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Naming New School After Dr. Cheung Would Be A History Making Choice

March 3, 2016

The Germantown Pulse received the following Op-Ed submission in response to last week’s editorial regarding the name of the new Clarksburg middle school. The author, Ting Mei Chau is a Clarksburg resident and sponsor of a petition to name the new school after former Montgomery County Board of Education member, Dr. Alan Cheung.



I have read the Germantown Pulse’s recent news articles and editorial on naming the new local Clarksburg middle school. I could not agree more that, “A school is nothing without its community. The link between school and community is vital. And the responsibility of naming a new school in an emerging community is one that requires forethought, vision, and an unwavering sense of community.”

   As such, I hope to promote another petition on this issue. Because I think another person on the list also deserves serious consideration. This petition supports the choice of naming the new school after Dr. Alan Cheung.

   I totally respect people that support another petition with strong local connections, but I also believe Dr. Alan Cheung also makes perfect sense to have local connection – a great inspiration for first generation immigrants to succeed, and to be grateful, and to give back to the community as much as they can.

   All the six nominees are outstanding individuals, and some of them have a close and direct contribution to Clarksburg. However, I believe Dr. Alan Cheung would be an inspired choice for several reasons.

   Dr. Alan Cheung not only is an individual that contributed to Montgomery County’s education, but also served as a great role model and would be a great inspiration to thousands of immigrants living in Montgomery County and Clarksburg, regardless where they come from.    He is a first-generation immigrant who worked hard and gave back to communities by volunteering and participating and leading the community. His story is such a great American Dream story that will inspire many generations in the future, to work hard, be successful, and give back to the community tirelessly.

   This is a school facility and naming it after someone that has contributed to Montgomery County’s Education progress is the best reflection to all educators. They have worked to help the County schools and education to move forward. So naming the new middle school after one of their own former colleagues is a great recognition. 

   Also, if named, this new school could be the first Maryland Public School named after a Chinese American, and just the second named after an Asian American. The recognition of Dr. Cheung and the historical significance of a potential Dr. Alan Cheung Middle School is priceless.

   It is also important to note that Asian immigrants make up more than 15 percent of the population of Montgomery County, and more than 33 percent of the population of Clarksburg.

   Clarksburg is a fast growing community, where many immigrants call home. We are very blessed to have long-time local residents like Wilson Wims, Ovid Hazen Wells, and Hallie Wells to help in building this community. Their selfless actions and generosity are inspiring.

It is equally inspiring for someone to strive persistently toward making the world a little better place, in spite of adversity and challenges as Dr. Alan Cheung has done all of his life. Coming to this country empty-handed, Dr. Cheung spent last 50 years working at both the federal and local levels for veterans, while being an advocate for the education of all children and creating initiatives to improve our education system. He dedicated his career to public service and the next generation’s well-being.


The petition in favor of naming the school after Dr. Cheung can be found by following this link.

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