Courtesy of Deanna Toyoshima
New counselor Alex Park has ridden his bike all across the country and loves to go on fishing adventures. His favorite color is green. He loves the show “Ted Lasso.” His favorite food is wood-fired pizza, specifically from Lovely Fifty Fifty, and recently he’s been listening to the new Tyler the Creator album “Call Me If You Get Lost.”
After a day of work, Park rides his bike home to take care of his two daughters. Inga is five and just started kindergarten. Frances is three and just started preschool. His wife is a nurse at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
“I ride my bike to work and my bike ride home is kind of a nice decompressor. I like getting some exercise and getting a chance to be outside a little bit after spending most of the day indoors,” Park said. “[My daughters] keep me very busy once I get home. Most of my post workday is pretty busy being a dad.”
This is his first year as a counselor after being a history teacher for 13 years. He says getting to know those he’s working with is really important to him.
“The thing I always really liked about teaching was having relationships with students and getting to stay connected with them, and counseling seemed like a good avenue to do that,” Park said.
Park went to high school at Ida B. Wells-Barnett and then went on to graduate from North Park University in Chicago, Ill. He returned to Oregon to get his Master’s degree from Lewis and Clark College. Park then spent a few years traveling and biking across the country. He taught in Chicago for a short period of time before moving back to Portland 13 years ago, where he taught middle school before deciding to become a counselor.
Park says he’s experienced a sense of community since coming to Lincoln. He’s impressed with Lincoln’s willingness to get to know him and he’s excited to be working here.
“I feel like everyone has been super welcoming,” he said. “The staff and the students have been super kind. I get a sense that there’s a lot of highly motivated kids here and I’ve been impressed with their drive.”
Cherry Chen, a sophomore, says Park has been supportive and efficient.
“He was extremely helpful when I was trying to change up my schedule,” she said. “He is very easy to talk to.”
Sophomore Abdul Alansari also has Park as his counselor. Alansari has been impressed with Park’s willingness to help out.
“[He is] really chill and did everything quickly and efficiently,” he said.
Park is ready to help students find their place at Lincoln and connect with them as much as possible.
“My door is always open. I love checking in with students and getting to know them and hearing about what they’re interested in and figuring out if there’s anything that I can do to help them achieve the goals that they have,” Park said. “I’d encourage any kid with the last name A-Da to come and say hi.”