Kuhlman resides in Avon, South Dakota, with his wife Benita, a first grade teacher, and their cat, Lucky. Serving as a teacher at Avon High School for the last 27 years and an educator for 31 years, Kuhlman has been recognized several times for his dedication to education. He teaches seventh grade math, geometry, physical science, chemistry and physics, and he holds certifications in grades 7-12 science education, mathematics education and secondary administration. Kuhlman earned a master's degree in secondary education and a master's degree in natural science with an emphasis in chemistry from USD. 

Kuhlman has received numerous awards for his teaching excellence, including:

  • American Chemical Society’s 2006 John E. Bauman, Jr. Midwest Award for Excellence in High School Teaching
  • 2009 South Dakota Teacher of the Year Award
  • 2011 Presidential award for Excellence in Science Teaching
  • 2014 NREA Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year

Kuhlman has also advised students in national and international competitions, including the Intel International Science Fair and the Junior Stockholm Water Prize.

Established in 1991, the Estee Lecture is named in honor of Charles Remington Estee, a professor of chemistry who inspired generations of students and motivated his colleagues to attain new heights. He served as chair of the chemistry department for 32 years and brought a sense of mission to science education. He organized and taught years of summer institutes for high school teachers and continued his contributions to the University as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus until his death.

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