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The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

Saying Farewell to Mr. Truong After Fourteen Years

Mr. Truong, then and now. (Photos courtesy of the LRHS Yearbook)

For fourteen years, the annex has been marked by the familiar face of Mr. Andrew Truong. To many students, Mr. Truong’s personality is inseparable from a thorough account of their experience at Lakeland Regional High School, and for many of his colleagues, next year will feel just a bit different without his signature sense of humor.


Looking Back

Mr. Truong started teaching at Lakeland in 2010. In an interview with The Lancer Ledger, he reflected bittersweetly: “Lakeland is the only place I’ve ever taught.” Before his time here, he worked as a civil engineer, coincidentally alongside Mr. Jared Slusarczyk at Langan Engineering.

In an interview with Dr. David Niedosik, who supervises the math and science departments, he shared with the Ledger, “I first met Mr. Truong in [the] spring of 2010 when he was serving as a substitute teacher.  I remember that he had wonderful classroom control, for a sub, but was worried that he seemed so regimented I didn’t know if he would be successful with kids.” Coming from his career as an engineer, Mr. Truong was used to procedure and order, clearly testing out these strategies in the classroom. “I was leaving at the end of that year,” continued Dr. N, “and highly recommended him for a permanent teaching job and was delighted to find that he was offered one at Lakeland.”

Seconding Dr. N’s reflections, Ms. Kristin Dowling told the Ledger that Mr. Truong “was a substitute teacher before he started teaching here full-time. He was very good at math, and he was very reliable. It was an easy transition to being a teacher, we all liked him as a sub so we all liked when he got the position.”

Mr. Truong graduated with his masters of science in computer science in the spring of 2024.

In the beginning, Mr. Truong taught Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Geometry, and Math Skills 11. In his second year, he was handed the considerable task of teaching AP Computer Science. “My first few years of teaching the course were rough,” he admitted. “I had very little experience except for a semester and a half of computer science.”

However, Mr. Truong would soon choose to persevere and tackle these challenges head-on, a decision that culminated in him recently earning his Masters in Computer Science from NJIT. “I can now say that I’m very confident in my programming skills,” Mr. Truong began. In “both of the AP Computer Science courses offered, [Lakeland’s] averages were above state and national averages [for] the last five years, with one student earning a perfect score on the APCSP exam/project in 2021.”

Ms. Brielle Fanning, who had Mr. Truong as her APCS teacher when she was a LRHS senior, remembers that Mr. Truong “was an excellent teacher who helped prepare us for the exam as well as getting to know us as people. He always made class fun and always made tangible connections to the real world. I took everything I learned in this course into college where I was fully prepared for computer science classes.” Indeed, Mr. Truong always does his utmost to use real-world connections and examples to facilitate an enhanced understanding of the curriculum.

The path to a successful computer science program at Lakeland was not always an easy one. “Mr. Truong has been an innovator here at Lakeland with regards to our Computer Science program,” began Dr. N, who candidly told the Ledger, “Ms. Murphy was barely keeping the program alive and then Mr. Truong expressed his interest and jumped-in ‘full speed.’ He not only developed our AP Comp Sci classes, but also the Java elective and also was able to share C++ with Murph.” Today, both AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles are highly popular electives, particularly among juniors and seniors, and are both completely accessible even to students coming in with zero programming experience.

Mr. Truong (bottom right) smiles with the 2024 math department.
(Courtesy of Instagram)

Dr. N explained, “Mr. Truong allowed our Comp Sci program to grow and flourish. His interest was a strong motivator for Ms. Murphy to develop SCRATCH and Mr. Brzozowski to learn and develop Python class. We offer a solid Comp Sci selection of courses now and hope to continue to do so.” Mr. Truong has evidently left his mark on the computer science offerings at Lakeland. His departure “will be a huge loss to the department,” Dr. N. noted.

And while his contributions to computer science at Lakeland do not go unnoticed, perhaps more memorable still is his vibrant personality.


The Mr. Truong We Know and Love

Senior Ashley Hammerle perhaps most succinctly summarized the impact Mr. Truong’s personality has on others: “No matter what mood I walked into his class, I would always walk out feeling better.” Hammerle, who first had Mr. Truong during her junior year for Honors Pre-Calculus, told the Ledger that Mr. Truong “was one of the best teachers I’ve had because he paces with the needs of every student and only moves on once he knows we all understand the topic.”

Of course, it’s not just students that will remember Mr. Truong, known affectionately as simply ‘Truong,’ so vividly. Ms. Fanning told the Ledger, “Mr. Truong is an amazing coworker and an exceptional leader in the department. As a new teacher at LRHS last year, Truong was willing to listen to problems and give advice. He was always willing to commiserate and lend an ear to anyone who needed it. He was willing to collaborate and worked hard to ensure all of his students had the best chance to succeed.” The high integrity and indefatigable character of Mr. Truong shines through in the accounts of students and teachers alike.

Mr. Truong (right) never said no to a good theme day.
(Courtesy of Instagram)

Ms. Dowling remarked that Mr. Truong always carried with him “his sense of humor, his willingness to help out and go the extra mile,” something which certainly helps to brighten and improve the day of anyone he interacts with.

The Ledger asked Mr. Truong about his earliest colleague interactions here at Lakeland. He explained, “I became very close to the Math Department. We all collaborated in our respective subject matters and started hanging out outside of the classroom. Over time, I ventured out of the dead-end-annex to communicate (and become friends) with staff from other departments.”

As if anticipating this very remark, Ms. Amy Saco told the Ledger, “Truong started the same year as I did (2010) but we didn’t become friends until a few years later mostly because he never left the annex! Once he ventured down the 100 wing, there was no turning back.” As remains evident today, Mr. Truong has facilitated meaningful friendships with his colleagues both inside and outside of the annex, particularly with the teachers of the language department.

Senior Nicholas Dobrzycki had much to say about Mr. Truong. “As Mr. Truong embarks on a new chapter in his teaching journey,” he began, “it’s impossible for me to ignore his awesomeness and impeccable teaching styles. With his funny character, dedication, and a sprinkle of that special ‘awesome sauce,’ he’s transformed the way I approach math and computer science. Beyond his teaching skills, Mr. Truong has been a beacon of inspiration, comedy, and love. His passion for the subjects he teaches is contagious and often creates an amazing learning environment. But what sets Mr. Truong apart is his genuine care for each of his students. He’s not just a teacher; he’s a friend and a role model. His door is always open for questions, advice, or simply a chat about life. Plus, there’s not one conversation I’ve had with Truong where I haven’t laughed. While we’ll miss him, we’re also excited for the students who will have the privilege of learning from him in the future.”


Sweet Memories

To start, the Ledger asked Mr. Truong what he thinks his own favorite memories of Lakeland will be. “I have many favorite memories,” he explained, “but my most favorite involve the clubs that I used to advise. I loved the All School Productions we produced, the international trips I took students on (China, London, and Spain,) and the many competitions my students competed in.” Mr. Truong is indeed highly fond of his international trips, often sharing pictures and videos of these experiences with his current students.

Mr. Truong and Ms. Curry sharing their passion for musical theater while watching a Broadway show.
(Courtesy of Instagram)

Ms. Megan Curry told the Ledger, “I have so many fantastic memories of Truong. I think my favorite memories are from the years we spent working on the All-School Production together. It was over those years that Truong became one of my best friends. Truong is simply a great person and a great friend.  Working with Truong is always fun and he always gives 100% of himself in his projects.”

In understanding Mr. Truong, the aspect of his personality which comes up more often than any other is undoubtedly his sense of humor, and his ability to make those around him laugh – sometimes with him, sometimes at him. “Let’s just say Mr. Truong is a bonafide klutz,” declared Dr. N, “maybe from putting his foot in his mouth too many times!” he joked.

Asked about particularly humorous memories, Ms. Dowling told the Ledger, “There’s just so many…I think the TikToks he made during COVID were pretty funny.” Many current students aren’t even aware of this endeavor of Mr. Truong’s.

“I will miss seeing him dancing by my doorway while I’m teaching,” continued Ms. Saco, “calling my room and telling me new Spanish phrases he has learned and our ‘storytime’ during our lunch and prep.  We will find a way to keep those things going in his absence.”

Ms. Linda Dietz shared her own perspective on Mr. Truong’s friendships with the teachers of the 100s hallway. “I will remember Mr. Truong as one of my ‘BEST’ Spanish students. Always eager to learn and had an interesting way of putting different phrases and words he learned together. I will miss our lunch time Spanish lessons and I will miss MR. TRUONG VERY MUCH!” she exclaimed.

Mr. Truong was always a fan favorite for change of teacher day!
(Courtesy of Instagram)

Dr. N wrapped up his thoughts about Mr. Truong with even more positive reflections. “I will most remember Mr. Truong’s easy-nature in class – his level of comfort with students, and his ability to make math seem soooo easy by getting to the point and making sure students understood WHY?, especially with PreCalc.  He has an excellent knack for explaining concepts – a true gift.  I wish him well with his new endeavors.”

Ms. Fanning told the Ledger that Mr. Truong’s “kindness, candor, and humor are his most applicable qualities. He will be truly missed!”. Echoing that sentiment was Ms. Dowling, who shared, “I will remember his sense of humor most, and his camaraderie.”

Ms. Curry shared, “I will remember how much we laughed when we were together. No matter how stressful the situation was, we always found a way to laugh. I will really miss that.” With similar reminiscence, Ms. Saco explained, “Truong is an exceptional teacher, colleague and friend. LRHS will definitely miss him.”

Asked what he’ll miss the most about Lakeland, Mr. Truong responded, “I tell all of my friends that I work with some amazing teachers at Lakeland and I’ll miss them the most. The second thing I’ll miss the most is the relationships I’ve made with my students, both current and former. It always makes me happy when I see a student’s success, both in-district and after graduation.”

Concluding her remarks, senior Hammerle expounded, “Truong, you are very hard working and don’t know the impact you’ve had on many students’ lives. I wish you the best with what you’re doing next, and thank you for your support here at Lakeland.” Senior Dobrzycki remarks: “Thank you, Mr. Truong, for being the incredible educator that you are. Your teacher style, patience and “awesome sauce” will be here to stay with us.”


Looking Forward

Mr. Truong (right) pictured with some of senior class at the 2024 prom, including writer, Stephen Schwab (second from left).
(Courtesy of Instagram)

Mr. Truong will begin a new position teaching purely computer science at Middlesex High School this fall, which placed first at the Monmouth University High School Hawk Hack earlier this year; Lakeland placed third at said competition. Mr. Truong explained, “I look forward to not only enhancing my programming skills even more, but to hopefully build a successful program there. I hope to see Lakeland students at future computer programming competitions.”

Reflecting upon Mr. Truong’s impact, senior Noah Bulleri told the Ledger, “Truong is a great Computer Science teacher and he made my experience at Lakeland much better.”

From Ms. Dowling: “Wishing him well, and his new school is very lucky to have him.”

Echoing his earlier sentiments, senior Dobrzycki shared, “Thank you, Mr. Truong, for being the incredible educator that you are. Your teacher style, patience and ‘awesome sauce’ will be here to stay with us.”

And perhaps most concisely, Ms. Saco concluded: “Good luck, Truong!”


Thank you for everything, Mr. Truong, and best of luck!

View Comments (2)
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About the Contributor
Stephan Schwab
Stephan Schwab, Editor-in-Chief
Stephan Schwab is a senior at LRHS and this is his third year writing for The Lancer Ledger. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger and President of the Journalism Club. Schwab looks forward to continuing to write for The Ledger on various topics and hopes to further his journalistic experience this year.

Comments (2)

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  • G

    GM MieleJun 13, 2024 at 10:14 am

    Wonderful sendoff to a TEACHER!!

  • G

    Giorgi TchubabriaJun 13, 2024 at 8:56 am

    Mr. Andrew Truong made a huge impact to LRHS culture and learning atmosphere. He is a gennuine, born educator and His contribution will be impossible to match.
    There is no one else but one and only Mr Truong!!! The absolute BEST!!!

    Another great article by Stephan (Thank you)
    Mr. Tchubabria