Notre Dame Academy crest
A photo of students walking in the hall at Notre Dame Academy

Alan Schneider is Triton of the Week

Alan Schneider remembers he was about 6 or 7 years old when he started learning Mandarin Chinese as a second language.

The Notre Dame Academy sophomore is still enjoying uncovering new aspects about the language.

“I’ve been over to China once,” said Schneider, the Triton of the Week for the week of March 2, 2020. “It’s really hard to understand all the characters because they speak so fast, but I can recognize most of them.

“When I was younger I learned a lot more characters, but now we’re learning more about sentence structure. It’s still a lot of vocab, but just adding that on to the sentence structure.”

The one thing that hasn’t changed for Schneider is his teacher.

Qiuhong Zhang was his teacher when he first started learning at Wisconsin International School in De Pere. Now as a teacher at NDA, Zhang has seen Schneider’s growth as a student and person.

“Alan is willing to take the challenge and put the effort in to pursue academic excellence,” Zhang said.

“Alan also is a dedicated club leader, he took the initiative and played an important role in the Chinese New Year celebration and Chinese Cooking Time.”

Although he’s only a sophomore, Schneider is already the Vice President of the Mandarin Club. He’s looking forward to competing at a Mandarin competition next month at UW-Milwaukee.

Schneider said he followed in his older siblings’ footsteps in learning the language.

“My dad works in business with China,” Schneider said. “We all take Mandarin. We just want to be around Mandarin so we can use it when we’re older.”

Outside of the classroom, Schneider competes in soccer and tennis for NDA.

He got the unique experience as a freshman last year of being a part of the WIAA Division 2 state championship boys tennis team, playing No. 1 doubles with his older brother, Will, a senior.

“It was pretty awesome,” Schneider said. “We knew we clinched state when we were playing one of our matches and it was a lot more fun for him. He seemed really happy because it was his last year.”

Schneider wants to pursue a career in business. He aspires to attend Northwestern University, like his parents and older sister. He feels NDA is setting him up to accomplish that goal.

“The teachers do a really good job of helping out the students, especially Mrs. Zhang,” Schneider said.

About Notre Dame Academy: Notre Dame Academy is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is a co-ed Catholic high school founded by the Norbertine Order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Diocese of Green Bay. NDA’s distinctive history embraces the more than 120-year foundation of St. Joseph Academy, Abbot Pennings High School and Our Lady of Premontre High School. NDA offers a globally focused education with a leading IB Diploma Program. Its high-caliber educational community is focused on outstanding learning and creating a lifetime of opportunity for all students.