Alumni Spotlight: Justin Boyar

By Kathryn Murphy, Development Coordinator
From the November 11, 2011 edition of The Weekly Post

Justin Boyar on a recent visit to The Post Oak School.

"My dream is to do international commercial real estate development. I will travel anywhere, learn any language," said former Post Oak student Justin Boyar. "I've always been adaptable to new situations. Montessori definitely supported me in that."


Justin started at Post Oak as a Primary student and attended through grade five. He reminisced about learning Spanish at a young age. "Patricia Onofre taught me Spanish starting in Lower Elementary," he said. Justin continued studying Spanish for 14 years and is now fluent. "I almost minored in it in college. It was obviously influential."

As an 11-year-old Upper Elementary student, Justin recalled a teacher-organized, two-week trip to England and Scotland. "We went to Cambridge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Edinburgh, London, Bath – we went all over the UK. It was my first time out of the country. I loved it so much I went back and did a study abroad program in London in high school. The trip really shaped me. I want to work internationally so it was a very formative experience for me."Following his time at Post Oak, Justin attended Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School, and graduated from Episcopal High School. "I went to public school to get out of the bubble, but five years later I switched to Episcopal. I'm glad I got the experience of both. I wanted to poke my head out and look around."

After graduating from Tulane University with a BA in philosophy, Justin spent some time in Manhattan working for a boutique commercial real estate finance firm that included work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Following the crash of the financial markets Justin came back to Houston to "seek shelter from the storm." He decided to pursue an MBA at the University of Houston. With some encouragement from a peer advisor, Justin and one his classmates started a real estate club, planning events and networking with some of the largest commercial real estate firms in Houston. The club now has over 60 students with an active audience of over 150. Justin also led the charge for U of H to establish a real estate certificate, an MBA with a concentration in real estate. As a result of his work he received a Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation scholarship of $10,000 for "bridging relationships with civic leaders in the real estate community and establishing a real estate program and student following at U of H." Justin was also awarded a graduate assistant fellowship that covered his tuition. "I am a Graduate Assistant to John Walsh, who is now the Executive Director of the U of H graduate real estate program. We are also founding the Bower Real Estate Center and the Graduate Real Estate Program." In the next three to four years they plan to establish an institute dedicated to research, events, and symposia. Plans are also in the works for a Master's degree in real estate, which would be the first of its kind in Houston. "We are the fourth largest city in the nation with one of the largest concentrations of real estate and development companies. There is such a demand for it and zero supply. We are feeding into a situation where the real estate community is really behind this and wants to build a practice-based real estate program at the University of Houston and is 110% behind it."

It isn't hard to see how Justin's Post Oak education helped shape his current success. "Post Oak was great for me because I'm project oriented. The teachers allowed me to take initiative to do my own projects and that was critical for me. I always felt privileged to attend The Post Oak School. The kind of experience I got here was positive and impactive. It is a really creative place. It is a place that really enriches you. The school supports who you are and doesn't try to conform you to how they think you should be. Post Oak is really about nurturing you from day one and helping you become the best person you can possibly be."