Ferdinant (Ferdi) Tjiong is a highly regarded member of the learning community at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), where he has worked for over 17 years. He is a person who is always willing to take on additional responsibility, and does so with a warm smile and a genuine desire to support and help others. “Ferdi never seeks recognition for the good work that he does,” said a teacher colleague at JIS, “He is one of the most humble, kind, and compassionate people with whom I have worked.” Ferdi’s professionalism, gracious disposition, and propensity for learning are examples to both students and colleagues. He takes his work seriously and continuously seeks to make himself a better educator and human being. Ferdi does all this with an endearing sense of humour and thoughtful consideration of those around him.
Ferdi was born in Jakarta on December 15th, 1972, the youngest in a family of 5. His father worked as a security guard at one of the biggest bookstores in Jakarta. He worked hard and saved to buy a three bedroom house for the family. Ferdi’s mother stayed home to look after the children.
Ferdi attended Catholic schools in Jakarta from elementary through to high school. His family was eligible for a discount on fees which helped the family financially. Despite having a strong interest in Biology and Agriculture, Ferdi decided to go to the University of Budi Luhur majoring in Computer Information.
Ferdi has always been passionate about soccer. As a child he played everyday and remembers his mother getting upset with him because he always came home with dirty clothes and shoes. Ferdi’s solution to this problem was to play neighbourhood soccer with bare feet and take his school shirt off and only wear his singlet!
His other passion is poetry. He has enjoyed reading and writing poetry since his elementary school days. He loved entering poetry competitions and sometimes was lucky enough to win. He also loved drama and enjoyed the annual Christmas plays at school. At university his love of the outdoors was heightened when he joined the Mountain Club. He loves nature and hiking, and the mountains, forests and the beach hold a special attraction. At one stage he even dreamed of working as a forest ranger. He mentioned this to Sisca once when they were dating and she said that she would have to reconsider marrying him if he took that path!