The selection of Koh marked the first major appointment of Walsh’s new administration.
Neither Koh nor his parents could be reached for comment.
Seth Bardo, an English teacher at Phillips, said that after teaching for 30 years, he doesn’t remember many students. But, he said, Koh made an impression on him.
“Dan Koh made such a strong impression that I surely will always remember him,” Bardo said.
“What was so striking about Dan, what was so notable about him is that even as a ninth-grader struggling to establish himself at a highly competitive institution, Dan continued to be true to the values that his family imbued in him. Though a young boy, Dan already possessed a high moral standard, one that he did not use to judge others, but only himself.”
Bardo went on to say that Boston will be a better city for having Koh on board.
“The new mayor of Boston is blessed by Dan’s willingness to serve in the public’s interest,” Bardo said. “Dan is a person of uncommon character who will help the new administration to realize its goals in continuing to make this city a thriving metropolis for all its citizens.”
Koh, in an earlier interview with Pike School’s official publication, the Quill, spoke about what drew him to public service.
“I always want to give back to people who don’t have the same opportunities or the platform that I do,” said Koh, referring to his stint with former Mayor Menino in 2011-2012 and his work as legislative intern with the office of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
As chief of staff to Arianna Huffington, he said: “I am tremendously fortunate to work with her. Arianna is open-minded and not just for profit.”
At the Huffington Post, Koh was involved in a variety of projects, and when news reports on the job crisis became too negative, Koh and his team decided to focus on the positive. In July 2012, the website launched a segment called “Opportunity: What Is Working.”