Happy Retirement, Mrs. Jong!


Left Image: 2004 Right Image: 2022

Juliette Fang, Staff Writer

At Arcadia High School (AHS), students get to choose a world language to study, where they are immersed in an entirely new language and culture. But behind every class is an amazing teacher, just like Mrs. Julie Jong, who has been teaching Chinese 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Honors, Heritage, and AP Chinese at AHS since 2003. While Mrs. Jong will be entering retirement this June, her hard work and dedication to teaching will continue to be remembered by students. 

One of the fondest memories that students have of Mrs. Jong’s class is how her teaching highlights Chinese culture. Creating an energetic and engaging environment, Mrs. Jong teaches students about Chinese traditions and society in addition to the language. 

“My favorite part about learning from Mrs. Jong was her enthusiasm and excitement when talking about different foods, particularly roast duck,” said sophomore Ashley Lim. “I also love how invested she is in the textbook storyline!”

“One of the things I’ll miss most about Mrs. Jong is the way she genuinely seems to enjoy teaching Chinese and wants her students to learn,” added sophomore Lucia Lim. “I loved how her class had the perfect balance of academics and fun, like how we would study grammar structures but also learn interesting facts about Chinese…festivals and traditions.”

Students also appreciated how Mrs. Jong was able to teach students about the Chinese language in a clear and effective manner. 

“I really enjoyed the environment of the class,” commented junior Delan Loh, adding that “she made learning a whole lot more fun.”

Coming from a long line of teachers, Mrs. Jong was born and raised in a family that valued education. She first started teaching in Taiwan, as both her father and grandfather were teachers. After she came to the United States to pursue higher education, she worked other jobs before earning her California Teaching Credential. That fall, Mrs. Jong began her tenure at AHS.

“I also worked other jobs, but [felt] that I’m more interested in teaching,” explained Mrs. Jong. “Very fortunately, there was an opening here at Arcadia High, and I applied. And I got the job!”

One of the most valuable experiences that Mrs. Jong remembers was when she visited Beijing for the College Board’s Chinese Language and Cultural Summer Institute in the summer of 2007, after winning a scholarship. There, she attended workshops, met teachers from around the world, and saw many of Beijing’s most famous landmarks. When she came back, she was able to share her experiences with her students to help them learn more about Beijing and Chinese culture, an important part of the Chinese class curriculum. 

 “I feel that because of the workshop, after I came back and taught my students…I had more to share with my students,” said Mrs. Jong. “I [felt] that it’s more real, like I can share my experiences…especially back then. We used a different textbook, and in that textbook they introduced a lot of those places in Beijing.”

After she retires, Mrs. Jong plans to travel and visit relatives in Taiwan. She also wants to make good use of her time by branching out into different hobbies, such as learning how to play an instrument or code. 

Mrs. Jong’s words of wisdom to the staff is to “do what you love, love what you do.” For the students, she advises them to “try their best.” “I hope they will spend more time to talk to their friends, family members, and build up their communication skills because I think that’s very important.”

Throughout her 20 years of dedicated teaching at AHS, Mrs. Jong has educated countless students in Chinese language and culture with vivacity and enthusiasm. Thank you for all your hard work, Mrs. Jong, and have a happy retirement!


Photos courtesy of AHS Yearbook