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Micah Phua


Faculty in order of appearance: HaYoung Jung (MS & HS Social Emotional Counselor); Amy Lee (MS & HS ELL); Karen Francois (K4); Denton Jones (ES P.E.); Rhonda Smith (G3)

If you were a recurring character in a children's book, what would be your distinguishing feature or trait? So when you show up in the story, you're instantly recognized by the reader?


I would be wearing a Korean flag cape.



Like Cruella De Vil, I would only wear black and white (but this doesn't mean I hunt Dalmations!).



In the book "Amazing Grace" (written by Mary Hoffman), the main character Grace would often dress up as her favorite characters in the stories she loved to read. One time, she even got to be Peter Pan in a school play, despite her friends telling her she couldn't. So I guess I'd be Grace, but dressed up and acting as her favorite character, which would be amazing! 



I would be barefoot. If you ever want to get me fired up on my soapbox, ask me why I wear those strange-looking toe shoes!



Paddington Bear's raincoat. It rains so sporadically here, I always keep one in my backpack.



If you were given one full month to travel to any one city/country for vacation, all expenses paid, where would you go, and why? This isn't simply a quick weekend jaunt, however–you have to spend the entire month there.


Trekking through Nepal. One backpack and one Mr. Febus (although he (most likely) might say no to this). That'd be all I needed to explore, learn, and immerse myself in the rich nature and heritage of Nepal. Isn't it amazing how the world is so different from corner to corner? Isn't it wonderful how God created us to be curious and adventurous? I know one month is way too short, but I would love to experience Nepal on foot and let my eyes see all that beauty I've yet to see. And then, Month 2: India! 


Jeju Island. Firstly, despite all the wonderful things I've heard about the place, I've never been. Secondly, I would like to see if it could be a suitable place for my retirement.



Home – Mauritius. It's been awhile since I've seen my family. And I'd like to go swimming in the warm, beautiful lagoons, and check out places I haven't visited yet.



Europe. I've never been there, but I would love to see the old architecture and infrastructure, to explore castles, ski in the Alps, rock climb in the Dolomites, soak in the hot springs in Iceland, work on a traditional family farm, fish in the Mediterranean, hike the rugged Italian coastline, and try as many different cuisines as possible to fuel all my adventures.


Mesa, Arizona. I miss my daughters (and granddaughter).



Who has inspired you, professionally or personally, and why?


My former counseling supervisor. She saw potential in me and invested in me for years. Her passion for investing in future counselors, in quality trauma and crisis training, and in mentorship really helped color who I am as a professional today.


The person who inspired me the most is my mom. She was one tough lady!



Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa – for their courage, their passion, thirst for social justice, and love for Christ.



My former boss at Pepperdine University. In one of our first meetings, he polished my shoes. It reminded me of Jesus humbling himself and washing his disciples' feet (even the disciple that he knew would soon betray him!). That is the type of leader my boss was. He was always trying to serve me and his other employees so that we'd experience more success in our jobs and enjoyment in our work.


My mother. She taught me to be the best that I can be, no matter what, and to always leave something/somewhere better than you found it.



What do you enjoy most about teaching or being in education?


Teaching is a two-way street. I don't get to teach in the traditional sense, but as I meet with students in the counseling room, I get to see different kinds of growth happening in real-time. It truly inspires me to check myself, humble myself, and experience the joy in learning and growing. I am thankful I get to be in the counseling room every day I'm here.


I enjoy teaching because I am rewarded with big smiles every day.



Teaching allows me to be a lifelong learner. While teaching, I get to learn a lot from my students and colleagues. Teaching has also taught me to be patient, open-minded, and disciplined. I also get to meet different people around the world and learn about different cultures when teaching in international schools.



I love to see students' excitement in class. Not just their excitement over playing their favorite game (although I enjoy that too!). Rather, I love to see them get excited about learning. It's extremely satisfying to see them finally understand why they should use a certain form in a movement, a strategy in a game, or a behavior when competing against (and working with) others.


I enjoy getting to be a part of helping to shape the future in a positive way.



Parts 2 and 3 of "Meet the Teachers" will be published in the coming months. Be sure to check our social feeds for when they do!