Chang returns to DBHS

Often when students graduate from high school, they are keen to completely leave behind the community in which they grew up. But that isn’t the case for Diamond Bar High School class of 1997 alumnus Elizabeth Chang, who now serves as DBHS’s assistant principal.    

As a student at DBHS, Chang didn’t realize she wanted to go into education until her senior year. In July 2020, she was welcomed back to her childhood community as part of the school’s administration.

Growing up in Diamond Bar with immigrant parents, Chang said that her high school experience was an important time of growth and development. She participated in various extracurriculars that she said all had one thing in common: they taught her how special it felt to be a part of a united community.

“I loved exploring different aspects of school from band as a saxophone player to cheerleading,” Chang said via email. “I loved the energy of a large group of peers and community who came together to root for the good ‘ole purple and gold.’”

Toward the end of her time in high school, Chang said she had started to question herself on how she wanted to impact  society, and it was through a friend’s suggestion of joining a community service activity that she found her answer. She realized that the work that was most meaningful for her was helping a specialized group of people: students. She also said that she was further able to grow thanks to DBHS teachers who helped develop her confidence and find her identity.

I was humbled by the people I served in my community service,” Chang said. “They had such joy and ability to influence a positive experience that I wanted to continue extending that experience for others.”

After high school, Chang attended UC San Diego for her undergraduate studies, where she majored in Human Development, and then onto Cal State LA for her credentials and masters in education.

She started out as an instructional aid, and then transitioned to becoming a teacher for elementary to high school students. She taught for 15 years in the Walnut Valley Unified School District  before becoming an assistant principal at Chino High School. Last summer, she joined the Diamond Bar community to become DBHS assistant principal, replacing Matt Brummett.

“Diamond Bar offered me so many opportunities that I’d love to give back to the community that raised me,” Chang said.

Chang said she applied to be the assistant principal owing to the fact that the position gives her the opportunity to provide guidance to students during pivotal moments of decision making. According to Chang, she enjoys forming relationships with students and teaching them resilience and strong life character.

“Another favorite part of my job is in student guidance, when working with students we can collaborate on problem-solving and the hidden curriculum of life skills,”  Chang said. “To be able to assist a student beyond the moment’s scenario and reach beyond for a second chance is something that is special in my role.”

Chang has 19 years of experience in the educational field and she says she feels great being back on her high school campus, working to maintain and uphold the beliefs and standards of the Brahma institution.

As assistant principal, Chang’s day to day responsibilities include checking in on student’s safety and wellness, working closely with the GLC team, attendance and scheduling.

“My favorite part of my job is getting to know the students and staff that I serve,” Chang said. “The unique facets of each person’s stories allows me to grow and give back with individual names in mind.”

Moving forward, Chang said she hopes to continue being an educational leader who effectively listens so she can grow in correlation to the ever-changing needs of education. She said she is honored to be supporting the teachers who had once helped her become who she is today.

Her least favorite part of her job is the current situation of being distanced from students and staff members, but she says that she looks forward to the crowded hallways and Brahmas on campus once again.