November 29, 2019

Longtime math teacher talks about his job at Notre Dame Prep and what life is like for him outside of school.

Anthony (TJ) Kulick, a Notre Dame Prep math teacher since 2008, conducts one of his math classes recently at Notre Dame Prep.

Notre Dame Prep math teacher Anthony Kulick — "TJ" to friends and colleagues — has been on campus since 2008. He holds a B.A. degree in chemistry and mathematics from Albion College, a certificate in chemistry and math from Central Michigan University, and an M.A. in math from Oakland University. He's also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Oakland. Kulick's a busy guy, to be sure, but he was kind enough recently to be interviewed by Notre Dame's advancement department. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

1. Why did you become a teacher?

My first job after college was as a production chemist. At that time I also was coaching a high school track and cross country team. I enjoyed the coaching part more than the chemist part and decided to change careers to spend more of my time working with kids.

2. When did you first come to Notre Dame and was it your first teaching job?

I came to NDP during the 2008-2009 school year. It was my second teaching job as I spent the previous two years teaching math, chemistry and physics at Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St Joseph, Mich. I also coached the track and cross country teams there. 

3. What are the most significant changes to the school since you started?

Probably the facility expansions and additions in faculty and staff over the last 11 years.

4. What do you think is the most important part of your job at Notre Dame? 

There are two main parts: One, I believe it's connecting with students, and two, it's making math an accessible and exciting subject. 

5. What job would you choose for yourself if you were not a teacher?

If I wasn’t a teacher I’d probably be working in industry in a mathematics-related field. I’m particularly interested in algorithm design and application. 

6. What is Mr. Kulick's life like outside of Notre Dame?

I’m married to a beautiful, wonderful woman named Jennifer and we had our first child, Sloane, this past summer. We live with our dog, Xerxes, in Grosse Pointe. While I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies, given my work, family, and grad school, I still try to find time to do a little bit of running and reading.

The Kulick family in a photo taken last month.

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