After spending his days (and nights) around high schools in the Chicago area, he decided it was time to work for the schools. He returned to school, and earned his teaching certification from Trinity Christian College in Illinois. His most recent placement sees him working with students from 5-22 with emotional and behavior disorders.
In December, 2010, Jim's life was changed forever. He walked into his doctor's office not knowing what was about to happen. Moments later, he was told, "You have cancer." Several months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments made Jim realize that life was too short not to enjoy it.
He has spent the last four years doing just that. He has achieved the level of an Advanced Communicator Silver as well as a club Vice President Education for the Lincoln-Way Area Toastmasters, achieving both designations within 12 months of joining. He has performed standup comedy in establishments throughout Chicago, and he plays the trombone in a jazz band.
He lives in the Chicago area with his wife of 17 years. They adopted a 10-year old son, Noah, who is now 25. Noah's sister also came to live with the Katulas. She has a eight-year-old daughter that sees Jim as her grandpa. Jim spends the little free time he has selling real estate and doing stand-up comedy in the evenings.
Jim has spent his life working with students and people to make their lives better. He has earned a Master's degree in exercise physiology from Purdue University and his Bachelor's degree is in Physical Education from Western Illinois University.