• Sierra Waggoner, KJNB

KJNB SuperKids - Joann


Over the past year, students around the country have stepped up to help other students through a challenging year. One of those students is Joann Kim of Valley View Junior High, who started a new project in a class called EAST.


Elisa Kifer, the EAST teacher at Valley View Junior High, explains.


“EAST stands for education accelerated by service and technology, it’s a cooperative learning setting, and students work with their peers on a service base project.”


Joann got to work on an idea that was brought to her attention by another teacher, Sarah Msall, who nominated Joann to be a KJNB SuperKid.


“I nominated Joann because we had a conversation about socio-emotional learning. I’m working on my school counseling degree, and Joann and I both felt like they were really important, and she ran with the idea,” said Msall.


“She put together these great videos that I was able to show and have real conversations with my students about their mental health and wellness.”


As we all know it’s been a really tough past year, and Joann knows that. She wanted to take some very serious topics and introduce them in a positive manner.


“We needed a project to work on, and Mrs. Msall, she suggested that idea to create a video series about character ed, and we jumped on to that idea because we were both passionate about spreading kindness and awareness,” said Joann.


Joann, with her friend Ella James, began producing videos that involved other students having conversations about their mental health during a trying year of COVID 19. They started from scratch, and had to overcome obstacles, not really even knowing how to start.


“In the beginning, it was a little difficult to start off because of Corona, and we had never really used a camera before and editing, but as we started doing it more, our skills improved, and I think it really worked out well,” explained Joann.


The videos for the project tackled a wide range of tough topics.


“Giving tips about stress, bullying,” said James.


“Commitment, staying committed to your promises, and character ed, topics like that,” Joann added.


And the videos helped students at the school bring up these tough topics of conversation, with some surprising results.


“Whenever we asked the questions and recorded them, some people that I never thought got bullied we figured out actually did,” said James.


The videos were successful, and Joann’s teachers were impressed by the project and her character during the whole process.


“She’s exceptional. I mean she really is. She’s a born leader, she definitely has that intrinsic motivation that’s going to take her so far in life,” said Kifer.


And it’s not just the school who recognized Joann’s achievements. Joann’s parents Donghoon Kim and Haegun Jeon are proud of her as well.


“I’m very glad that she got nominated for this one, so I was very surprised. She worked hard, but I didn’t know that she got this award, so I’m very proud of her,” said Kim, her father.


“I was surprised to hear from her and her school, really I am proud of her. And I am so happy,” added Jeon, Joann’s mother.


And because of Joann’s work to make these videos, and her character, we were honored to present to her the award of KJNB SuperKid.


And in the end, Ms. Msall hopes other kids and adults can learn a few things from Joann.


“I hope people learn that if they have an idea, they can follow through like Joann did. It’s not easy, it takes a long time editing, researching, finding the ideas, but it pays off in the end and you can help other people as well.”


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