30 Mar, 2023
12 : 09
During the past decades, generations of Yew Chung students, teachers, alumni, and parents have benefitted from the remarkable achievements of our passionate and innovative Yew Chung educators.
With the support of the Yew Chung community around the world, the "Distinguished Yew Chung Educators" award was established in 2021 to honour and acknowledge Yew Chung educators for their professionalism, excellence, and selfless dedication. As we celebrate our 90th anniversary milestone, we honoured our second group of Distinguished Yew Chung Educators at the Yew Chung Gala Day on 28 March.
Each member of our YCYW community might have different ideas about the attributes of a genuine Yew Chung Yew Wah (YCYW) educator, but these nine outstanding educators all share common qualities: professionalism, sincerity, humility, caring for students and colleagues, and a dedication to teaching and education. They continue to inspire the YCYW community.
Mrs Dang Leung Yan Kit, also known as Jenny, was a pioneer who established the YCYW foundation as she worked with Madam Tsang Chor-hang from the very beginning at the first Yew Chung School on Portland Street. Mrs Dang was a kind and caring person, who was responsible for organising extra-curricular performances for the students.
Alumna Yip Kam Lan, now 72, was a primary one student at the Yew Chung Portland Street campus in 1956. Inspired by Mrs Dang, Yip Kam Lan also became a teacher.
Mrs Dang passed away last December, and Yip Kam Lan recalled with nostalgia: "The kind of acceptance she had for her students was not just knowledge, but a devotion to Jesus, and the power within. Education is all about life influencing life."
Ms Priscilla Yeung, former Deputy School Supervisor of Yew Chung Education Foundation, is another pioneer in YCYW history. In the 1970s, early childhood education teachers in Hong Kong were neither valued nor respected. There were only two Yew Chung students at that time, but Ms Yeung, a university graduate, chose to join Yew Chung, despite the social bias. She later went to New York University to further her studies in early childhood education.
"She committed herself to early childhood education, and I am very grateful for her devotion," recalled Dr Betty Chan Po-king, CEO and School Supervisor of YCYW Education Network.
Distinguished Educator Ms Lam Wai Chu was the first teaching mentor of Dr Troy Lui, Chief Education Officer of YCYW Education Network. As a novice, Dr Lui was deeply influenced by Ms Lam's support for younger colleagues and by her meticulous concern for students. "I think the core point for evaluating teachers is whether they really put their hearts into their work for the students. I can definitely see that in Ms Lam. She gave the impression that she was a quiet and low-profile person, but when it came to her work, she would always do the best she could within her power."
Michel Mak received her education at Yew Chung Hong Kong from the age of three. Now a TV presenter, Michel is still very grateful for the guidance she received from Ms Lam in studying Chinese language. "She taught me how to put emotions into my Chinese, so that I could add colour to the words. This inspiration is still very helpful in what I am doing now; it reminds me of the need to visualise and make the audience empathise," said Michel.
Although it has been quite a while since they graduated, Yew Chung alumni Kathie Wong and Daniel Tsoi said that it felt like only yesterday when they recalled the PE lessons of Mr Arthur Kwong, one of the Distinguished Educators.
Mr Kwong was the former Vice Principal and a primary teacher at Yew Chung Hong Kong.
Affectionately known as "Kwong Sir" by students and colleagues, he is easy-going and used table tennis classes to teach his students how to behave. Mr Kwong still keeps in touch with his students after his retirement.
Describing Mr Kwong, Daniel noted: "An educator is one who 'teaches' and 'nurtures'; he did not merely teach us how to play sports. More importantly, he really cared about us and has given us a lot of guidance along the way."
Although not directly involved in teaching, Ms Winnie Cheng, former Deputy School Supervisor, and former Director of Compliance of Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF), became a mentor to her younger colleagues with her meticulous, open, and tolerant attitude. Her strong leadership during the 2003 SARS outbreak was greatly appreciated.
Emily Lam, Office Manager at Yew Chung Hong Kong Secondary Section, and Ms Cheng's former personal assistant, said, "We all learned from Ms Cheng's flexibility and openness. She was very good at listening to opinions and open to experiments."
Dr Gary Morrison is another honourable leader. As the first Chairman of the Yew Chung Community College Board of Governors, Dr Morrison's contribution to Yew Chung has been indispensable; he laid a solid foundation for the future establishment of Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education (YCCECE).
Dr Frank Lam, Vice President of YCCECE, still recalls his days working with Dr Morrison, "We used to call YCCECE a 'college', and people would become confused about the difference between a 'college' and a 'school'. Even though Dr Morrison did not understand Chinese, he would try his best to understand and explain such a difference to people. As an expatriate, he was surprisingly demanding and meticulous about the Chinese language. This showed how persistent and serious he was."
It was the ambition of Mr Terry Rivers, the first principal of Yew Chung Hong Kong Primary Section to provide high quality education to students.
Alumnus Wayne Tai recalled his first meeting with Mr Rivers, “He was very humble despite his stern face.” Mr Rivers would tell students interesting stories during Friday school assemblies. Wayne still remembers the joy of listening to those Friday stories, and how he looked forward to the assemblies.
Outstanding educators bring not only wisdom and enlightenment but also spiritual comfort to people.
According to Steve Hackman, a Yew Chung staff member, Rev Samuel Choy, the former Deputy School Supervisor of YCEF, did a marvellous job in connecting Chinese and Western colleagues. "He could always sense whether one was in a good, or a not-so-good situation and needed some encouragement."
Rev Choy passed on his training and kindness to those around him, encouraging them to join his journey of good deeds.
Like Rev Choy, Rev Yan Shu Yun always communicates with people in an attempt to understand them.
"Some teachers would scold us when we did something wrong, but Rev Yan would try to understand our reasons of why we did something, and then came back to enlighten us," said Dragon Tam, a Yew Chung staff member.
Tony Lee, another staff member, fondly remembers that when his child was seriously ill, both Rev Choy and Rev Yan went to the hospital and prayed for his child, encouraging them to be optimistic.
Each Distinguished Yew Chung Educator is an inspiration to all ofus. ,Each provides strong motivation,serving as our strong motivation as we move forward duringin the next 90 years and beyond.