BSM math teacher to teach in China


Audrey Jewett

Longtime math teacher, department chair, and Math League coach Ms. Jean Nightingale will be leaving BSM at the end of the 2014-2015 school year to teach math at the Shanghai American School (SAS) in Shanghai, China. Nightingale has lived overseas in the past, and is excited to do so once again.

Tommy McGinn, Staff Writer

After teaching at BSM for 18 years in the Math Department, Ms. Jean Nightingale will be leaving the school to go to teach at The Shanghai American School (SAS) in China, in one of the premier schools in the country of China.

Nightingale has had a history overseas, as she spent over a decade teaching outside of the United States before returning to BSM, her alma mater, for nearly two decades.

“I have been here 18 years. When I came here I had been living overseas and teaching for 16 years, and when we moved back to the United States, I only applied at two schools, BSM and The International School,” Nightingale said.  “I’m so glad that I got the job here, [because] the community is absolutely amazing [and] I feel really lucky to have been here for that long,” Nightingale said.

Nightingale has loved her time at BSM because of how the students operate both in and out of the classroom.  “I love that the students are so engaged in learning; my classes can be so fun because they’re willing to work hard. I love the excellent extracurricular activities. I am going to miss it when I leave,” Nightingale said.

For her, the motivation to explore a new country came because she moved to the United States when her kids were younger and always wanted to go back out of the country again.  “When I first started [at BSM] my children were only 2 and 3 years old, so I was only working part time, and we had always said that we would go back overseas when our girls were grown. Now that they are, part of it is just kind of fulfilling that goal that I’ve always had,” Nightingale said.

Nightingale will be going to the Puxi Campus of the Shanghai American School, which is one of the top schools in the largest city in the world and has many impressive assets as well.  “It is the premier school in China; it has the largest English library in the entire country, and they’re a really strong academic school. It’s a K-12 school with 1,500 students and about 750 students in the high school,” Nightingale said.

It was not an easy decision for Nightingale to choose China over other opportunities, but she ultimately wanted her situation to be convenient for her husband as well.  “It was a hard decision because I had multiple job opportunities from China, The Dominican Republic, and Hong Kong,” Nightingale said.  “I chose China out of all of those because it is the premier school in the country and I want to be involved in that school. Also, my husband’s company has offices in Shanghai, so [even though] he’s staying in Minnesota, hopefully he’ll come and work a month there.”

As for her responsibilities at the school, they will likely be much similar to what she is doing at BSM.  “I’ll be teaching calculus and one other math class.  I’ll probably be a math league coach,” Nightingale said.

Although she has signed a two year contract to teach at SAS for now, Nightingale is not sure how long she will stay there and definitely does not rule out the possibility of coming back to BSM in the near future.  “If it is possible, I really hope to be able to return to BSM in two years.  I hope that I’ll bring back with me new things that I’ve learned and will have the opportunity to share them with our community,” Nightingale said.