Teachers’ Corner

Mr. Kuhlman


Sam Saba (11) and Brendan Valentine (12) dressed up as Mr. Kuhlman for Halloween. Brendan went so far at to actually shave his hair off.

Binsu Varughese , Reporter 2017

Interviewer: Choose a quote that best describes your high school/college life and explain why you chose it.

Mr.Kuhlman: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

Throughout my life, I have had a multitude of experiences, both momentous and seemingly insignificant, that have shaped me into who I am.  I hope that I can always be the type of person to recognize the value of these moments and smile at [how] they shape the way I see and experience the world around me.

Interviewer: If you could go back in time would you go back to high school days or college days?

Mr.Kuhlman: I would have to say college days mainly [because of] two key reasons. First, I really learned who I was in college. There are things I would love to re-experience and make different choices. Second reason I would choose college is because of how much fun I had.

Interviewer: What was your friend group like in high school?

Mr.Kuhlman: I was an athlete so most of my time spent was with other swimmers and my water polo group. I was generally a very open minded and outgoing person. My primary fellows were from [the] water polo [group].

Interviewer: How did it change when in college?

Mr.Kuhlman: My friends, yes and no. I still spent time with roommates and the guys from the team hung out with more. I was involved in different communities and was much more open minded. Outside of college, I spent a lot of time in Christian life, [but] nucleus was always water polo team.

Interviewer: Share with me how the following experiences were either similar or different.

Homecoming and/or prom

Mr.Kuhlman: The high school was ridiculously stereo typical. I went to high school in southern California and Rockford, Michigan. Cali was diverse, one third of the students were Caucasian, and other races [included] African American and Hispanic. Michigan [was] predominantly white. [It was a] cliche of a white high school, [for example] cheerleaders and the captain of the football team. In UAIS, students enjoy the events because students enjoy each other.

Pep rallies/ Olympics

Mr.Kuhlman: Pep rallies were pretty good, a lot of school pride, a lot of same people involved. My high school [was]the only one in the district and [it was] all about athletes. Ours is about us [as a] program and students. My high school was all about events and not [the] students,[therefore] the energy was high for superficial reasons.

Games: Powderpuff

Mr.Kuhlman: Powder puff in my high school was huge, in terms of level of support. Very very big because it was between upperclassmen and underclassmen within the high school. The experience does not differ and the dynamic is not too different. [However] size and scope does differ. When something is bigger it has a different fee to it.

Interviewer: If you job in high school, what was it?

Mr.Kuhlman: I worked at the movie theater, at the box office, and as an usher. I was also an elementary school counselor.

Interviewer: If you had a job in college, what was it?

Mr.Kuhlman: I worked at the meat shop, during school year, butchery. In the summer, I was a director [at] the YMCA day camp where I started out as a counselor. In my junior year [i was] a counselor again, 4th year co director, for 2 years.

Interviewer: What extracurricular activities did you participate in during high school? Did you continue this onto college?

Mr.Kuhlman: I did sports, swam, and played water polo. For campus life in high school, I was [a part of] a non denominational Christian club.

Interviewer: If you had an opportunity to study at an IB school during high school would you or would you not attend? Why or why not?

Mr.Kuhlman: This one is hard to answer. Knowing me as a high school [student], I don’t think I would have the dedication. It was hard to move to Michigan, it was frustration because I wanted more [diversity].

Interviewer: What profession would you choose if you weren’t a teacher?

Mr.Kuhlman: I have always wanted to work for Disney,or professional theater.

Interviewer: What made you want to be a teacher and how was the process of becoming one?

Mr.Kuhlman: When I did Career cruising in high school, … the 5th choice I received was a high school teacher. It bothered me because I felt like I was doing what a test said but I liked the idea of teaching. One summer I was working with a group of middle school kids and I saw my passion. For me it was the opportunity to have an impact and a ripple effect in some way shape or form. I’m passionate about helping students and try[ing] to make changes in the world, one student at a time.

Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Mr.Kuhlman: Hard to pick one thing. It’s intangibles, like being able to help students become more confident. Thinking about different ways to do things, developing the people they will eventually become. Relationship and growth with both student and teacher.

Interviewer: What do you find most challenging about teaching?

Mr.Kuhlman: Staying balanced. I want to do so much because I want to help and be a part of things.

Interviewer: What is your most memorable moment in UAIS?

Mr.Kuhlman: [It is a] collective moment, teaching often is a profession that doesn’t give a concert product I’m not solely responsible for doing something, the students in this program are so thankful. When students let me know their [thoughts]. The class of 2013 made a box with a class note where they just expressed their thanks. There was a mutual understanding of a shared experiences. Similarly, a letter from a student at Columbia and his experience in the debate team. That’s important. In life we need to have mentors, my grandfather was my mentor. He taught me that as an educator I want you to change the lives of 6 kids. Do that and think of those 6 people.

Interviewer: What was one failure that you learned something?

Mr.Kuhlman: When I was working as a butcher, I was just miserable and I was having a bad day. I was taking out the trash and a homeless person approaches me. I didn’t want to be bothered, and thought that she’s probably going to ask for money. She said “excuse me sir…smile”I had failed at appreciat[ing] what I had, life is a precious thing. This helped me realize I need to appreciate and recognize what the [means]. I tried to keep that in mind.

Interviewer: What was your inspiration to pursue theater?

Mr.Kuhlman: My family. Theater is in my blood, my grandfather was a director, my dad did theater, my mom was a theater major in college, other family members who are professional actors. I developed an appreciation so early on … There’s nothing like performing live in front of an audience.

Interviewer: Have you applied your theater degree/experience to any outside events? (Plays, commercials, etc)

Mr.Kuhlman: I had done some community work, in a show for sterling civics, I directed their summer musical. In debate and forensic. 2 state boards. Participate in forensic and debate, a state wide decisions, through debate and forensics.

Interviewer: Family traditions

Mr.Kuhlman: Really important family traditions are bonfires in the summer, cut[ting] down our Christmas tree, not a fake one. We hold hands when we pray. Always give hugs and say I love you.  Its important to always let others know you love them. Last tradition, is discussion. We all end up in a room in some form of discussion. Socratic in nature.