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Tae Kwon Do teacher raises kids' self-confidence, wins a High 5


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WEST JORDAN — This week we honor an individual who is using his talents to build students' self-confidence and teach them life skills.

Master Chris Hong has been training for 30 years in Martial Arts. He is originally from South Korea but moved to Utah to be with family. He understands the discipline and obedience Tae Kwon Do demands.

Deborah Hanson of the Jordan School District nominated him for a High 5. She said he approached the principal of Columbia Elementary School in West Jordan at the end of the last school year. "(He asked) if he could adopt our school, forming a partnership to help the students," she said.

Hong started volunteering several days a week at the school to give the kids exercise, help with P.E. activities, and teach them leadership skills.

"I found out that there is a need for a leadership program and I thought I would tie in Martial Arts with the leadership," he said.


Yes, they are learning Tae Kwon Do, but more importantly, he is teaching them to live good lives where they will find happiness through their own successes.

–Deborah Hanson


Hanson wrote in her nomination, "He said he would focus on facilitating school goals of building Covey's 'Leader in Me' program by helping the children become more proactive and deal with situations of conflict in their lives appropriately."

One student who participates in Master Hong's classes, Morgan Borran, said, "You get to get more exercise and your heart pumping more."

The students listen, obey and stay right on track with what Master Hong says. With many different cultures in their Title I school, the kids have built more character through their new and improved P.E. class.

"It's really helped build their self-confidence and their self-esteem," Hanson said. "So it's really been such a wonderful thing for our school."

As part of the High 5, Master Hong received a gift basket and $100 toward his next set of tires, thanks to our High 5 partner, Les Schwab.

If you would like to nominate someone for a High 5, do so here.

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Jennifer Hardman

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