Topics & Articles



Ethnic Groups




Viet Nam


or Browse the Archives

or Gets Posts by Tags

Most Popular Books on Asian-Nation


All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

Blog powered by WordPress

Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 4, 2008

Written by C.N.

Asian American Named as a Top Educator

As an educator myself, this news item was particularly significant for me: San Francisco elementary school teacher Mindy Yip just won the prestigious Milken Foundation award for being the country’s best teacher (thanks to New America Media for the tip):

The Visitacion Valley children and their teachers had been on the hard floor for nearly an hour. They had no idea why they were assembled – told only that the politicians and other important people were there because of the school’s great test scores. That was a ruse. . . .

Then Mike Milken, prominent financier and philanthropist, started talking about money. He said he had a big surprise. He told the students he was there to give one teacher $25,000, no strings attached – a prize described by some as “the Oscars” of teaching. . . .

Yip pointed to the back of the room, mouthing to a parent that the winner must be one of the fourth- or fifth-grade teachers. Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, opened the envelope to announce the winner of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.

“Mindy Yip,” Pelosi announced, smiling at the first-grade teacher who looked shocked, but also wary, apparently wondering if she heard right. She looked around, confused. Then she started crying. . . .

Yip never knew she was under consideration for the award. The state Department of Education asked principals last spring to recommend excellent teachers with more than five years in the classroom and fewer than 10. Her name was submitted by Visitacion Valley Principal Vincent Chao. . . .

The Milken Foundation noted that Yip has been a leader at her school, using creative ways to motivate students, including asking them to design homework for her. She also speaks six languages, including Cantonese, Lao, Hmong and Vietnamese, which enables her to communicate with the diverse students’ families.

Although I don’t know Ms. Yip, I am nonetheless proud of her and inspired by her accomplishments. Congratulations to Ms. Yip for her dedication, hard work, and for serving as a role model for all Asian Americans.