Faculty Farewell: Huang turns a new page

Faculty+Farewell%3A+Huang+turns+a+new+page

Etta Singer, Staff Writer

Students can always turn to English teacher Jennifer Huang for advice or to rant to, Juliet Burgess (10), who had Huang in ninth grade, said. “I’m devastated that she’s leaving because I was so excited that I could have her for a second time in my high school career, and now that opportunity has been taken away.”

Huang will be leaving at the end of the school year after four years as a teacher. “In many ways, working here has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, but it’s time for me to move on,” Huang said. 

Along with student interactions, Huang cherishes her relationships with her colleagues in the English department. “They have all taught me so much about how to be a teacher, and just a person in general,” Huang said. 

She loves spending time with her fellow English teachers and respects them immensely, she said. Her favorite memories from her time at the school come from lunches around a circle table in the Berger Faculty Dining Room when a large group of seven or eight of her colleagues all eat together, she said. 

English teacher Stan Lau connected with Huang in the English Department office, cafeteria, and through the APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) affinity space that they both advised, he said. Though he will miss many things about Huang, Lau will miss her patience and listening the most, he said. “She’s someone who’s got a very open heart and open mind, and no matter how my day is going, whether it be as a teacher or out of school, she’s just there for me.”

English teacher Jennifer Little and Huang bonded over their mutual love of knitting and deep conversations, she said. “She’s really thoughtful and I think I’ve really learned a lot from her.”  

Along with missing her colleagues, Huang will miss the small moments in her every day routine the most, she said. Huang finds joy walking down the hallway or across Alumni Field and she waves at the students and faculty she knows, she said. Ever since finding out she is departing at the end of the year, three of Huang’s former students have been pretending she is a ghost when they pass her in the hallway, which makes Huang laugh, she said. “Those serendipitous little encounters have been a really nice part of the job.”

Along with her work  in the English department, Huang has been the faculty advisor to the East Wind West Wind (EWWW) for three years. Advising EWWW has been one of Huang’s favorite activities to participate in during her time at the school because the students in the club are incredibly hardworking and dedicated, she said. “It’s amazing to see what they’re capable of and they surprise me in good ways every year.” 

Daphne Tsai (10), one of the members of the EWWW board, will miss Huang’s contributions to the club, especially to Asia Night, she said. 

Though she knows the work she does really matters to many students, there is also an added pressure, she said. Sometimes the good things about her job appear inseparable from the harder parts, she said. “There’s always a bit of apprehension that maybe if I make a mistake, it’ll have a negative impact,” she said.   Huang does not know what she plans on doing next, so she feels both excited and uncertain, she said. She looks forward to sleeping in and getting an Apple TV+ subscription to catch up on all of the TV she missed out on because she had stacks of papers to grade.

Burgess is excited to see what Huang will do next and plans on emailing her routinely, she said. “Knowing her, she’ll go on to bigger and better things,” Burgess said.