Kukla named Champion for Children

Julie+Kukla+and+family

Kukla family: Connor, Josh, Julie, Tyler and Tom (missing Jared)

Leah Hapke

Think back to fall and those breezy Friday nights at Memorial Field. The cheery fan base of students, parents and community members hunkered down in the stands, rooting for Concord High football to dominate, but for super-fan and mother Julie Kukla, this was not the case.
Kukla watched the game through her camera lens, capturing tackles and passes shot by shot, game after game, while her two youngest sons, Tyler Kukla, a senior, and Connor Kukla, junior, represented the Tide.
Typically she went home and uploaded upwards of 350+ photos of the night’s spirit onto a Facebook page she created — “Concord High School Football 2013” — so athletes, parents, fans and community members could enjoy the fruits of her passion for photography.
She has already created a “Concord High Football 2014” page to post to in the preseason.
Julie Kukla and Sue Larner“I love taking pictures but I hate editing them,” said Kukla, who is also a regular on lacrosse game sidelines in the spring. “I decided to start a Facebook page so the kids can kind of pick through them on their own.”
In addition, Kukla serves on the board of the CHS Quarterback Club, a booster organization that raises money to offset costs of football camp and equipment, and she helped organize and bring to CHS a new program called NH Tackles Hunger, which so far has provided more than 9,000 lbs. of food to homeless shelters in the Concord area.

Kukla and friend Sue Larner recently shot photos at a boy’s lacrosse game.

Her involvement recently earned her the title of “Champion for Children,” an award given annually by the Concord School District to a local resident whose volunteerism has benefited children in the local community.
“I supported her nomination completely. She is a do-er and gets things done,” said Concord School District Director of Physical Education and Sport Steve Mello. “She does it for all of the Concord High student body, not just the athletes.”
“She helped the team a lot because she did a lot of the little things that happen off the field, like taking pictures during games, and setting up things for team events.  She also helped a lot with pasta dinners which was really nice,” said junior Rob Law.
Team pasta dinners require serving 70-80 kids at a time.
Seimou SmithKukla, who works at the Deerfield Community School as a para-educator, has lived in Deerfield for 22 years with her husband, Tom. The couple have four children:  Jared, 25; Josh, 21; Tyler, 18; and Connor, 16.
Kukla also works as a costume designer for the Saint Paul’s School theater department. She once owned her own business designing bridal dresses and served as costume designer for the production of The Nutcracker at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
Clearly a team player herself, Kukla said, “The award is the icing on the cake but this award isn’t mine. I share this award with so many other people in the community.”

Kukla’s photo of captain Seimou Smith playing saxophone during the band’s halftime show won a Currier Art Museum award.