‘I’m not afraid to be vulnerable’

Koua Yang, teacher and coach at Harding High School, says, “I just want people to know how challenging and how rewarding teaching is.” (Marjorie Otto/Review)

Harding teacher shares his philosophy on how to connect with students 


“I just really love working with kids. They just make me happy,” says Koua Yang, a Harding High School instructor, coach, and one of 11 finalists for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award, an award that celebrates Minnesota’s teachers and their work.

For 16 years, Yang has been a social studies teacher at Harding High School. He currently teaches Asian American studies and human geography, and coaches the boys and girls tennis teams.

“It was instilled in me early on that education was important by my mom. My mom was my greatest teacher,” Yang says.


Students are her ‘heroes’

Juanita Ortiz

Elementary teacher Juanita Ortiz uses her cultural background to help her students

Juanita Ortiz realized she wanted to be a teacher while she was working in the Head Start program.

“I didn’t know until I stumbled into it,” she says.

Ortiz says she began noticing she had more success with the Latino children because she knew their language and culture, and could communicate easily with their parents.


Johnson High to undergo internal, external construction

The new entrance and addition will be made of glass and metal to reflect Johnson High School’s aerospace program. (courtesy of St. Paul Public Schools)

The changes will take place during the summers of 2016 and 2017

Clogged toilets, wandering visitors and a gloomy entrance that’s not handicap accessible are just some of the building-related issues that have plagued Johnson High School. 

However, long-awaited building improvements are finally on the horizon. At a District Five Committee for Planning and Economic Development meeting on April 5, community leaders learned of some changes coming to Johnson High School. 


Parents want Farnsworth program to be considered for new middle school

Overcrowding has St. Paul district eyeing constructing East Side school

At a recent community information session on a proposed new East Side middle school, some parents questioned whether St. Paul Public Schools had looked at all its options.

The school district administration is considering building a new middle school in an area bounded by Larpenture and Minnehaha avenues, and Arcade Street and McKnight Road. 

The district estimates there will be a 500 student-seat shortage for middle-schoolers by the 2019-2020 school year.


St. Pascal’s Knights boys basketball team captures league title

Front row, from left to right: Coach Joe Hommes, Max Weber, Sam Malec, Peter Hommes, Patrick Wanschura, Assistant Coach Rob Malec. Back row, from left to right: Matt Ray, Aiden Wolfard, Greg Goedker, Joe Tschida, Dillon Schweitzer, Assistant Coach Mark Weber. (submitted photo)

Despite only one win during the regular season, St.


A hoppy time in the classroom

Students had the option to hold a chick or just pet it, after being reassured they donít bit. (Hannah Burlingame photos/Review)

Students get a visit from the Easter bunny and chicks


Harding High School team wins culinary competition

From left to right, Kaylyn Vang, Xia Vang and Chinue Yang. (Submitted photo)

With a winning dish of Thai peanut chicken lettuce wraps, cucumber salad and pineapple crisp, one of two teams from Harding High School will be going to Washington, D.C., in June.


Johnson seniors get creative in cooking contest

Johnson seniors, left to right, Yeng Yang and Va Yang are adapting a Hmong dish to be a possible school lunch offering. (Marjorie Otto/Review)

Seniors Yeng Yang and Va Yang are working to change what they and their classmates eat for lunch at Johnson High School.

The two students are participating in the nationwide culinary contest called Cooking up Change. 


Harding’s new Hall-of-Famer has a strong pulse

Gerald Keenan got a nod from the Minnesota State High School League when he was inducted into their Hall of Fame on Oct. 25. The Harding High School athletics director has been at the school since 1975, and with the district since 1960. (Patrick Larkin/Review)
Gerald Keenan got a nod from the Minnesota State High School League when he was inducted into their Hall of Fame on Oct. 25. The Harding High School athletics director has been at the school since 1975, and with the district since 1960. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Jerry Keenan’s lifelong dedication to athletics gets a nod

Fifty-five years into his career, Harding High School’s activities and athletics director Gerald Keenan has no plans of stopping, even after achieving state Hall of Fame stature.
Jerry Keenan, as he prefers, was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame on Oct. 25, receiving the designation alongside three Olympic athletes and nine other Minnesotans involved in high school sports for the league’s 100th anniversary.


Twin Cities Academy gets visit from education commissioner

The East Side's own Twin Cities Academy High School, it would seem, is at the top of the heap for performance rankings in the Twin Cities.


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