Gary Wong '06Ed, '08GEd

Recent School of Education graduate Gary Wong ’06Ed, ’08GEd says he is not finished receiving his education from St. John’s, “I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. John's and plan to go back to get my doctorate.” Gary earned his Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and is now a second grade teacher. He feels the knowledge he’s gained from his professors at St. John’s has prepared him to be a successful educator, “Without the kind and caring faculty and staff at St. John's, I would not be where I am today.  They helped make my life at St. John's more worthwhile, more enjoyable and most importantly, helped me define and achieve my goal of becoming a teacher.”

Gary believes his background in TESOL is essential to being an effective elementary school teacher: “Although the degree teaches you how to work with students who do not speak English as their primary language, it certainly applies to all students no matter what their primary language is. I feel that I am a better teacher because I am able to look at a problem from both ends and find a way to make it connect for a student that is having difficulties in any subject, not just the English language.”

Gary spent his time at St. John’s involved in various organizations like the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society and the Education Society, a community service organization. His involvement in these two organizations gave him the opportunity to meet fellow education majors who shared common interests and faculty members who had a vested interest in the success of their students: “Once I joined these organizations, I liked knowing that I had something besides classes to go to. As I became more involved within the University, I was able to meet more faculty and administrators within The School of Education, such as Richard Sinatra, Ph.D. Dr. Sinatra ended up becoming such a huge influence in my life and career.”

With the help of Dr. Sinatra, Gary was able to gain experience working in a school setting long before he graduated from The School of Education. From After-School Allstars to the Saturday Experience College Academy, where he currently also works as an Assistant Director, Gary has gained extensive experience in the education field and believes he has St. John’s to thank: “Throughout my experiences working with St. John’s education programs, I have been able to foster and enhance my teaching abilities. All of these experiences put together have made me into a better teacher and person.”