Lillie News spotlights Teacher of the Year finalist Koua Yang ’99

Lillie News - logoSt. Paul-area newspaper Lillie News recently profiled Koua Yang ’99, a social studies teacher and tennis coach at Harding High School. Yang was one of 11 finalists for the 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award.

Yang was assigned to Harding High School as a student teacher in 1999 while he was an education major at Augsburg College. He was so loved by his students that they petitioned the school’s principal and asked him to hire Yang. The principle told Yang that a job would be waiting for him the following school year.

Yang’s family immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 when he was 4 years old.

“I know what it was like to struggle as a student. I knew what it was like to not be proficient in a language — a foreign language,” Yang said. “Sharing that path, that navigation piece is absolutely crucial. It also gives them hope. Because then they realize, ‘Hey somebody went through it, too; somebody like me went through it and they were pretty successful at it. I can do it, too.'”

Read ‘I’m not afraid to be vulnerable’ on the Lillie News site.

Auggies are Teacher of the Year candidates

Lillie News - logoLillie News recently reported that Koua Yang ’99, a human geography and Asian American studies teacher at Harding Senior High School in St. Paul, is one of 114 candidates for Education Minnesota’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Award. The award is one of the most prestigious given to educators in Minnesota and will be awarded May 15.

“I am very, very much humbled by the candidacy,” said Yang. “There are so many great teachers.”

The full list of nominees was published by the Star Tribune. Fellow Auggies Julie Swanson ’85 and Aaron Olson ’11 also have been nominated for the award.

Read Two East Side teachers are candidates for Teacher of the Year on the Lillie News site.