Michael Ho, a Gentleman, Athlete and Scholar.
"Michael Ho is a gentleman, athlete, scholar, and one of the finest young men I have encountered,” stated G-D principal MichaelMastrullo, who had requested I interview Michael for a senior profile.
“We are a family of four including my younger brother, Peter, currently in the eighth grade, my mother Miran Park and my dad, Kicherl Ho,” began Michael.
His parents grew up in South Korea and he was born there as well. Michael’s parents were not satisfied with the educational system in South Korea and wanted more, so the Ho family soon immigrated to America where Peter was born in 2000.
“I am forever grateful to my parents for the decision they made. We simply picked up and moved. It was a different culture (in the U.S.) where we did not know the language or anyone but, it did and continues to strengthen our family unit,” recalls Michael.
In America, the Ho family moved first to Lowell, then to Newton and Acton before moving to Groton six years ago. “Unfortunately, when I was younger, we moved often, almost every two years, and it was difficult to establish lasting relationships like those who have lived in Groton have. But now, having lived here almost seven years, I have built some close relationships, ones that I have never had in my life. I value the quality of these friendships. They are very important to me,” stressed Michael.
“When we moved to Groton I participated in the youth soccer program in sixth grade. As a sophomore in high school, I volunteered to coach the U-10 and 12s in the Groton Youth soccer program. I appreciated the parents who spent time working with us, and coaching gave me the opportunity to give back for all their effort. So, in the spring and summer, I would coach and help with clinics.
Michael plays soccer year round and has played on the varsity for all four years at G-D. “We made it to the Division 1 State Finals this year, the first time in school history the soccer team went that far. That was an absolutely significant highlight in my HS career. The District semi-finals…when we beat Algonquin…we had never beaten them in the four years I had been here. To knock them out of the play-offs was sweet, fantastic!”
In his junior year, Michael participated in the annual math team meet hosted by Fitchburg State University. “I came in first place. I was very proud of that!” he shared.
“The math curriculum is difficult and challenges me to do the best I can. Mr. Conlon, my math teacher for three years, is passionate about what he teaches and is a unique personality. Independent study physics for mechanics and the electricity course offering and my math classes have been the most demanding for me.”
“My AP English teacher, Ms. Butler, is one of the most interesting, enjoyable teachers I have ever had,” commented Michael.
“Michael’s best quality is his sincerity,” shared Ms. Butler. “Certainly he is bright and skilled and accomplished in all academic areas, but in spite of his status as an exceptional student, he is most notably authentic. I enjoy his company. He is funny, bright and clever. His presence makes a class more enjoyable.”
The high school administration started a new tradition last year, requesting students outside of the class officers and valedictorian and salutatorian to address their class. Michael and Aiden Hoey will address the class of 2016 at Class Night where deserving students receive scholarships and academic awards. “Michael is extremely articulate and his intellect coupled with his witty sense of humor, quick smile and personality will make him a great speaker on the evening,” offered Mr. Mastrullo.
Asked about what changes might be added to enrich the student experience at Groton-Dunstable, Michael paused for a moment then proposed the following: “The school system has such high standards, fulfilling their obligation; academically, athletically, creative social events, continually demanding high quality teachers, professional development, etc. but there is always room for small improvements. Adding a salad bar to the café would help. And, if they would bring back the French toast sticks in the café, that would be great!” smiled Michael.