Chinese Immersion School at De Avila

3rd Grade Teachers

MAY LIANG - 3RD GRADE TEACHER

I was born and raised in San Francisco and am a product of SFUSD’s public school system. I attended Miraloma Elementary, Aptos Middle, and Lowell High. Growing up with immigrant parents meant learning Chinese was not optional for me. My sisters and I were expected to know English but also master Chinese. My parents relied on us to be their translators because they did not speak or read English, so the only language allowed to be spoken at home was Chinese. Learning Chinese seemed like a chore when I was young, but as I got older, I felt accomplished for knowing another language. In high school, I took Mandarin Chinese because I wanted to understand the main dialect spoken in China. My interest in learning Chinese grew as I went on to college majoring in Chinese. I am fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

I have been volunteering and student teaching at CIS since 2011 and am very excited to OFFICIALLY be a part of this great family!

Calvin Leung - 3rd Grade Teacher

I immigrated to San Francisco from Hong Kong when I was 10 years old. Similar to many immigrants, my parents came to the United States for the greater opportunities that would be available to their children, opportunities that were not as easily accessible to them. Following similar paths of many immigrant predecessors, I enrolled first in a newcomer elementary school to get acquainted with a new culture and a new language. Upon finishing the program there, I continued my education at Daniel Webster Elementary, Roosevelt Middle, and Lowell High School. Finally, I attended San Jose State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.

After graduation, I did not pursue a career as an engineer. I wanted more than just a job, but a career that made a difference. Thus, I took a job as a paraprofessional at Jose Ortega Elementary School. I realized that I had a special gift in working with kids: the gift of patience, flexibility and creativity. I was able to concurrently enroll for the teaching credential program at San Francisco State University.

My career path continued as I took a 5th grade teaching position at Visitation Valley Elementary School midway through the school year. However, this half year assignment almost caused me to quit teaching. Even with the wonderful mentoring by great teachers, the credential program classes were not enough to prepare me to teach 30+ inner city students in the middle of the school year. I was able to persevere the first year’s hardship and 22 years later, I am pleased that I stayed the course.

I stayed at Visitation Valley Elementary for one more year and transferred to the Immersion Program at West Portal Elementary. The following year, I moved with Liana Szeto and some staff to start Alice Fong Yu Alternative School and taught there for 18 years. Last year, I tried out the PE Specialist position for the district, but my heart was still in the classroom. 

Currently, my wife, Mimi, teaches in a SFUSD school, and my two children, Caleb and MacKenzie attend Alice Fong Yu. My children keep me busy by allowing me to coach them in basketball, and I have recently discovered a joy in cooking.

I look forward to this next exciting chapter of my life and build life-long relationships with the children, the parents and the staff of Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila.

Jessica Tse - 3rd Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in the beautiful city of San Francisco. I come from a family of 6 people and I am the second oldest out of 4 children. I attended Gordon J. Lau Elementary (known as Commodore Stockton Elementary when I was in attendance), Marina Middle School, Lowell High School, and San Francisco State University. I graduated with BA in Liberal Studies and Chinese Language (Mandarin). I re-entered San Francisco State University for a Post-BA to complete the Elementary Education plus Multiple Subjects Credential program and take a test to qualify to teach in Cantonese Chinese. So I am multiple subjects credentialed with authorization to teach in Cantonese and Mandarin.

I am fluent in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tai-Sanese (the dialect of my parents). I enjoy listening to music, trying new restaurants, am interested in the culinary arts, and I love mathematics. I love working with kids and watching them grow over the course of a school year, reflecting back on how each student has changed from the beginning of school until the end. I am super excited for the new school year and look forward to having your child in my classroom if I am fortunate enough to have him or her.