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School's Out, But Teachers Not Resting For Summer

School’s out. And that means most students are concentrating on the freedom that summer vacation brings. But they aren’t the only ones ready for fun and travel. Many teachers have their own plans for the summer. Here’s what some Baltimore County teachers have in mind.

Pete Holden, Stoneleigh Elementary’s technology teacher and library media specialist, spent the day before school closed packing up supplies. But later that night, he had a gig at Camden Yards. Holden works summers in the Oriole’s entertainment division keeping information flowing on the scoreboard. “On some nights, I’m putting the animations up after a player gets a hit. You may see nice hit or home run, so it depends,” he says. “I also play the music. I back up the regular ball park DJ for some games as well.

The job has its perks, but getting autographs from players is not one of them, he says. He’s focused on his job and Chris Davis and company are focused on theirs.

Dumbarton Middle School teachers Nowell Humphrey and Steve Russell are headed to China to teach English. They will live in a camp setting with their students, two groups of them for 10-day sessions each. Humphrey says she doesn’t speak Mandarin, but she will have a translator to help out. She says she’s looking forward to learning about the differences in culture and curriculums. Just to get to meet the people and understand the culture, that will make me a better teacher when I come back and teach it to my students,” Humphrey says.

Lansdowne Middle School math teacher Lauren Kimble and her husband are taking 50 students to Brazil to do missionary work through Teen Mania Ministries. “We’re going to do vacation Bible schools and skits and teach them a drama, and with these dramas, they’ll be setting up in the middle of street corners and plazas and inviting crowds to watch them,” Kimble says. Over the past 10 years, Kimble has gone on similar mission trips to places such as Romania, Russia, Zambia, New Zealand, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. She says it’s a lot of work, “but when you get to go and see these teens see they have a purpose for their lives and they can make a difference, it makes all the hard work and working with kids in the summer totally worth it.”

Other Baltimore County teachers are doing races in Spain, studying politics and economics in Japan and attending workshops on Broadway. Dulaney High’s art teacher Jim Kuhlman will hang 31 of his paintings at the Master Works Museum of Bermuda Art in Hamilton, Bermuda. He and his wife, Julie, went to Bermuda for the first time17 years ago to celebrate her victory over breast cancer. They returned often and over the years he’s painted more than 90 scenes of Bermuda.

“My art was mainly pencil but we were so blown away by the colors and landscape, as most tourists are there, that I said, ‘Somebody should paint this place,’ not knowing it would be me,” he said with a laugh. Two years ago, he was asked to donate a painting for the museum’s permanent collection and the curator suggested he hang a one-man show. “He said it sounds like a passion,” Kuhlman recalled. “And I said it’s more than that, it’s breathing and I thought, that will be the name of my show, ‘Breathing.’

Sadly, Kuhlman’s wife won’t be with him for the exhibit. She succumbed to cancer in March. “For Christmas, she gave me a tie with a note that said ‘Wear this at the opening and I hope you sell out,” he said. “She knew she wasn’t going to make it for the show. So, it’s kind of bitter sweet timing because we worked on getting this show done for a long time. She wanted me to do it.”

Fortunately, his son and daughter will be with him.

Below are pictures of a few Jim Kuhlman paintings. (You can visit his website by clicking here.)