Board Election

Dear CLASS members,

It is that time of the year again, election for new CLASS Board members.

The following is a brief bio of the six candidates recommended by current Board members. Please read the introduction about each of the candidates for the new CLASS Board member and you are to pick three among the six candidates. Please vote for three at the bottom of page and submit. Thank you for your participation!

CLASS Election Committee

Chair: Dali Tan (Immediate Past President)

Baocai Jia (President) 

Yu Lan Lin (CLASS Executive Director)

Jen Pan (Vice President)

Henny Chen (CLASS member)

Brief Bios of Candidates (in alphabetical order of last names)

Hsiya Brenda Hsu (徐玺雅) (Illinois) As a Chinese language educator for 18 years, I have deeply enjoyed sharing Chinese with so many enthusiastic and bright students. I am very excited for the opportunity to serve as a CLASS board member and help to promote Chinese language education. I received my Master’s in Education from the University of Texas at Austin and taught heritage Chinese School for eight years. I was also the founder and served as the Principal of Good Deeds Academy, a weekend Chinese School, from 2005-2007. I received my Illinois type 10 teaching certification in 2007 and started the Chinese Program at the middle school level in Arlington Heights School District 25 and have been teaching there since. I currently teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade in Arlington Heights, Illinois. I have been actively involved with local and national teaching professional groups. I served as the President of MCTA (Midwest Chinese Teachers Alliance) from 2014-2016. I was also the first president of Midwest Taiwanese Mainstream Teachers Association as well as a past president of the Chicago Suburban Chinese Teachers Association. I have presented at the ICTFL conference in 2008 and the ACTFL conference in 2009. I am an active member of ACTFL, CLASS, MTMTA, SCTA and MCTA.

Hui Liang (梁辉) (Maryland) Hui Liang is a Certified Chinese Language teacher who has twenty years of language teaching experience at the high school level and college level. Hui is a highly motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated educator and curriculum writer who has demonstrated great passion for her teaching. In addition, she is also dedicated to training and cultivating the next generation of Chinese language teachers. Hui has mentored 5 student-teachers from the University of Maryland, College Park, who are all currently teaching Chinese in nationwide. Aside from her teaching, Hui is a very active promoter of Chinese language and culture and a developer of events. Together with her team members, she has organized and participated in several conferences and workshops, bringing in outside speakers and authors to share their works with the Chinese language teaching community and regularly organizes extra-curricular and community events. She is a Board Director of the Chinese School Association in the United States (CSAUS), the previous President of the Chinese Language Teacher Association at North Capital Region(CLTA-NCR) as well as the Vice Principal of the Howard County Chinese School. She has also been an Instructional Lead of the Chinese StarTalk program in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Hai Zheng Olefsky (郑海) (Texas) Hai Zheng Olefsky has been introducing students to Chinese language and culture for over 20 years. Since 1999, She has been the chair of Chinese studies and Associate Director of the International Program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX. In 2010, she was awarded the endowed master teaching chair for Critical Language at SSES. She was selected by Mr. Ted Yao, author of Integrated Chinese to present a paper titled "Steps of Teaching ‘Integrated Chinese’ at St. Stephen's Episcopal School Grades 9-12" at the Chinese Instructional Material Conference in Hawaii. She was also invited to give a presentation by the CLTA -Texas at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on promoting K-12 Chinese Language Education in the Greater Austin area. She was also chosen by the TFLA (Texas Foreign Language Association) board to give a presentation, "How to build a successful Chinese Program in High School”, at theTFLA Conference in Houston, Texas. Her students have been winning the Greater Houston area Chinese Speech Contest top prizes since 2008. One of her students represented US team No.1 and won third place in the fourth “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition. She was among the first Chinese teachers trained at the pioneering Summer Institute for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia. Her mentors have included: Ms. Wei-Ling Wu, Dr. Shu-Han Wang, and Ms. Chih-Wen Su. She is looking forward to working on the board to ensure that all children have access to the quality and innovative Chinese language instruction they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Heidi Steele (施海蒂) (Washington State) Heidi Steele began a lifelong study of Chinese when she was in middle school, inspired by great aunts who taught English in China during the '30s and '40s, and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies and a Master’s in Chinese/English Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Since 2005, she has been teaching secondary Chinese for the Peninsula School District in Washington state. She coordinates one of the first Confucius Classroom programs in Washington state, which she founded in 2010. One of the centerpieces of this program is a two-way student exchange with a partner school in Mudanjiang, China based on cultural and language immersion. In addition to her work as a classroom teacher, she trains and mentors guest teachers from China for the College Board, writes articles on pedagogy and school partnerships for the Asia Society, and gives presentations around the country on best practices in the Chinese language classroom. Her students have gone on to graduate from Chinese Flagship programs, as well majoring in Chinese at the University of Washington, Yale, and other exceptional Chinese programs around the country. Work and study have taken Heidi to China dozens of times, including living in Taiwan and mainland China for periods of over a year at a time. She has also led tours and traveled with friends and family throughout China. Before becoming a teacher, Heidi worked as a translator in a law firm and developed a curriculum and self-study materials for adoptive parents of girls from China. Heidi lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with her partner and their bilingual son, two poodles, and a cat. She enjoys cooking, camping, gardening, and bicycling, and she’s an avid singer and collector of Chinese folk music.

Vicky Wang (王安棣) (Maryland) Vicky Wang is currently the upper school and middle school Mandarin teacher at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Brooklandville, Maryland (located in the Greenspring Valley suburb of Baltimore). Prior to joining the St. Paul’s School she worked at Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C. as the upper school Mandarin teacher. Vicky came to the United States with her family when she was 13 years old. Vicky graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s Degree in Education in 2006 and has been working in school settings ever since. During her time at St. Paul’s School for Girls she has successfully doubled the student enrollment in the Chinese program in just two years. Vicky has also developed the China exchange program at St. Paul’s School for Girls by providing her students with opportunities to Skype video conference call with students from sister schools in China, as well as by hosting and leading a student exchange group to those schools in Hangzhou and Changzhou. Vicky is a creative and passionate educator and constantly finds new ways to captivate her students’ interests in learning the Chinese language. She has presented multiple times at ACTFL on project based assignments and Integrated Performance Assessment. Vicky has also served as the lead teacher at the STEM integrated STARTALK program in Frederick, Maryland. Vicky Wang strives to promote the Chinese language and culture and enthusiastically seeks to connect with other Chinese teachers in the field for growth and development.

Ping Wu (吴萍) (Ohio) A teacher of both middle-school and high-school Chinese, Ping Wu has been actively involved in CLASS as well as in Chinese-teachers’ associations in her state. Also, shehas given presentations at state, regional, national, and international teachers’ conferences. In all of Ping’sactivities, she has worked to encourage more students to study Chinese, to make the study of Chinese more engaging, and (especially) to share what she has learned with other Chinese teachers. For example, Ping currently operates severalwebsites for Chinese teachers -- on TES.com (formerly blendspace.com) and slideshare.net -- where Ping shares her lesson plans, describes various language games, and provides links to other Chinese-teaching resources. (You can find Ping’s websites by googling “Ping Wu presentations” and either“TES” or “slideshare.”) If elected to the Board of Directors of CLASS, Ping will solicit the views of the members -- Chinese K-12 teachers -- and will then present your views to the entire Board. Although Ping would welcome your suggestions on any issue, some of these might include:

  • Do you want more teachers’ workshops scheduled?
  • If so, on what topics, on what dates, and in what locations?
  • Do you want CLASS to update (and/or modernize) its website?
  • Do you want CLASS to provide you with better -- or more -- Chinese-teaching resources?

In other words, Ping plans to become YOUR personal representative on the Board, to represent your interests, and to fight for your concerns. Finally, Ping’s 3-year term as President of the Ohio Association of Teachers of Chinese will end next month as will her membership on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Foreign Language Association. Therefore, Ping will have both the time and the desire to serve on the Board of Directors of CLASS.