With the retirement of Theology teacher, Mr. Randy Wolter last June, STA performed a widespread search for the next Theology teacher. We are excited to welcome and introduce Mr. John Vianney Kim to our community of esteemed educators and to our STA Family.
My teaching career started in California and continued most recently in Louisiana. My students ranged from living in struggling inner-city Baton Rouge neighborhoods in Louisiana to the wealthy suburb of Washington D.C.
Over the years, I have taught 9th through 12th grades, teaching various subjects within Catholic Theology. My involvement in various ministries (outside of the classroom) include chaplaincy at the Los Angeles County Jail, resident work at L’Arche community, missionary work at a remote Eskimo village in Alaska, and a homeless shelter in Hollywood, CA..
What are you most excited about in joining our STA community?
I am very excited to join the STA community! While I was making several inquiries to Catholic high schools in the area for a teaching position, STA stood out to be the most welcoming school. It also appeared exceptional in all areas- in academics, arts, and athletics as well as in the Catholic tradition. The Theology department that I now join has the most impressive teachers I have ever met. I am deeply grateful as a new faculty member to be able to join such dedicated and experienced educators. Ms. Puffer was one of the first people I met and, as she repeatedly commented, STA does indeed feel like one big family. I hope I can spread that same enthusiasm and Christian hospitality to all of my students.
Please share a bit about your personal background.
If you noticed my last name “Kim” and guessed it must be Korean, you are correct. I was born in South Korea (not North, thank God!) and went to elementary school in Korea. I have one sister with 3 children, and I have a one-year-old girl I adopted named Annie. She has sharp nails, very long whiskers and sleeps all day by the window sill. My hobbies and interests are not too diverse; I rather enjoy simple things in life. I like pretty much everything related to nature - hiking, gardening, fishing, and traveling. I love exploring cultures of the 3rd world countries, prefer music and movies from the ’80s and ’90s, and enjoy learning about history and politics.
What do you most love about Theology?
Theology literally means the study of God. How could you NOT love to study about God? Everything in this world about truth, love, beauty, goodness ultimately came from God and relates back to God. The desire to seek God is in the hearts of all of us. However, as a Theology teacher, it is the most challenging task to point out this deepest human desire and our most natural needs for our students. It is the simplest and most complicated process, “wrestling with God” that is.
Anything else you'd like to add about yourself that you feel will help "introduce" yourself to our community?
I am fluent in both Korean and English (culturally, I ‘feel’ as a Korean, and I ‘think’ as an American). I was studying to be a Jesuit priest at which point my love for working with young people started. I have lived in about a dozen different states. I am a terrible dancer but love to sing. I am always open to new experiences and adventures. Now that I moved to New England, I can’t wait for the snow to come. I’m really looking forward to the famous New England winter. Bring it on!!
Welcome, Mr. Kim! We are blessed to have you in our STA Family!