Kutch Retires from Teaching

James Turner Kutch is to retire this school year


Retiring teacher James Kutch stands next to a globe as he points to a location on the map.

James Turner Kutch is a well known AP U.S History teacher on the Oak Hills High School campus. Before he became a teacher, Kutch was just a regular person trying to find his way in life.

Starting at his childhood, Kutch grew up in Lake Arrowhead which is located in the San Bernardino mountains. Lake Arrowhead at the time was a lot different then how people see it today. The area was smaller and next to Kutch’s house, surrounded by woods where his family would see wildlife and in one memory he even had a deer graze on their lawn from time to time.

Since Kutch was a middle child out of five children, he always had people to hang out with.

“My older sister was my best friend when I was young,” Kutch explains, “And my younger brother was my best friend when I got older.”

When he made his way to high school he was also a very social person considering he was in plenty of sports and school activities. Kutch was part of his high school’s student body government and was known for three sports: football, basketball, and baseball. He was also in band with the love of playing the trumpet ever since elementary school.

Kutch’s best experience in high school was winning the Model United Nations Competition, he explains, “We worked very hard to be competitive so winning validated all our hard work.”

Many people know Kutch for his love of tennis and coaching the boys tennis team here at OHHS. He actually had an interest in playing tennis because of his father, James Daniel Kutch. Kutch’s father, known as “Dan”,  advised Kutch to switch to tennis during his junior year in high school because it was a sport that he could play his whole life. Kutch was happy that he ended up switching sports because he still plays tennis today and enjoys it. 

“I had my most success in tennis both as a player and a coach.”

Nowadays Kutch has a passion for snow skiing, tennis, and golf. He also used to love rock climbing and would visit Yosemite every year with his son. He has replaced his rock climbing days with hiking and mountain climbing.

Kutch also has a pride for his historical reenactments. He enjoys learning more about historical events by acting them out along with others.

It is a great different way to learn about history other than reading a book or watching a movie,” comments Kutch about his historical reenactments.

He also has students participate. Kutch feels that this is a great way to learn, and get others to learn about events that took place in history.

James Kutch does a historical reenactment riding a horse

Kutch is happy with his family life as his daughter is currently employed as a teacher and his son has graduated from UCLA and is getting his teaching credential. 

“I have been very blessed with my son and daughter who haven’t caused me many problems. I find myself lucky that they turned out so good,” comments Kutch on his children.

He and his wife have been together for 30 years.

“Both of my parents were teachers and my dad even became an administrator for awhile. Now I am a teacher and my wife is also a teacher. Also, now both of my kids are becoming teachers,” laughs Kutch on his family history in careers.

OHHS AP History teacher James Kutch will retire from teaching at the end of the 2018-2019 school-year. During his retirement Kutch hopes to get back into his trumpet playing. He had his own jazz band before he fell off of playing. He will also be able to get back into old hobbies he lost out on and spend time with his family.

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