First thing’s first. Your last name is Lazor. That’s already, easily the coolest name in the history of Eastern Christian administrators! Are you sick of “Laser” puns and Dr. Evil quotes, or do you roll with them?
It is certainly better to have a “cool” name than something less desirable, so appropriately placed puns are well-received. I did have a boss that liked to play the Dr. Evil line with a pretty good impression – it brought lots of laughs.
You and your wife Michelle have been blessed with 6 children with one more on the way! Tell us about your family. How is everyone adjusting to life in New Jersey?
Things are going well. The biggest adjustment is not so much New Jersey, but the USA. We had lived overseas for 9 years, and had become accustomed to the way things worked there. People take different things for granted in different places, and we are getting used to being in the US again. That being said, I think God knew how to support us by keeping us close to a large Korean population – that was our kids’ home for all of their lives, and they miss many things about Korea. It has been good for them to get into their classes though, and they are finding their places. Michelle and I love children – many people ask us how we do it, but we can’t imagine having any less. We do feel like each of them is a blessing and adds so much to the family dynamics. Dinner and bedtime are crazy times – lots of activity and lots of noise, but we love it!
You’re a world traveler. You spent time in Seoul and most recently the UK. How is a global experience and perspective advantageous to you personally and professionally?
I think having traveled, I have had my view of people opened up. There are many differences between people and culture that adds to the beauty of God’s creation, and yet we all share in our need for belonging and purpose and our need for a Savior. Living in a cross-cultural setting has challenged me to be a better listener. I find that I try to understand people before making judgments about them, and listening intently helps that. It’s also made me a bit more adventurous. Being in strange and foreign places feels normal. I find the idea of “permanency” somewhat scary, although at the same time Michelle and I are desiring stability and longevity.
What excites you about a specifically Christian education?
This is one of the easiest questions to answer. Simply put, the Bible provides us with the backbone for everything that we do and the way we interpret the world, informing all we know about faith and life. There is something missing when God’s Word is removed from the education process that cannot be replaced in any other way, and there is a wholeness about education when it is done well with God’s truth integrated into what we do.
What can EC families expect from you and from our Middle School moving forward?
This is a harder question because I feel that I am still trying to get my footing at EC, and it’s a bit awkward to answer that in the middle of the year! One important aspect of schools to me is the culture that we create. I think that creating a school culture that everyone buys into and supports is a part of a leader’s role. It gives the platform for all the activities we do, it gives a unifying purpose to those activities, and it gives our students a sense of pride and belonging in the community. The mission of EC is to help students realize their role in being transforming agents in this world – something we are called by God to do. Starting now in January gives me the chance to come in and observe how the things we do as a school fulfill that mission and perhaps where there are areas that we can do things differently to address that goal.
While you’re definitely a busy man, if you can find free time, what are some of your personal interests/hobbies?
I have always enjoyed sports, although my football days have taken a toll on my body! Competition is always fun to me, so even if it is a game you have just invented, you can talk me into playing. I enjoy reading and playing board games, especially with my kids because I usually can beat them. I have been a runner from time to time too, and enjoy being outside and hiking.
Talk about your professional path. Degrees, school, previous positions, etc.
Well, I’ve taken a long path to get to education. My undergrad degree started in engineering, and finished in business. I worked for about 2 years in the retail industry in a buying office, but hated it. I decided to change careers and went back to school to become a teacher. I loved working with students, and especially seeing them learn and grow. I didn’t work in a Christian school until I went overseas, and that was the best thing God did for me. There is so much more meaning in my job in Christian education that wasn’t there before. After teaching for 7 years, I became a school principal. It was a hard choice for me because I loved being in the classroom and interacting with students. The part I enjoy about being a principal is being able to work with teachers and parents as I serve students. That connection back to the classroom is important for me, and I guess I just have a different role in a school and how I interact with the outcome.