To say the least, Nebraska native Josh Hohnholt is goal oriented.
He wanted to become an Eagle Scout and did so after climbing his way through the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America and a few national parks.
He wanted to experience new cultures, so he opted to spend his summer vacations with relatives from Asia who lived in South Dakota, eating rice and fish with chopsticks.
He wanted to learn how to think outside of the box, so he taught for Apple and later worked as a tour guide for Civil War reenactments after graduating from Wayne State College.
He wanted to visit China, so he took a job teaching there last year and spent his days off traveling by train from border to border.
Finally, he decided to settle down somewhat, so he accepted a job a few days before the start of this school year at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines to teach geographical cultural studies.
Though he admits he had never heard of West Des Moines before taking the job, and as of press time he was still living out of his suitcase and sleeping on an air mattress in the new apartment he secured a few days before the start of school, he says that he made the right decision to work here.
“I had other job offers in Nebraska, China and Japan, but I wanted a place where I could apply my experiences. I was impressed by how Southwoods thinks outside the box, and I’ve never seen a school offer more support for its students,” Hohnholt says.
The 25-year-old teacher says he will teach students about geography and culture and how they relate to one another. His classroom includes scrolls, a flag and other items from his time spent overseas.
“I want them to think critically and apply the things that they learn,” he says.