership and school activities at APHS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Creighton University. He also attended the University of Loyola, Rome, Italy; the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, where he studied Spanish, and Marian College, earning degrees in elementary education and a Master of Arts in education.

Jeff switched careers in 2007, after working in the world of finance at Wells Fargo Bank for five years and Robert W. Baird for 12 years. He redirected his energy and enthusiasm to education where he felt he could make a greater difference. He was principal of Notre Dame of De Pere and St. Thomas More School of Green Bay. He inspired students, faculty, family and friends with his personal set of commandments: 1) Live each day to its fullest - Give it all you’ve got, even if you’re not feeling great (I can do all things through Christ who

strengthens me -Philippians 4:13); 2) Devote yourself to others’ betterment; 3) Never pass up an opportunity to help someone in need (follow the golden rule); 4) Let your love of God, family and friends pour forth; 5) Perform “acts of kindness” wherever and whenever possible. Jeff’s enthusiasm and dedication to these principles were contagious.

Jeff received awards and honors for his many volunteer endeavors. He served Scholarships, Inc. as President, Vice President, Chairman of Finance, and on selection committees. He taught evening ELL (English Language Learner) classes, cooked meals for the St. John’s Homeless Shelter, coached various sports and worked with Hispanic families at St. Willebrord’s.

After a courageous battle with cancer, Jeff passed away on August 13, 2016, leaving his wife, Julie, and children, Joseph and Anna. Many miss his dynamic personality and upbeat attitude.

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