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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

A seamless transition: Mr. Ngo joins the rhino family

Mr. Ngo’s poster in his office!

When the 2023-2024 school year kicked off at Carnegie Vanguard High School, a wave of new faces flooded the campus, ranging from fresh English 1 instructors to unfamiliar AP Physics teachers. CVHS’s administrative team has gained a valuable addition this academic year to Quan Ngo, who serves as the Assistant Testing Coordinator. 

Many juniors and sophomores know Mr. Ngo as the guy who hands out PSAT scores. You’ve probably seen them lining up outside his office, back in Nov., anxious to see how they did. But Mr. Ngo does more than just that. His responsibilities span the administration of various tests, including NWEA Map Growth, PSATs, STAAR Interim and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

“You guys already have a magnet coordinator. You guys already have an AP coordinator. So I’m not doing either one of those things but I am helping around here and there. But I do like I still fill in for Miss Martinez when she can’t do some of the school visits. I still go and do the recruiting events and then I’ve been helping Miss Matsu a lot with the AP stuff like a lot of kids get logged out of their accounts or can’t access their accounts. So I’ve been having to deal with the College Board in that regard,” said Ngo.

He discussed the changes that the recent digitalization of PSATs and SATs would bring, appreciating the benefits of digital testing, like the shorter time frame.

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“The thing with the PSATs historically, it’s always been pen and paper. This year was the first time that they switched to the digital SATs. Yeah, and so like that was new for me as well. I guess I’m better prepared for the SATs in the spring now.”

However, he’s also honest about the challenges accompanying the recent change. 

“The only downside was if kids didn’t all start around the same time, everyone went on breaks at different times in the classroom, which might have disturbed other kids,” Ngo said.

Mr. Ngo and his friend at an A&M home football game! (Quan Ngo)

Despite the bumps, Mr. Ngo is doing his best to make things smooth for everyone.

However, Mr. Ngo’s journey to a career in the education sector has been nothing short of a bumpy ride. He grew up in South Houston and matriculated at A&M majoring in environmental sciences.

 “Don’t ask me what I did. I don’t know. I switched majors three times. I started in engineering and stuck with it for a few years but not for me. Did not want to do it…. but I would say I did some nonprofit work. The last one before I even stepped foot in education was a nonprofit called City Year,” Ngo said. 

Intending to join a school-based team to work directly with inner-city youth and improve literacy rates, Mr. Ngo found himself redirected to an office space team stationed in Boston. He made the most of it, contributing to various community service projects with a particular focus on surface-level initiatives. He enjoyed the diverse projects, such as painting murals in schools, collaborating with corporate partners and engaging with external entities. 

“It was different. A different experience.” Ngo reflected.

Mr. Ngo at a Student Conservation Association meeting. (Quan Ngo)

City Year wasn’t the only nonprofit organization Mr. Ngo was a part of.

“That’s how I knew Miss Ford. We both worked for another nonprofit. Or did summer projects with them with the Student Conservation Association.” said Ngo, 

Before he decided to come to CVHS, Mr. Ngo was the AP Coordinator and Campus Transfer Analyst at Bellaire High School. This job consisted of many different duties such as overseeing AP programs, student registrations, as well as managing student transfers. However, his job wasn’t always about working, as would accompany teachers and students on class trips to places such as Italy and Greece.

Mr Ngo also recognizes the contrast between his tasks at CVHS compared to his expectations at Bellaire. 

“I didn’t have a clerk so I had to do everything myself. Whereas here there are lots of differences like Mr. Moss helps out and Mr Ceja helps out so they do afternoon bus duty. Miss Wilson and I do bus duties in the morning here. Whereas over there, I just had to deal with all the bus issues.” said Ngo. 

Mr. Ngo at the Oracle of Delphi in Greece for a Bellaire summer trip! (Quan Ngo)

After 13 years of working at Bellaire High School, he decided to join the Carnegie Rhinos on campus.

“I guess I knew a few folks here who wanted me to come over. And just with the whole leadership change, I felt it was time for me,” said Ngo.

He states that he had a very good first impression of CVHS.

 “Very welcoming. Teachers were very- no, everybody was very welcoming. Compared to Bellaire, which is like a much larger school, you have teachers who don’t acknowledge you, but I felt like everyone here, like, they you know, introduce themselves and it was just a very friendly, welcoming environment.”  said Ngo.

In sharing what he hopes to achieve at CVHS, Mr. Ngo keeps it simple. He values building strong connections with students and ensuring they succeed not only in school but also in life.

“I would say just making a difference. Just maintaining those relationships and making sure the kids are, you know, successful in life and all that.” said Ngo

It’s clear that Mr. Ngo is here to do more than just handle tests and registrations; he’s here to make a positive impact on student journeys at Carnegie Vanguard High School.

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About the Contributor
Anushka Ghimire
Anushka Ghimire, Staff Writer
Anushka is a junior at Carnegie Vanguard High school. She loves daisies and orange tabby cats. On her ideal day, she would be curled up in her bed with a new fantasy book and a caramel iced coffee. Her favorite part of news writing is getting to know new people and learning about how their perspectives are relevant to their community.
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