“I’m Here to Help People Take Risks”

For the 32 Secondary School students who started this school year outside of Vietnam, there’s one faculty member in their midst they’ve developed a special bond with. That faculty member is UNIS Hanoi’s Deputy Principal for the High School, Ms Cheryl Hordenchuk. 

Stranded outside of Vietnam herself back in August, Ms Hordenchuk led UNIS Hanoi’s virtual school programme for students in Grades 6 to 10. Known as the Bridge Programme, incoming UNIS Hanoi students had access to tailor-made content that was designed to complement much of the learning that was taking place on campus. 

Most of the students who embarked on the Bridge Programme have since arrived in Vietnam, have completed quarantine and are happily engaged in classes on campus. 

On campus since September, Ms Hordenchuck says it’s been great to meet her students in person. “It’s been lovely to see my students in person!”

As Deputy Principal for the High School, Ms Hordenchuk is delighted to be part of the new Secondary School Leadership Team. She shared, “Now that we have a Secondary School rather than separate Middle and High Schools, I’m excited to help create a Secondary identity and ensure cohesiveness within the community.”

A major focus for Ms Hordenchuk is making positive connections with students, parents and other members of the faculty; “Whatever we’re doing, we’re doing it together,” she says. 

Ms Hordenchuk joins UNIS Hanoi after 15 years working in the Middle East. She was drawn to UNIS Hanoi because of the school’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) but also the School’s reputation for delivering high quality education, while remaining inclusive. 

Her journey to Hanoi was long and complex, but now she’s here, she’s keen to help people take the risks that they want to take and support them in any way she can. 

Five Facts

  1. Managed to learn French and Spanish while living in the vast anglophone bread basket of the Canadian Prairies.

  2. Has butchered chickens, pigs and cows from the age of 5.

  3. Can work power tools such as the chainsaw to cut down trees at the lake or at the farm.

  4. Decorated her first wedding cake at the age of 10.  

  5. Can read lips because her brother was born with hearing loss.