Tucson Chinese — School History

The history of Tucson Chinese School (TCS) dates back to 50 years ago, but a better record was found since 1980s. The principal and vice principal back then were Ms. Jane Gee and Ms. Bonnie Lam. The school was located at the old Chinese Confucian Church on the 6th Street and 6th  Avenue. Among those who were actively involved in the school programs, a group of young men known as “The Weekend Boys” was particularly outstanding. They were Jason Wong, Larry Leung, Ben Dong, Peter Chan, Kenneth Lee, Richard Fe Tom, Paul Lim and Kit Lam. These enthusiastic, hard working men worked on the Chinese Confucian Church and revitalized the building and classrooms on weekends.

With strong support from the community the enrollment of TCS students eventually outgrew the capacity of the classrooms in the Chinese Confucian Church. In the early 90’s the school was moved to Roskruge Elementary School on 6th Street west of Euclid Avenue. In 1993 Ms. Bonnie Lam became the principal and Kady Wang was her vice principal. Inez Lai was the treasurer; Julia Lee was the head of the parent association. Under the strong leadership the school grew rapidly. Moreover, the framework of TCS curriculum constructed during this period had served as a template for the future years to come. Classes for students from preschool through adult were offered. The teachers were both from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as born in the United States. Culture classes included singing (child/adult), martial arts, Chinese traditional dance, and painting. Language classes were conducted in Mandarin (traditional script only at that time) and Cantonese.  The first semester saw 50 students and this number doubled by the end of the second semester.

The mid 90’s to the new millennium witnessed the continuing success of the school and the relocation to the Catalina High School. Six individuals served as principals for this period. They were Ling Wang, SuChi Ai, Jenny Du, Frankie Lim, Grace Chai and Christina Leung. Once again the school was fully supported by those who believed in the beauty and value of Chinese language and culture. Even to today, these men and women are working hard to ensure the school to fulfill its mission. That is to teach Chinese and promote Chinese cultural heritage among the Chinese American community and the community at large.

In the fall of 2003 Tucson Chinese School had to move to the Modern Language Building at the University of Arizona and rent classrooms from the university.  David Yu and Carrie Fang were the principal and vice principal at that time. Despite the surge of extra cost for rental this year saw the highest enrollment of students in the history of TCS. One hundred and eighty students came to school every Sunday to learn Chinese language and culture.

A significant event occurred in 2005 with the completion of the Tucson Chinese Culture Center (TCCC) located east of the northeast corner of River Road and La Canada. This event subsequently announced the end of TCS renting period at the U of A. TCS moved in and became the biggest program of TCCC under the umbrella of Tucson Chinese Association. Ms. Ping Zhao and Ms. Carrie Fang were the first principal and vice principal working in the building of TCCC. Supported by the TCS Board of Directors led by Ms Joanna Yip, Ping and Carrie worked hard to enrich the curriculum, improve the class efficiency and nurture the scholarly environment. Soon TCS was well known as a local Chinese school with the best facility, the best teaching team and offering the most complete grades. In Fall 2006, Mr. Jing Ma and Mr. Hong Lei were appointed as new TCS officers. TCS continues to thrive. Mr. Hong Lei and Mr. Eric Cai were appointed as principal and vice principal starting from 2009 fall.

Acknowledgement While composing this document, John Fung, Bonnie Lam, Jason Wong, Joanna Yip, Susan Chan and Carrie Fang provided valuable information.



祖 筍中文学校的历史可以追溯到50年以前,但是直到 1980年以后才有比较完整的记录。这个时期的校 长和副校长是JaneGee女士和BonnieLam女士,而学校坐落在位于第六街和第六大道的旧式孔教堂。在 活跃参与学校事务的人群里表现尤其突出的是一组被称为“周末男孩”的年轻人。他们是 Jason Wong, Larry Leung, Ben Dong, Peter Chan, Kenneth Lee, Richard Fe Tom, Paul Lim和Kit Lam。这些热情勤奋的年轻人致力于孔教堂, 并利用周末时间改建了整个建筑和教室。

在社区的强力扶持下,祖筍中文学校注册的学生最终超出 了孔教堂教室的容量。学校于90年代初迁到 Roskruge小学,此学校位于Euclid大道西面的第六街。BonnieLam女士于1993年成为该校的校长,而 Kady Wang同时被任命为副校长。Inez Lai是当时的会计,Julia Lee 是家长协会会长。

中文学校在强有力的领导下迅速成长,它 在这一时期设置的课 程表亦成为日后课程安排的典范。它所 教授的学生年龄段起自学前儿童直至成人。教师不仅来自美国本土,而且来自中国大陆,香港和台湾 。文化课包括唱歌(儿童班和成人班),中华武术,中国传统舞蹈和绘画。语言课则分为普通话(那 个时期只有繁体字)和广东话。此校第一学期注册的学生数目是50人,此数目在第二学期末翻倍。

从1990年代中期直至千禧年,学校开始走向 辉煌,迁至卡 特琳娜高中,并先后经历了六任校长,他们 是:Ling Wang, SuChi Ai, Jenny Du, Frankie Lim, Grace Chai 和 Christina Leung. 这个学校再一次受到那些坚信中华语言文化的优美及价值的人们的强力支持。甚至在今天,这些人仍 然在努力工作,帮助中文学校完成它的历史使命――在北美华人社区以至整个社会教授中文并传扬中 国文化。

2003年秋季,祖筍中文学校不得 不再次迁往亚立桑那大学 现代语言大楼,并向大学租借教室。David Yu和CarrieFang担任此时的正副校长。虽然学费因为租房而上涨,这一年所注册的学生数量却是历年 里最多的一次:180个学生在每个星期天前往学校学习中国语言文化。

2005年,一个意义重大的事件发生了:位于 RiverRoad和LaCanada西北角的祖筍华人文化中心落成了 。这一事件同时也宣告了祖筍中文学校租房历史的终结:学校迁入祖筍华人文化中心,并且成为祖筍 华人协会属下的祖筍华人文化中心最大的项目。PingZhao女士和CarrieFang女士是第一任在祖筍华人 文化中心工作的正副校长。在JoannaYip领导下的祖筍中文学校董事会支持下,两位女士努力工作, 丰富了课程设置,提高了教学效率并优化了学术环境。凭借最好的教学设施,最好的教师队伍和最完 整的年级安排,祖筍中文学校扬名本市。2006年夏天,马晶和雷宏被任命为现任正副校长,祖筍中文 学校走向持续繁荣。2009年夏天,雷宏和蔡志坤被任命为正副校长。