HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — This week, Ms. Xiaomeng Wang of St. John Paul II Catholic High School is the Valley's Top Teacher. Her perseverance and devotion to her students have gained school-wide recognition.
"I love Ms. Wang, she's one of my favorite teachers in this school," said one of her students, Joseph Faust.
Ms. Wang teaches AP Physics at the school. Michael Durant, a senior, enjoyed her class so much that he signed up to take AP Physics II this year.
"It's pretty crazy, it feels like it flew by. When it was happening, I was like, oh senior year I don't have to worry about that," Durant said.
During the pandemic, Ms. Wang had to leave the country and say goodbye to her dying father all while not missing a beat inside of the classroom.
"My dad was passing away, he was dying," Ms. Wang explained. "I learned like two or three days before the doctor told him that, and so I had to fly back to China immediately."
Since it was such short notice, Ms. Wong decided that the best thing to do was teach her kids virtually. She didn't let the 13-hour time difference slow her down.
"You know, the school couldn't find another teacher within such a short time and I just could not leave my students like that," Ms. Wang said.
Physics is a challenging subject for many, but Ms. Wang makes sure that her kids understand the material.
"We joke that AP Physics is the hardest AP class statistically," Durant said. "But, despite the difficulty, it was one of the most rewarding classes, maybe because of the difficulty and also because of Ms. Wang."