By Mark Ambrogi
Shihling Jeanette Chui said she believed she was lucky to be awarded as the Indiana Chinese Rising Star Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools.
“It’s a mixed feeling because I hope I can do better,” Chui said. “I just hope that I can keep up the good work and there are a lot of things I can learn from more experienced Chinese teachers.”
Chui received the award certificate at the Indiana Foreign Language Teacher Association conference in Indianapolis Nov. 8.
The Noblesville resident is in her second school year teaching Chinese at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, teaching three classes from level one to level three.
The Rising Star is for teachers with less than five years of experience teaching Chinese. Chui received recommendations from Brebeuf Jesuit principal Greg VanSlambrook, one of her students’ parents and one from her department chair at Brebeuf.
Chui serves as a part-time teacher at Brebeuf but also started a Brebeuf exchange program with the high school she previously taught in Taiwan. Brebeuf hosted exchange students from Taiwan in the spring of 2015. Chui will go with a group of Brebeuf students to Taiwan for two weeks in the spring of 2016.
She previously taught Chinese at Indianapolis Public Schools for one year and for one semester at North Central High School.
When Glenda Ritz, Indiana State Supt. of Public Instruction, visited China in 2013, Chui served as an interpreter.
“They went there to learn more about Chinese schools,” Chui said.
Chui is still using her maiden name but sometimes goes by her more American name of Jeanette Dwyer. She met her husband, Mike Dwyer, when both taught at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis. Her daughter Yilin Dwyer, a Noblesville High School junior, has won several awards in Latin competition.