Juhnun Oh, Eagle Hill Class of 1999, lives in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, and is the Deputy Supervisor in security for a government/private building. Prior to his current position, Juhnun was a teacher in Seoul, Korea for nine years and even hosted a TEDx Talk at his school titled, “The Three Ps of Passion.” Juhnun is also the father of two young boys!
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO EAGLE HILL?
I came to Eagle Hill in 1997. I did not fit in well at my school in Seoul, Korea. I’m originally from Canada. My father started a new career and moved the family to Seoul.
So, as a 12-year-old boy who never lived overseas from Canada, it was quite a culture shock to me, since I did not know the language, the culture, or pretty much anything about Korea. I left all my friends and people I knew behind to start all over again.
After three years of struggling to fit in in Seoul, my mother thought it would be best if I lived with my extended relatives in the US and go to a special boarding school like EHS to help me with the social skills that I needed to learn.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN AT EAGLE HILL THAT HELPED YOU MANAGE YOUR LEARNING DIFFERENCES?
One was from Ms. MacKenzie, my math teacher, who knew that the phrase “learning disabilities” troubled me. She reminded me that everyone in the world has strengths and weaknesses and that no one should be ashamed of themselves.
In other words, everyone has a learning difference or, as I like to call it, a “learning uniqueness.”
The second important thing I learned was from Mrs. Volpitta, when she reminded me to “relax” since I was a very tense young man who took things too seriously. She reminded me that “life is a journey, never a destination.”
Thanks to her, I have a new love and understanding of William Shakespeare when she introduced Macbeth to us in her class. As Shakespeare stated, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY AFTER EAGLE HILL.
After I graduated from EHS in 1999, I went to Richmond Christian Secondary back home in Vancouver, Canada, and graduated in 2001.
After high school, I took one year off to do missions work in Jaurez Mexico, helping churches and the less fortunate. I also traveled the world to understand it better (I’ve traveled to at least 23 different countries).
I then went to the Arts Institute of Vancouver and received my first associate's degree in Digital Media in 2003, then I received a second associate's degree in 2005 from Algonquin College Theater Arts.
I worked for private law enforcement in Canada for about 3 years at the Vancouver Port Authority before I went to Northeastern University in Boston to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Leadership. I graduated summa cum laude in 2015 and got accepted to work as a private foreign school teacher in Seoul, Korea in various subjects.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR CAREER(S) AS A TEACHER AND IN PRIVATE LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Being a teacher in Korea was an interesting experience. I not only taught English to Korean students, but also to Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and German students. I also taught Business English to CEOs and Korean Engineers.
Later on, with my other specialized backgrounds, I taught drama, literature, and social studies to high school students. I taught for over 9 years in Seoul, Korea, and was asked to do a TEDx talk at the school, titled “The 3 Ps of Passion.” At the end of my TEDx talk, I used Mrs. Donna Volpitta’s quote “Life is a journey, never a destination.”
Back home in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, I’m currently the Deputy Supervisor for the in-house security for a special government/private building in downtown Ottawa, and I’ve been working there for 3 years.
Even as a specialized security guard, I’m still teaching/mentoring my guards, as well as teaching candidate(s) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to help them with their vocabulary for their aptitude exams, and teaching embassy staff English as a part-time gig.
To this day, I’m learning my third language (French) and teaching others English/literature. I’m also currently pursuing a new career as a Canadian military officer for Army Logistics. In other words, I never stop learning, and I never stop teaching.
Do you have advice for students or parents?
For current EHS students, remember to never let anyone look down on you just because of your learning uniqueness. Stand your ground and prove yourself.
Follow Socrates' lesson: “When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, you will be a great success.”
In other words, make sure you’re not just talking the talk, but discipline yourself to walk the walk. Needing success means you put in the work, time, struggle, sacrifice, and pain to make it manifest. Also, don’t forget to take smart calculated risks while you put in the work, effort, and time.
For parents: Being a parent of two young boys myself—and one of them having ADHD—I know that being a parent is never easy.
But never forget that your children are children! Let them be kids. Never compare them with anyone.
Speaking from experience, everyone is unique in their own way. Remember this quote from Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”