Jim Dang’s departure leaves void on campus


Crosslin Silcott

In his seventh period pre-calculus class, Jim Dang prepares his students for their final summative. He has accepted a job at Jordan High School in Katy for next year.

Crosslin Silcott, Editor-in-Chief

It is not uncommon for math teacher Jim Dang’s sixth period precalculus class to break into singing. However, when a student began singing “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King a few weeks ago, Dang took it to heart.

After teaching at Kingwood Park for eight years, Dang has decided to continue his teaching career at Jordan High School. He only had one request when speaking to the administration about his decision, and that was to keep it quiet. He wanted his students to hear the news from him and not from rumors. 

“A student announced that she wrote a gracious story about me in The Kingwood Park Times, and I nearly broke down,” Dang said. “Then, a student started singing, ‘Stand by Me.’ How could I tell them that I was leaving them after that? But I had to, they needed to hear it from me.”

Dang’s decision to leave Kingwood Park was not one he had planned on. He intended on staying longer in the community until his parents’ pipes burst in the midst of a winter storm.

I will miss the stories of how hard of a teacher he is from my students, and I will miss commiserating with him between classes. He really is an important part of the culture on this campus.”

— Laurie Rosato, chemistry teacher

“This was not an easy decision at all,” Dang said. “I was rendered helpless, and with issues with the age and health of my parents, it was just time. When the opportunity came to Jordan HS, it was a position I could not turn down.”

Chemistry teacher Laurie Rosato has known Dang for seven years now. Not only did she teach across the hall from Dang, but she also taught many of the same students as he did. 

I will miss the stories of how hard of a teacher he is from my students, and I will miss commiserating with him between classes,” Rosato said. “He really is an important part of the culture on this campus.”

Teaching across the hall from each other is not the only thing Dang and Rosato have in common. They also frequently get queso together with other staff members after school on Fridays, and they are both in a group of teachers who go to lunch together every week during the summer.

“Don’t worry,” Dang said. “I’m still part of the lunch bunch queso crew.”

Watching Dang’s dedication to his students excelling on the AP Calculus exam inspires Rosato to have faith that when students are held to high standards, they will rise to those expectations.

“No matter how one says this, calculus is complicated,” Dang said. “It is the first theory-based class the students ever had. When a student says, ‘I have always made an A in math until your class,’ I would respond by saying, ‘Are you working hard to memorize how to do the math, or do you know how to apply the math?’”

Jordan High School does not currently have a calculus program. The allure of starting a calculus program from the beginning was another factor that drew Dang to make his decision. While this new opportunity has risen for Dang, he said that he will miss the family he has found at Kingwood Park.

“To Kingwood Park: Thank you,” Dang said. “Thank you for allowing me to challenge you. Thank you for letting me know you. Thank you for allowing me to share my laughs and frustrations with you. There is a special place in my heart for Kingwood Park. Once a panther, always a panther.”