Zionsville Community High School Chinese teacher honored

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By Heather Lusk

Jade Jiang was recently named teacher of the year by the Indiana Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools, but teaching was her “plan B,” she said.

“I started teaching because I taught at IU Bloomington as an associate instructor, then I found I’m really good at this,” she said.

Jiang

Jiang

She planned to earn her doctorate but found it challenging getting financial aid in her area of study, East Asian languages and cultures.

Instead, she headed to the University of Colorado to teach Chinese, then quit teaching for several years to stay home with her daughter, now 8. When the family returned to the Midwest and relocated to Carmel, she found a teaching position with ZCS.

Jiang has a passion for teaching, which she believes comes through in her class.

“I enjoy interacting with students,” she said, adding she has students return and thank her for what they’ve learned.

Jiang is one of two Chinese teachers at Zionsville Community High School and this year also began teaching at Zionsville Middle School. She teaches all levels of the language up to AP Chinese, which, with 20 students, she estimates is one of the largest classes of its kind in the state.

“We have one of the best and biggest Chinese programs in the state at the high school level,” she said, adding here are roughly 50 to 60 students at all levels.

Although Zionsville has one of the largest Chinese programs in the state, Jiang isn’t satisfied and wants the program to continue to grow. She tries to keep students engaged with field trips to learn tai chi and visit Chinese restaurants and Asian markets.

The native of China returned to her country last summer to teach with the IU Honors program. She hopes to continue that opportunity again this summer, but it’s dependent on enrollment.


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