Mrs. Trang Tong

Mrs. Trang Tong, beloved teacher, parent, and friend is in the hearts of many after her passing earlier this year.

Amanda Medina and Lilly Forsyth

Staff and students are mourning the loss of Mrs. Trang Tong, who was known for teaching Physics and being a supportive role model to her students.

Fellow science instructor Harry Hwong shared his thoughts.

“I’ve known Mrs.Tong since 2007. My relationship with her was very good; we had a good collaboration going on. I would usually go to her for help on certain matters and she would come to me on certain matters as well. Most of the time teachers are walled off [from each other] but not us. We tried to also get the collaboration going between the other teacher in our department so that it can just be like 2007 again; that was when Ms. Francie Bolen was here. There are a lot of words that come to my mind when I think of her such as caring, thoughtful, very systematic, deep, and thorough. To put it in a beautiful picture of Mrs. Tong I would like to say that she was a mom to everyone. You could usually find her trying to get on a student’s care to make sure they are—It’s like how parents put it so that their son or daughter goes through with things. It was an up and down roller coaster for me when I saw her condition worsening. The second week when I had to continue doing what the family wanted which was not telling the kids, but also knowing that things were getting worse, it was tough. I couldn’t talk to the kids at all because what do I tell them? The starting of the third week when I did have to break the news to them, it was tough especially for the second period. They broke down. I broke down. It was a lot of breaking down. Some of my favorite memories would be when we took the kids to the Science Olympiad competitions and we would let the kids know what they did right and what they did wrong. Most importantly, we gave them the lesson to not procrastinate. She has left a great legacy. The AP program that she built from the ground up—We are the only school in the district to provide AP Physics C, the Mechanics and the E&M. Without her being here, we don’t know who is going to take over that so I am hoping that legacy will not end with her. The other legacy would be the Science Olympiad which also has the question of who is going to take over that. My final words to her, I already know would have been that I should have driven her straight to the ER that morning.”

Principal Angelita Gonzales also tearfully shared her reflection about Mrs. Tong.

“My remember her gestures and her way of always finding solutions. The legacy she left here at Arroyo is caring for kids and working with troubled kids as much as our honor kids, and I think everyone knows to respect them. She had a  big impact on students’ lives, especially with her science kids. They were at school day and night, and with AP students she would crack the whip and make them come study on weekends. She also worked on the Science Olympiad. They would stay until 9:00 or 10:00 0′ clock at night working things out. I think a lot of people knew who Mrs.Tong was, even kids who didn’t know her, remember fondly. So thank you Ms.Tong for everything, thank you for caring, and we will miss you.”

Mrs. Tong passed away on January 4th, after complications from a kidney stone removal surgery.