Dear Coolidge Cougars,
I began my educational career in 2004 at Gabrielino High School as a language arts teacher, where I taught freshman, junior, and senior language arts as well as AP Language. During my time at Gabrielino, I also had the opportunity to work as an ASB advisor and an assistant coach in the boy's basketball program.
2014 saw a major transition when I began working at Jefferson Middle School as one of two assistant principals.
Since 2019, I have been the principal at Coolidge. Go Cougars!
I received my bachelor's degree from Duke, where I majored in English Literature. I received my teaching credential from CSU Cal Poly Pomona and my master's degree in education from Point Loma Nazarene University.
I emigrated to the US at the age of three from Taipei, Taiwan. I've been back a few times since then to visit. My memories are filled with images of concrete, muggy heat, and delicious street food.
I grew up on Long Island, about an hour outside New York City. I worked in the private sector for several years in New York before I had the opportunity to move to California. I haven't found a really good bagel or slice of pizza out here in SoCal yet, but the amazing tacos, elote', and mulitas more than make up for it!
My wife and I live in Monrovia with our two children, Chris (10) and Emma (7). We are also the lucky owners of our bulldog, Leroy.
While I am not a native son, I feel a sense of belonging here that is deeply comforting and meaningful. After almost twenty years, San Gabriel feels like home.
When I think about this school year and the five months leading up to it, the following quote by Phillips Brooks comes to mind. I hope it energizes you as much as it does me.
“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle. ”
While my job titles and responsibilities have changed throughout my career, my primary role as an educator has always been to encourage student learning and growth. I believe that public education is one of the most democratic institutions in public life (along with jury duty and the DMV). The importance of education lies not only in equipping our students with the skills they need to become successful, productive adults but also in developing their attributes so that they become virtuous and well-informed citizens of this country and the world. And however lofty and far-removed this may seem from the day-to-day realities of childhood, classrooms, and schoolyards, I believe that our greatest responsibility is to set our Coolidge students on a course that leads them there.