Our Most Excited Retiree


Chrysla Jewell

Ms. Kuchowicz on her second to last day of school.

Chrysla Jewell

From teaching classes about civics to classes about psychology, Renata Kuchowicz is one of the most popular teachers here at Central. Almost all of her students are familiar with the stories that she’s gathered over her 28 years of teaching. Being a student in her class is an experience like no other because of her dedication to student learning, which is why it makes it so difficult to see her leave. 

Kuchowicz has a unique history when it comes to her career as a teacher. Prior to moving to Central, she taught at North Hardin and Larue County High Schools.

“I have been at CHHS for 18 years,” she said. “For me, coming to CHHS was like coming home. I went to middle school at Hardin Central and there were several teachers that taught at East Hardin when I went to school there.” 

U.S. History teacher Mike Sisk has taught with Kuchowicz for all 18 years of her time at Central and reminisced about sharing his Military History notes with her for the one year that she taught the class. 

“She’s the third best Military History teacher here at this school, behind me and Jackson,” Sisk said.

In addition, Sisk remembered Kuchowicz’s basketball prowess during faculty-student games back in the day.

“It was always nice to have her rebounding skills on the faculty teams,” Sisk said.

A lot of her students are quite familiar with her history as a girls’ basketball coach. In fact, she coached before she began teaching. Coaching sparked her interest in teaching. 

“Coaching, and my love for history, is what got me into teaching. I had a calling for coaching because my passion was basketball.”

What’s even more interesting is the fact that her passion for student learning began back when she was in elementary school. 

“My 5th-grade teacher, Elvin Smith, was probably my first inspiration and Mike Kinney (high school civics teacher) was probably my biggest inspiration. However, I was lucky enough to have so many great teachers that helped pave the path for me becoming a teacher.”

And she has paid the inspiration forward.

When I started teaching, I was determined to stay in my little hole and keep to myself like us introverts do,” fellow Civics teacher Dana Garrett said, “but Renata refused to let me and I’m so thankful. Without hesitation she took me under her wing and brought me into her group of friends who are now all my friends. I instantly felt welcomed and a part of the Bruin family because of her. You need your people in all aspects of life, including work, and she is my people and I will truly miss her!”

Even though Kuchowicz has been extremely enthusiastic about her retirement (which she has had no problem expressing to her classes), she expresses this same enthusiasm about teaching as well.

“She is very passionate about what she does,” senior Kylie Marcum said.

Kuchowicz is leaving the classroom with many fond memories. When asked what these memories were, she spoke about a field day at an alternative school in LaRue County — the Life Connections.

“We had the best time doing all kinds of competitions. [In] the end, I brought out my big water guns and started spraying everyone with water. Then, they found the coolers filled with water balloons. I had about 30 boys throwing water balloons at me as they chased me around the school until they ran out of them.” 

Not even just field days, but funny stories too. 

“I have had many funny stories.  One that sticks out is when a spider lowered itself from the ceiling to right in front of this girl’s face.  When she saw it she started screaming.  No one knew what was going on at first.”

In addition to the memories that she’s made over these years, she’s also been able to enjoy her favorite part of teaching: getting to know and interact with her students. She doesn’t just see this enjoyable, but the most rewarding part of teaching as well. 

“I have had many fun classes over the years that made my job very enjoyable. I [liked] seeing students after they graduated and what they were doing with their lives.”

Regardless of all the positive times she’s had here at Central, she’s more than ready to retire and start a new life outside of school. 

“For me, I just realized it was time for me to move on to my next chapter in life. I have a group of retired friends and in their words, they go ‘play’ anytime they can.  I want more time to travel and do things that I have never done before.  Even though I will work some I will be able to go do more than I could teaching.”

Whatever Kuchowicz decides to do, she can rest easy knowing that Central Hardin will be supporting her every step of the way.