Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) teacher Tina Chan won the 2012 Teacher of the Year Award at the National Two-Way Immersion Education Conference held in Newport Beach June 27, district officials announced today. The award is conferred annually by Two-Way CABE, an association affiliated with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) whose primary mission is to provide professional development and technical assistance to Two-Way Bilingual Immersion and Dual Language programs across the nation. The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes Chan as representative of the new era of dual language educators and the national movement toward world languages. Herhard work, diligence and unequalled enthusiasm for the language and culture have ensured that the PUSD Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program is growing in student population and popularity.
“I am very honored and grateful for this award. I am very thankful to my principal Ana Maria Apodaca for her support and nomination,” said Chan. “This award does not only belong to me; it belongs to the entire hard-working Chinese Dual Language Immersion team at Field Elementary School.”
Chan is a kindergarten teacher in the district’s Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program located at PUSD’s Field Elementary School. With the program since the program’s inception in 2009, she has translated curriculum for students, participated in professional development both locally and abroad and worked collaboratively with faculty, parents and community members. The program has grown from 28 to 190 students since 2009.
“Ms. Chan is a talented teacher whose enthusiasm and dedication to fostering our students’ knowledge of world languages is exemplary,” said Superintendent Jon R. Gundry. “With her help, our students are gaining important communications skills that will give them a decided advantage in the 21st century.”
Beginning in kindergarten, students in the district’s dual language immersion programs learn academic subjects in both the target language and English. In addition to the Mandarin program, PUSD offers dual language immersion programs in Spanish at San Rafael Elementary School (K-4) and at Jackson Elementary School, which will open a kindergarten program in August 2012.
“On behalf of the Mandarin Dual Language Immersion Program families I would like to thank PUSD for supporting this unique and innovative program,” said parent Kristin Tang. “We are elated that one of our dual language immersion teachers has been honored by her peers and look forward to seeing many more dual language immersion teachers honored as these programs continue to prepare students to be global citizens.”