Mrs. Kim’s Multifaceted Journey to AUHSD



Teaching art was not always on Mrs. Kim’s lesson plans, but after a spontaneous journey and exploring her love for art, she has found her place as a new teacher at AUHSD.

Laura Liu, Editor in Chief

Traveling between schools, Mrs. Sonia Kim is new to the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), teaching Photography and Draw/Paint 1 at Oxford as well as Korean at Walker Junior High. A jack of all trades, she previously taught ceramics and history in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD).


Her path to becoming a teacher was unexpected. Majoring in political science at Knox College in Illinois, she initially planned to become a lawyer but took additional art classes to fulfill the college’s elective requirements — igniting an old passion for art.


“I did art in high school, but being Asian, [my] parents never said to major in it because [I] won’t make money,” Mrs. Kim. “My art teachers in college opened my eyes [to studying art].”


Her love for art blossomed, and with advice from some of her professors, Mrs. Kim decided to double-major in studio art and political science. Before heading to law school, she made a detour to attend Princeton Theological Seminary and study the Bible and broaden her expertise. 


Two years in, Mrs. Kim took a year off to get married, but never returned to seminary nor went to law school afterward. She was stuck at a crossroads about what to do with her life — until her friends encouraged her to get a teaching certificate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 


After receiving her certificate and preparing for a teaching job, she became pregnant with the first of her four children and temporarily put her career on hold to take care of them. It wasn’t until around four years ago when she received an opportunity to be an education consultant that inspired her to begin teaching.


Mrs. Kim began as an instructional aide and a part-time substitute teacher at IUSD, transitioning to full-time two years ago. During that time, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she found herself with a lot more time on her hands. In addition to getting her real estate license and learning to knit, crochet, and cook various Korean dishes, she also passed the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) so she could teach Korean.


“I wasn’t sure which I liked better, teaching Korean or teaching art,” Mrs. Kim said. “I really love teaching both, so when I got [the offer to teach at Oxford and Walker], I took it in a heartbeat.”


Navigating between two schools is no small feat. Being her first year as a full-time teacher, Mrs. Kim devotes a lot of her time to curating new lesson plans for each of her three courses while traveling between Walker and Oxford. Even so, her passion for her students and connecting with them continues to shine through.


“I love teaching them, I love working with them, and I love learning from them,” Mrs. Kim said. “There’s true joy in sharing what you know.”