Mr Shaw: More than Meets the Eye

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At one point, Mr. Shaw had around 25-30 satellite locations all across Southwest Missouri.

Tae Kwon Do, meaning “The way of the hand and foot” in Korean, is a martial art that is over 2,000 years old. Zach Shaw has been a paraprofessional at OJH for two years. However, he has an interesting story about one of his jobs before he worked at OJH. That job was the co-owner of a studio called Ozark Martial Arts.

Mr. Shaw is an instructor of the Korean martial art “Tae Kwon Do”. He has spent much of his life being involved in the sport and it has positively affected his life in various ways.

“When I graduated high school and I started college, I was able to find out that there was a martial arts school in the town I lived in at the time. So just for some exercise, I went down and tried it out for the first time. I fell in love with the self defense aspect and just the overall health of it”, he said.

He kept attending the school after his first visit, and practiced the sport as much as he could.

“Two years after I started training, I went through the instructors course and became an instructor,” he said. “My wife and I met at the instructors course, and then we both became instructors. She was from this area, from Marshfield and when I graduated college, I had always planned to move down state, to this area specifically and work. When we got down here we were both heavily involved in martial arts and we decided that it would be a fun way to  make some extra income and give us a chance and a reason to continue our training by opening up a martial arts school.”

The couple then opened Ozark Martial Arts. They both enjoyed the job and the opportunities it gave them.

“I was the head instructor, my wife shared that responsibility with me and I was director of promotions, which is like advertising, marketing, and stuff like that. I was also the instructor of our main school here in Ozark and I also taught at about six other programs throughout Springfield and the surrounding area, elementary schools and through the Parks and Rec Department in Springfield” he said.

The job was convenient for him and he loved the art.

“It was a lot of fun it was really exciting. The schedule was fun because I had usually the entire day free for whatever I needed to do and then I would work in the evenings for 3-4 hours,” he said.

He then kept that the job until schedules started to interfere.

“As my son got older and became more involved with school activities, my wife and I decided to ‘retire’ from teaching martial arts and finish our stint as business owners. We turned the martial arts school over to one of our instructors. As my wife had always worked a full-time job and taught classes, I now needed to find work. I used my background in exercise therapy to get work leading low-impact exercise and Tai Chi to senior citizens. I eventually outgrew the position with the company. I desired more satisfying work and the chance to work with kids again so I pursued work in the Ozark School District. I applied for a paraprofessional job a few weeks before the 2017-2018 school year and was accepted almost immediately. This is my second year here at the junior high as a para,” he said.

Though he loved his old job, he also enjoys his role in OJH right now.

“I have always enjoyed working with and around kids, and through previous experiences I thought that it would be fun and rewarding, especially working in the special education department with kids with various problems or disabilities,” he said.

Nowadays, Mr. Shaw is everywhere around OJH. Most might see him in the halls, and others might even see him working in their class. Thanks to Mr. Shaw, OJH can be an even better place for all kinds of students. Just remember, Mr. Shaw is not the man to pick a fight with, because the odds are in his favor that he will win.