Paul Suk-Hyun Yoon, Assistant Principal
A couple of years ago, our district administrative team asked itself the question, why do we exist [as a school district]? This seemingly simple question was very challenging for us to answer. The answer we came up with is: We exist to inspire all learners to make a difference in the world. Yes, we are educators charged with educating students in order to get them "college and career-ready." However, there is something deeper than that that drives us each day. I'm proud to be a part of a district that values our unique ability to guide, shape, and inspire learners, of all ages, to make a positive difference in the world.
What excites you most about being an Assistant Principal at FHTMS?
Going into my fifth year as Assistant Principal, I'm most excited about the direction our school community is heading. We're focusing very intentionally on developing Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) with our students that will help guide their learning through high school (and beyond), on how proficiency-based learning will look and feel at the middle level, and we're also redoubling our efforts to ensure all of our students have access to strong, universal learning experiences
What is one of your most memorable moments as an educator?
Recently, a man whom inspired me to become an educator and who was like a father figure to me passed away. He taught a course titled, "The History and Development of Racism in the United States of America," for 26 consecutive years, fifty-two consecutive semesters (without missing a single class)! I had the honor of co-teaching the class after he decided, at the age of 83, to concentrate on some of his other passions, like researching the life and work of William Lloyd Garrison, the great 19th century abolitionist. Over the summer, a group of former undergraduate students from the class contacted me and my former co-teacher admist the tragedy we, as a nation, witnessed in Charlottesvile and asked for us to help them process what they were seeing, feeling, and experiencing. I had not communicated with this particular group of students in approximately ten years, and I felt honored that they would reach back out to me after so many years to help guide them through this difficult time. It is moments like these that are quite memorable, and the reason why I chose to become an educator.
What keeps you busy when you are not at work?
Outside of work, my primary focus is on being a good husband and father. I have a 6-year-old who just started first grade at Essex Elementary School and a 2-year-old at home, so they keep me and my partner very busy. In addition, I play Magic: The Gathering casually with friends, and I also co-advise our district's Gaming Club after school once-a-week. Finally, I'm also a partner of a local consultancy called CQ Strategies, LLC. I facilitate trainings on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I've had the privilege of working with organizations like Leadership Champlain, Shelburne Farms, the ECHO Center, ReSOURCE, and VEIC.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is definitely Korean food. Whenever I am sick, I crave Korean food because it is my comfort food. Jenny, my partner, has even learned how to make my favorite kimchi stew as well as several other of my favorite Korean foods.
What is your favorite sport?
Soccer or the "real" football depending on whom you are talking to in the community. Every four years, during the World Cup, I try to watch as many games as possible.