Vet tech to teacher; welcome Ms. Kurzhals to Elder


Chris Henkel

New faculty member Ms. Julie Kurhals teaches a religion class, with a shot of the view from her new classroom.

The only place you can get a better view from Elder is on top of the tower. For more than 25 years, Mr. Laake called this scenic room 302 his home. This year a new, smiling educator Ms. Julie Kurzhals sits at the desk with the best view in the school.

A Westsider since day one; Ms. Kurzhals is a proud graduate of Our Lady of Visitation and Seton High School. And she stayed in town and attended The University Of Cincinnati.

At first, her direction was not one that she thought would bring her to Elder. She earned her degree in Applied Science, and became, and still is, a registered Veterinarian Technician.

Pursuing this career, throughout her four years at UC she worked right here in the neighborhood at Glenway Animal Hospital. After graduating, she continued to work there, full time, now registered and in the beginnings of what she thought would be her career.

“I felt I had a calling,” she said.

After about one year working full time as a Vet Technician, she felt a calling from God.

“I wanted to learn more about my faith so I could go and help others learn about their faith,” said Kurzhals, who took this feeling of obligation, and took steps to fulfill her calling.

She enrolled at the College of Mt. Saint Joseph. Again staying local, Ms. Kurzhals went to MSJ while continuing to work at the Animal Hospital, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies after two years going to school and work every day.

Currently she is working on her master’s degree, but has yet to decide exactly what she will specialize in.

As a first-year teacher who’s student teaching was at Mt. Notre Dame, an all-girls school – a huge all-male school could be a little intimidating to walk into for your first year as a teacher.

“I’m really enjoying it. Everyone is so welcoming, and supportive,” said Kurzhals. With all the male faculty, and student body, she was happy to say she has had no issues.

“I love teaching, and the interaction with students. I do my best to try to engage them,” she said.

This passion for enriching the minds of students added to her own strong faith, and led her to change her path in life, which brought her to Elder High School.

“I feel like I’m here for a reason,” she said.

So with a clear passion for animals, Ms. Julie Kurzhals does more than just teach.

“I’m definitely a nature lover,” she said, then continued telling of her love for bike riding, especially at Miami Whitewater.

Although she doesn’t own a horse of her own, she loves horseback riding, and has a friend who owns horses. A clear love for animals – especially dogs – has provided two dogs of her own – Bruce and Samson.  If you happen to be at the weekly wine tastings at Whole Foods, on Friday nights at five, you may see Ms. Kurzhals sipping wine.