New Theology Teacher Doubles as Tennis Coach


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Mr. Philip Kuenzi, a new teacher at Notre Dame Academy, instantly found a couple ways to get involved and contribute to the school.

Kuenzi grew up in Manitowoc and attended Roncalli Catholic High School where he succeeded in tennis. He furthered his education at Creighton University. He later transferred and graduated from Lewis University with a degree in philosophy.

He studied to be in the seminary and planned on joining the clergy.

“I am still discerning my vocation, whether it is single, married or the priesthood,” Kuenzi said.

Kuenzi had a strong desire to work with the faith and thought he might want to teach college philosophy courses.

“I taught tennis lessons and enjoyed the idea of teaching,” said Kuenzi.

He also taught elementary and middle schoolers before he taught high schoolers. Kuenzi likes teaching high schoolers because they are “more mature and can think more on their own and more in depth.”  Kuenzi teaches freshman and sophomore theology at Notre Dame.

Although he has taught before, this is his first year as a full-time teacher at Notre Dame.

“My goal is to draw the students into the faith and establish a relationship with God,” said Kuenzi.

He wants his class to be “engaging and interesting, yet challenging.”

Kuenzi not only teaches at Notre Dame, but he also coaches tennis.

“Having Mr. Kuenzi as a teacher is interesting. It is different in a good way. Seeing him teach something completely different like theology, rather than having him as a tennis coach is fun,” said sophomore JV tennis player Sofia Algas.

Kuenzi appreciates listening to a variety of music, playing tennis and being involved with musical productions.

Even though Kuenzi said, “I am not too spontaneous or adventurous,” in 2011 he traveled to Spain to celebrate World Youth Day.  This trip included camping out in an airfield at this major Catholic youth gathering.

As a substitute last year for Mr. Shane Lagerman, Kuenzi was familiar with Notre Dame when the theology position became available.

“I am enjoying it here and plan on being here for a little while,” said Kuenzi.