Conversation with Coach ‘Unga

Kira Doss, Reporter

Why did you choose to be a coach? 

“I played high school and college football. Made a tryout professional team with the Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers. I had four brothers at home, and I wanted to coach them, so that is what made me get into coaching.” 

How do you encourage athletes to keep working toward their goals? 

“The motivation that I give to athletes is encouraging them to take the proper steps towards their goals so that they can get there.” 

What do you coach? 

“I coach football, basketball and baseball. My favorite sport to play is basketball. My favorite sport to coach is football.” 

How do you connect with students? 

“I try to put myself in their situation because I come from the same background as most of my students. Finding common ground works best.” 

What do you teach? 

“I teach EBD (Emotional, Behavior, Disorder), one of the special education classes. We call it the Success class.” 

What is the best part about teaching? 

“It’s being able to change someone’s life just being here. Being able to see people who look like me and teach kids who look like me is the best part.” 

What makes you different from other teachers? 

“I am the only Tongan teacher here at Lakes. Growing up in the same neighborhood as some of the kids in this school. I can teach from that experience and connect with students through the way I teach. Being able to find a connection with students.” 

What is most important to you? 

“God and my family. I think if you put those two first everything will fall in place.” 

What motivates you? 

“My kids. I have four kids. That’s what made me want to be a teacher. I told myself by the time my son started kindergarten I would start my first-year teaching and I did. I went back to school to finish my masters and began teaching in September, the beginning of the school year.” 

What is something you want everyone to know about you? 

“If you need me, I’m here. P211 is open to everybody, students or teachers if you need a smile or even something for me to carry, I’m here.”