Q & A with Annual Fund Parent Grade Representative:
Nancy Chung P ’23, ’23
Q: What attracted you and your family to Horace Mann School?
A: There was something magical about the cottages on the Riverdale campus. We have twin boys who are so different in many ways and to pick one school that suited both of them was a daunting task. It felt very right and at home to us that each of them would start their educational journey at Horace Mann in their own cottage where they could learn and be independent, and at the same time have the comfort of knowing they were only steps apart from one another.
Q: What do you and your husband, David, value about the community?
A: First and foremost, we find that there is a shared commitment of everyone in the community at HM to the ongoing development, enrichment, nurturing, and happiness of the children. There is no question that the school strives to create an academically challenging environment for our kids at every level. But it’s not exclusively about the academics. In the Lower Division, we’ve really seen a holistic approach with an emphasis on the arts, and we expect that will continue. The boys are already huge Lions fans and are looking forward to playing on the soccer and basketball teams. Most importantly, we can tell they have developed a sense of community beyond their classroom, grade, and school, and although they don’t know it now, this is part of the legacy of being an HM student.
Q: What do your sons especially enjoy at HM?
A: As second graders, it’s no surprise that our boys absolutely love the Grasshopper, the playground at recess, and, of course, the cafeteria for lunch! Because the Lower Division is its own building, they love taking ownership of their school. They love the freedom that comes with being able to walk into each other’s classrooms. The teachers have done a fabulous job of creating an open atmosphere where the children feel at home, whether it’s within their own classroom or those of their friends.
Q: Besides serving as a parent grade representative for the Annual Fund, what other ways have you, David, and your boys been involved within the community?
A: We try to be as active as we can in the school’s diversity initiatives. In particular, we hosted last year’s Korean American Parents Association dinner with HM’s faculty and administrators at our home. It was attended by over 50 people in the community and we were thrilled with the high level of interest and participation. Diversity is so important to the environment in which our kids learn, especially in today’s global society, that it is critical to HM’s mission to be as diverse and as culturally inclusive as it can be. The whole point of creating this association was to provide families with the opportunity to share experiences with one another, and that can only be a good thing.
Q: What compels you to get involved in the life of the school, volunteer, and give back? Why is it important to you?
A: I volunteer and give back because I think a sense of community, which for us means being on this journey together with other families, is so important. It’s amazing to see so many other parents and families committed to the school, through their participation in the Parents Association, the Annual Fund, the Class Parents, the book fair, the bake sales, the Caring in Action Day, and the list goes on! It’s really inspiring because everyone is committed to the same goal of making the school and community a better place, and it takes a lot of work! Our teachers and administrators are committed to our kids all day long, so volunteering some of our time is a small way to give back and invest in the school I wish I could volunteer more than I do!
(Article appeared in the spring 2013 Donor Newsletter)