A violin and tennis playing hopeful engineer from Dayton, Ohio, Eugene Oh is a 17-year-old senior at Buford High School and is this week’s student spotlight.
Eugene is the son of Yun and Jon Oh. During the summer of 2020, Jon and Yun moved their family — Eugene, Hannah (now 14) and Bryan (now 12) to Buford from Dayton, where Eugene was heavily involved with his school orchestra program, the Science Olympiad Club, Engineering Club, Korean Club and Investing Club, and he played four years on the school’s tennis team.
Entering Buford as a junior, Eugene brought with him a 4.0 unweighted GPA, which he has maintained in these past four semesters. He has taken more than 10 AP classes and received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award in 2021. In Ohio, Eugene also competed in the Science Olympiad, advancing twice to the state competition.
“Within academics,” Eugene said, “I would say I stand out the most in math not only because I’ve excelled in it, but also because I’ve come to find something fascinating about numbers just working.”
He says his favorite teacher is Coach Johnson, who was his calculus teacher, “because his class helped me to adapt to a new high school during junior year which was rather awkward at the time,” Eugene said. “It was a class that I looked forward to every day.”
Eugene came to Buford already embracing his own AAA excellence. Not only had he excelled academically and played tennis, but he has also played violin for nearly seven years. He entered the Ohio Music Educators Association and Federation, earning a unanimous superior rating five times. He played with the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2017 to 2018, the Centerville Chamber Orchestra from 2018 to 2019 and the Centerville Philharmonic Orchestra from 2015 to 2019.
Of all his scholastic experiences, Eugene cites orchestra as being the most influential for him because of how long he’s been involved and the different types of people he was able to meet.
Outside of school, Eugene says he enjoys origami, reading, watching anime, playing games and hanging out with his friends. In his spare time, he is learning the Japanese language as a hobby. Last year, he started a job as a server at a local restaurant.
“My parents are the people who molded me into the person I am today,” Eugene said. “I am proud to be their son.”
In reflecting on his high school years, Eugene said, “I think a lot of underclassmen either take high school too seriously or too lightly. I think there is a fine line between overworking and being lazy so it’s important to find that balance. If you only go through high school at one of those extremities, then you won’t have an enjoyable time and before you know it, you’ll have wasted four years accomplishing little to nothing at all. Also, if you’ve ever got free time, consider watching anime — it’s a great destressor!”
Looking ahead, Eugene says he’s headed to Georgia Tech for college and will likely major in engineering, though the final decision on that has yet to be made. Still settling in and finding his way around, he intends to enjoy the remainder of his senior year and discover some new great places to eat with family and friends. In the future, he looks forward to traveling when possible.
FEATURED PHOTO: Courtesy of Tim Harris.