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Alumni Stories: Coco Yang, Class of 2015

Authored By: 
Ke Xin (Coco) Yang

My career at Beekman started in my second year in the U.S.  At first, I chose Beekman simply because I needed to attend a private high school in order to continue studying in the States. But I hoped the small-size classes could help me more than my previous public high school (which had 2500 students). By the time I entered Beekman, I appeared to be introverted because of the language barrier and did not have much of a plan for the future. With two years of help from Beekman, I am now able to study at a U.S. college and pursue a definite goal.

The most obvious advantage Beekman has is its small class size. Classes with no more than 10 students allowed me to receive more attention from teachers and allowed teachers to understand me as an individual. When I was in Linli’s Physics class, she would help us one by one if we could not understand the class materials. Even if everyone had different questions, the small size of the class gave us time to solve problems with her. Linli was also very patient; she would keep going through the process of solutions step-by-step until we finally understood the questions.

The teachers I had were all great and they all had their own characteristic teaching methods that were academically helpful. As I mentioned, by the time I started school in Beekman, I still had quite a language barrier. The two English teachers I had at Beekman, Michelle and Mr. Vescovi, led me to break this barrier and made me into a student who was able to give a speech at graduation. They each had rather different teaching styles. Dealing with reading assignments, Michelle would ask us to pick out sentences from readings and interpret them based on our own understandings. As for Mr. Vescovi, he would pick out the parts that he thought to be important, told us about his interpretation, then invited us to develop our own opinions. Significantly, he highly encouraged us to have different opinions from his interpretations of the readings. The two quite different teaching methods had a great impact on my English study. Michelle’s method prepared me with critical thinking while Mr. Vescovi’s influenced the way I think by sharing his more professional thoughts with us.

Although The Beekman School is very small compared to other high schools in the city, it has a very diverse student body. I was able to make friends with people from different parts of the world.  During our spare time in school, we would share our cultures, as well as opinions on politics and world problems from our points of view. Having these friends from Beekman allowed me to develop a more comprehensive view of the world. These international friendships I developed at Beekman pushed me to choose International Relations as my major in college.

The support The Beekman School offers to its students is much larger than its size. The two years I spent at Beekman improved my English, got me into a good college, introduced me to a group of enthusiastic and helpful teachers, and brought me unforgettable friendships.