The New Face of Physics: Jimmy Chiang

Mr. Chiang instructs his Physics students.

Mr. Chiang instructs his Physics students.

Ayuel Dak, Reporter

West Anchorage High School has seen many changes over the last several years; building improvements, new programs and changes amongst the staff. There’s a new face in the Science Department that most students don’t recognize, because his young appearance may cause them to mistake him for one of their own.

Jimmy Chiang is the new math and physics teacher with quite a background. Chiang grew up in New York where he attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “I grew up two miles from the university, and so my high school was actually further from home,” said Chiang.

Chiang was majoring in engineering but took Japanese classes. While in college Chiang took a year off and traveled to Yoro Gifu, Japan where he taught for a year. Master Oogway, a teacher with whom Chiang studied, said something that has stuck with Chiang over the years. “The job of a teacher is to inspire zest through life.”

Chiang was so inspired with the school system that he became a teacher. He previously taught at a K-12 public school in Ouray, Colorado where the kids had the same classes from kindergarten through senior year, so his students got to know each other very well.

Chiang has two goal as a teacher: One is to for his students to be successful with the materials or whatever it is they’re learning. “I teach physics and math and I want students to be engaged with it and find excitement in it,” he said. His other goal is for students to be inspired. “I want them to enjoy living, and enjoy working with other people, and I want them to find something they’re excited about. If they can do that through physics class that’s great, but if they can do that through anything else that’s great to.” For Chiang it doesn’t matter what subject you teach, whether you’re a coach, or a parent, it’s all similar in a way.

Students that have Chiang as a teacher or know him speak very highly of him and his character. Logan Holland and Marisa Stephenson are seniors who both have Chiang for Precalculus. Holland has Chiang’s 6th hour and likes how energetic he is at the end of the day. According to Holland, Chiang’s class is an environment you can have fun in. Chiang makes math more interactive and less complicated; he makes it more engaging by allowing his students to receive help from their peers, thus making math easier for students struggling in his class.

Stephenson likes the connection she finds from his teaching methods. “I connect with math on more of a personal level when I have it with Chiang,” said Stephenson.

Both of Chiang’s former and current principal had nothing but great things to say about Chiang. When Chiang got the job as the new teacher, West Principal Sven Gustafson called his former boss, who was devastated that Chiang was leaving the school. Gustafson says, “Chiang’s attitude and ability to teach lots of different things; he’s very talented in many areas.”

You may confuse Chiang for a student due to his young looks and spirited attitude, but Chiang a.k.a “The ‘D’ of West High,”( in reference to Ryan Reynolds from the film School of Life), is the new teacher on the block.