Zeke O’Connor School Newsletter Fall 2021

Ninth Grade girls happy to be back to school!

लचक

Pronounced – Lacaka
English = Resilience
This year, the staff and students of the
Zeke O’Connor School have defined “Resilience”

School Happenings
Testing, Art Contest, Singing Competition,
Football Tournament and Dashain Holiday!
After several months of successful online learning, we returned to school in-person. In September and October, we were very busy with academics and special activities. We conducted week-long testing for Grade 12. Normally, this test would be given at the National level, but due to COVID19, the responsibility was given to the school. We were very careful to administer the test precisely! We had a chance to have some fun, too! We had a school-wide art contest and singing contest. Then we had a football tournament on the last day of school before a month-long recess for Dashain. This is a Hindu holiday celebrated in Nepal with festivities, music, and traditions. School will be back in session next month. Happy Dashain!

 

 

Meet Students Needing Sponsors

 

 

We need 9 more sponsors!
Mina
She would like to become
a lawyer
Surai
He would like to serve in
the Army
Tashi
She hopes to be an
engineer
Would you like to support the future of one of our students? The One Student One Family (ONE) program allows people to sponsor one student for a year or for their entire high school education. ONE sponsors receive photos, letters, and updates about their student and school news. In addition, sponsors can contact their student if they wish and connect in a more meaningful way.

Good news! We have 21 ONE sponsors this year! We just need 9 more sponsors to reach our goal for this calendar year.

If you would like to receive more information on ONE program, please click here or contact SEHF board member, Mary Kaye at mkaye.sehf@gmail.com. Ready to sponsor a student? Simply click below. Thank you!

 

Success for a Former Student!

Zeke O’Connor Student Mingmar Sherpa is Headed to Harvard!

Mingmar Sherpa is well on his way to accomplish his dream of becoming a doctor. But, his dreams even extend beyond that. He wants to become a neurosurgeon and return to Nepal to improve the quality of healthcare in his home country. Mingmar’s dream was ignited at Zeke O’Connor School. He says, “The education I received from Zeke O’Connor School gave me the confidence to envision my future. It provided me a sense of responsibility to myself, my country, and the world. Zeke O’Connor School gave me a great foundation in science and math and now I am pursuing a Biomedical Sciences with Pre Medicine degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.” After graduation from UAB this December, Mingmar will head to Harvard University for a year-long internship. He will be working on a research project in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and will apply to medical school during this time. As the youngest of seven siblings, he grew up in Solukhumbu and walked more than an hour each way to get to Zeke O’Connor School. His parents instilled in him the value of an education and he is happy to make them and all his teachers proud. Congratulations, Mingmar!

An Interview with our Deputy Principal

Lhakpa Ringee Sherpa

Lhakpa Ringee Sherpa has served as the deputy principal for Zeke O’Connor School for the past 7 months. He has created a strong parent coalition and has faced the challenges of COVID 19 with resilience, creativity, and determination. Here are some of his thoughts on our school and his role.

What makes Zeke O’Connor School special (or different) from other schools in Nepal?

In Nepal, most parents are eager to send their children to a school where classes are conducted in English. This can be a severe financial burden to families. Government schools provide free education, but all classes, with the exception of English are conducted in Nepali. At Zeke O’Connor School, we have highly qualified and very talented teachers with masters level degrees. Classes are conducted in English, and there is a strong focus on math and science. This superior education is offered tuition free to families because of the generosity of donors and our new ONE Program.

Why do you enjoy working at Zeke O’Connor School?

Well, teaching is my passion! Even as deputy principal, I am still able to teach 4 classes. The more I give to the students, the more I learn. I feel fulfilled being able to teach children from poor backgrounds and contributing to the dream of our patron, Mr. Zeke O’Connor.

What are your job responsibilities as deputy principal?

In addition to teaching, I am responsible for the following:

  1. Managing overall activities concerning the school.
  2. Creating a professional and friendly environment for our staff
  3. Ensuring student guidance and discipline.
  4. Implementing extra curricular activities for our students
  5. Guiding our teachers to develop challenging curriculum
  6. Meeting with teachers and parents to establish a sense of community and collaboration

How are parents involved in their children’s education?

We have a very active parent group! Recently 60 parents attended our quarterly meeting. Our parents keenly understand the value of a good education. Many of them were deprived of that opportunity themselves. I can understand that as I came from the same place. They may be poor, but they will sacrifice to ensure their children have a promising future.

How did Zeke O’Connor School operate during summer months of COVID19?

In May, the Nepali government once again closed schools and shutdown many activities due to a surge in COVID cases from the Delta variant. Together with our parents, we decided to try to conduct school online. Zeke O’Connor School was the first and most successful online program in our region. Between 50-70 percent of our students were able to access online learning. Some families were unable to participate due to electrical issues or lack of internet access due to geographical or financial reasons. Our teachers were very creative in designing the curriculum and in helping students who could not participate to catch up with the learning. I’m thankful to all those who helped get this program going and am particularly grateful to our chemistry teacher, Mr. Anup Duwadi, who worked hand-in-hand with me to make this program successful.

What are your dreams for the school?

I have many dreams for the coming days at Zeke O’Connor School. Some of my hopes are:

  1. Create a hostel for teachers coming from far away
  2. Build a wall compound around the school
  3. Enhance our library with text books that poorest students can borrow for the school year
  4. Improve our sports facilities
  5. Make road access to our school easier and safer for our students
  6. Connect every student with a ONE Program sponsor!
  7. Continue to extend my gratitude to all who help our school. Thank you!