Alex Pomeroy and Connor Ball
Jamesville-DeWitt High and Middle School Chinese teacher Ching Hsiao has made a surprise announcement to retire after eight years working at J-D, but, will continue to work at SUNY Oswego.
On May 15, Ms. Hsiao announced her retirement with a school email sent to the faculty of J-DHS reflecting on her years at J-D and her hopes for the continuation of the Chinese program. “I was surprised, it seemed like she had a couple more years left in the tank,” said freshman Ben Oppedisano.
Ms. Hsiao recently received a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA), one of only 28 grants awarded to new foreign-language programs across the USA. Ms. Hsiao’s program is a three-week full day class that includes grades 3-12 with the purpose of trying to promote the Chinese language at a young age. “We should help people develop their awareness that learning the Chinese language is not that hard, as long as you can have a leap of faith,” said Ms. Hsiao.
In addition to receiving a grant, Ms. Hsiao is known to many as hard-working teacher. “Her hard work and passion for spreading the culture of Chinese is really motivating,” said junior Owen Farchione. Oppedisano calls her a strict teacher, but explains that a strict teacher is just what their class needed due to the difficulty of the Chinese language.
A majority of the students will most miss the funny moments they shared in her class. “She has taught us some very funny stuff in Chinese, some of it I can’t mention but it was a lot of fun,” said Oppedisano. Freshman Kenny Hildreth says his fondest moment is when they were making dumplings and were able to go outside and play games.
For Ms. Hsiao, she will miss the people the most. “I have great students, and when I think I’m not going to see them on a daily basis, I’m sad.” She adds that she loves working with the parents who really support the teaching, and her colleagues who helped her grow and learn.
Students are questioning the future of the Chinese program. “I hope it continues, it has had some tough years, and there have been fewer people joining Chinese, but I just want it to grow,” said Oppedisano.
“I hope that parents can encourage their kids knowing that this is a language is beneficial for their children’s future,” said Ms. Hsiao. Oppedisano says that it’s important because it is growing rapidly and there are many jobs offered as a business worker or a translator in China.
In response to her retirement, J-D has put out a call for a new Chinese teacher.
The J-D Rampage staff wishes Ms. Hsiao the best of luck on the next chapter of her life.