Self-described ‘shy Korean boy’ grows up to become Utah’s 2021 Teacher of the Year

SALT LAKE CITY — A self-described “shy Korean boy,” John Arthur credits his junior high and high school teachers for helping him find his voice.



John Arthur, Utah’s Teacher of the Year, wears a special punk tuxedo jacket and gym shorts as he poses for a photo in his sixth grade classroom at Meadowlark Elementary School in Salt Lake City after learning of the award on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.


© Steve Griffin, Deseret News
John Arthur, Utah’s Teacher of the Year, wears a special punk tuxedo jacket and gym shorts as he poses for a photo in his sixth grade classroom at Meadowlark Elementary School in Salt Lake City after learning of the award on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

“If it wasn’t for them, one, I might not have made it through high school, but two, I certainly wouldn’t be a teacher and I wouldn’t have the guts to say anything that’s on my mind or my heart,” said Arthur, addressing the Utah State Board of Education Thursday, moments after being name Utah’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Now in his eighth year of teaching, Arthur teaches sixth grade at Meadowlark Elementary School, a

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