Riverside Secondary gains another leadership teacher after the former leadership teacher, Adrienne Chapel, left for a district job at the end of semester one. Jessie Jeong studied Sociology at UBC and then went on to get her teaching certificate. Teaching Leadership and Career Life Connections at Riverside Secondary is her first ever teaching job. She previously worked at Aritzia clothing store before coming to Riverside. She has taken a huge step to fit in the big shoes here at Riverside that Chapel left behind. But everyone is confident that she is the perfect new fit in the leadership role for Riverside’s community.

Jessie Jeong, Riverside’s new leadership teacher.

Jeong feels confident that she is someone who has a lot of experience working with young people in different kinds of environments. Jeong has, so far, worked hard to create a positive environment for Riverside students and has set a good example for leadership and IDS leadership students by coming with a great attitude into a difficult teaching position halfway through the year. Grade 12 student, Jayden Kumar a student in Jeong’s Leadership class, commented on Jeong’s style and progress so far. “I think her enthusiastic attitude about everything she takes part in and contributes to is very encouraging, and she always has a positive outlook on things, which makes it easier for students throughout the semester, said Kumar.

There were a lot of challenges that she faced initially, but she has stayed positive throughout it all. “I have kept the course the same as it was before with Ms. Chapel, but I have also tried to cater to students’ ideas regarding how to get them to participate more in group collaborations and activities. I am happy right now with how’s it been going, but there are some things I would change moving forward, such as the structure of the course outline,” said Jeong. She feels that it’s important for her to participate, set a good example, but also put her own ‘stamp’ on the course. Jeong’s goal is to generate more creative ideas to get more staff involved in spirit day and leadership activities around the school.  “I think for me it’s important to value what it means to be a Riverside school student, contributing in the most positive way to the culture of the school,” said Jeong.

Building a school community and culture is a slow and complex process, and Jeong found it difficult during the beginning stages to

“I think for me it’s important to value what it means to be a Riverside school student, contributing in the most positive way to the culture of the school.”
Jessis Jeong – New Leadership teacher

build a positive connection with the students in the class, but feels it looks quite promising with different events that leadership students have been planning. “While it’s a little too soon to see the improvement, we are making progress with activities, such as the lunch time games between the teachers and the students, ” said Jeong. It is important for students to have school spirit. As someone new to Riverside, Jeong commented that it is interesting to see how welcoming Riverside is; school spirit is easy and accessible to participate in for Riverside students with all the traditions and events in place.

School spirit is important to Jeong because it creates pride in the environment. “My main focus is the buildup leading up to the first week of May for the semester two spirit day assembly,” said Jeong. She feels that it is important for Riverside leadership students to set the tone of the school for new students, such as international exchange students, the new incoming grade 9’s, and for students who don’t play sports or go to clubs.

Jeong has worked hard to carry on the tradition that Chapel began. “I trust my students in creating a positive environment for their fellow peers and I’m confident that this semester will attract more students to participate in school spirit; we have some amazing leadership students working on a final spirit day assembly to wrap up semester two with fun activities for Riverside students to take part in for prizes. The event will take place in the first week of May. The spirit assembly will include fun activities such as partner races, bubble soccer and one main activity that is still undecided that students can be engaged and participate in. Stay tuned!