For 30 years, Mee Lon Yee taught first, second, and third grades and gifted and talented classes in Allendale, N.J. Retired since 1992, she is now a substitute teacher.
In 2013, she marked 21 years of subbing, and was recognized by the Allendale Education Association for 50 years of service in the same district.
“I’ve been subbing in all subjects from grades K–8 including physical education, computers, art, music, basic skills, and the Resource Room,” Yee says. “I thoroughly enjoy teaching and working with young people. It keeps me active in the field of education.”
Yee is also passionate about introducing others to Chinese customs, especially the Chinese New Year. She’s gone into classrooms as a substitute to teach the students about the day’s meaning.
“I come in and speak to the children about the history and customs of the holiday,” says Yee. “I even give out fortune cookies at the end of the lesson.”
Yee remains very active in her community and Association. She’s been involved with her local church for 57 years, held leadership roles in the Bergen County Retirees’ Education Association for two decades, and was a longtime delegate to the annual NEA Representative Assembly. Yee says she has enjoyed watching more Asian educators become active in the Association.
“It’s been really rewarding to see our Asian Pacific Islanders Caucus grow from a handful to more than 150 members today,” Yee says.
Yee’s passion for education has also influenced her son Kenn, who is also an elementary school teacher.
“He loves teaching too,” Yee says.
Honoring Fallen Educators
2013 inductees into the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) in Emporia, Kan., break ground on the Memorial to Fallen Educators to be dedicated June 12, 2014. Conceived after the tragic 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the memorial will recognize teachers throughout history who have died teaching in America’s public schools.
The names of more than 60 educators—including Massachusetts high school teacher Colleen Ritzer and Nevada middle school teacher Michael Landsberry, both killed in October—will be inscribed. To donate, contact NTHF at 620-341-5660, or mail contributions to: National Teachers Hall of Fame, 1200 Commercial, Campus Box 4017, Emporia, KS, 66801.