New SCHS teacher Vonny Lee is the first to teach ASL


Alina Jafri

Vonny Lee teaches American Sign Language.

Starting her first year as a high school teacher, Vonny Lee is teaching the newly-offered American Sign Language class at SCHS.

Lee had wanted to be a teacher since she was 16 years old. Once she began babysitting and camp counseling, Lee knew she could make a career helping children.

Lee started as an elementary teacher in the Cupertino school district. She taught literacy support for kindergarten to second grade students. She also coached teachers in the area of teaching reading and writing for two years.

In March, Lee decided to shift from teaching elementary and teach high school ASL. She already knew ASL from when she was a teenager, learning it when her best friend lost her hearing.

“Well, I can teach, and I know ASL, so why not make a career out of it?” Lee said.

Currently, Lee has her Multiple Subject teaching credential and is working towards a Single Subject teaching credential for ASL. She is taking two night classes a week at Ohlone College while working part time at SCHS, teaching ASL classes periods one through three.

Not only is Lee the first ASL teacher at SCHS, she is also the only one. Not many students signed up for the class, only 100, but Lee believes that the ASL course will flourish if another teacher joins.

“ASL students would also benefit from deaf instructors who can teach deaf culture from first-hand experience. Their work ethics, such as motivation, will help the visual learners,” Lee said.

Lee is working hard to improve the ASL classes in the world language department. However, the shift from elementary to high school was a challenge for her. Lee missed being around younger students.

“I miss the voices of younger children,” Lee said. “However, I’m glad that high school students are able to understand my jokes better.”