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InspirAsian: AAPI Students and Educators in PGCPS

May 30, 2024

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a perfect time to highlight AAPI students, families and educators within PGCPS! 

Our Students: A Mosaic of Cultures

PGCPS is proud to be a melting pot of cultures, with students hailing from more than a dozen AAPI countries. Countries our foreign-born students represent, in order from most to least:

#TeamPGCPS: Celebrating AAPI Educators


The diversity of the student body is mirrored by our educators. Did you know that 12% of PGCPS teachers identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander? This significant presence includes a notable number of educators from the Philippines, who bring valuable cultural insights and experiences to our classrooms.

“My cultural background plays a big role in shaping my journey as an educator,” said Dr. Gonzalo Pit Pit, Greenbelt Middle School science teacher who hails from the Province of Cagayan, Philippines. “My cultural background has instilled in me a strong sense of community which I integrate into my teaching approach to foster teamwork, mutual respect and shared learning experiences.”

Historical Trend: Filipino-American Community


PGCPS international student specialist Patricia Chiancone describes a strong, long-standing Filipino-American community in southern Prince George’s County which dates back more than 40 years, pointing out the many U.S. born students along with recent arrivals.  

“I was among the Filipino pioneer teachers who came to the United States to teach in Baltimore City Public Schools,” said Largo High School teacher Dr. Julita Lizardo, who came to the U.S. in 2005. “I struggled in my initial years, but faith, values and support from the community helped me not just survive, but thrive.” 

Newest Trend: Afghan Resettlement


Since August 2021, over 6,000 Afghan refugees have resettled in the Washington DC area after fleeing their homes in Kabul due to the Taliban's takeover. Maryland received the fifth highest number of Afghan arrivals in the country, with Prince George’s County becoming home to the largest number of resettled Afghan refugees in Maryland.

AAPI Month serves as a reminder of the rich spectrum of cultures and experiences AAPI students and educators bring to PGCPS to enhance our schools and foster a more inclusive and vibrant community. 

Check out #PGCPSInspirAsian on the PGCPS InstagramFacebook and Twitter/X and LinkedIn channels to hear firsthand from from PGCPS AAPI educators and leaders on how they bring their backgrounds and culture into the classroom and workplace.