November 21, 2023

Sun Prairie Elementary School Teacher Dia Yang is an Outstanding Educator

Sun Prairie Elementary School Teacher Dia Yang is an Outstanding Educator Featured Image

Dia Yang, a third-grade teacher at Token Springs Elementary School in the Sun Prairie Area School District, is a WEA Member Benefits and WEAC Outstanding Educator. She was recognized at the November 27 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball game at the Kohl Center.

For Yang, what she likes about teaching is creating an environment in the classroom that best prepares students for environments outside the classroom.

“It’s not just about academic achievement,” Yang said. “It’s about the journey of self-discovery and the resilience students show in the face of challenges. Moreover, the genuine bonds formed with students extend beyond the academic realm. Knowing that I’ve created an inclusive space where they feel heard and understood, even when life outside the classroom gets tough, brings a profound sense of fulfillment.”

Working in a school every day can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but Yang finds inspiration from the relationships teaching enables her to form in and out of the classroom.

“What truly motivates me is the deep connection I feel with my students and the opportunity to contribute positively to their lives,” Yang said. “Beyond the classroom, the unwavering support of my family and the shared sense of purpose with my colleagues inspire me every day. It’s the personal connections, the shared triumphs, and the knowledge that I am making a difference in both the academic and personal growth of my students that propel me forward.”

Yang was nominated for Outstanding Educator recognition by Karen Steffes, a Token Springs Elementary School parent and community member. Yang was Steffes’ son’s third-grade teacher.

“Dia has such a special spot in my son’s heart – she pushed him to want to do his very best while celebrating his accomplishments and applauding his interactions with his peers,” Steffes said. “She went out of her way to make learning fun and to celebrate the diversity of her students. After school ended, she even went out of her way to attend a baseball game that a bunch of her students were playing in, and all the boys were so excited to see her and have her cheer them on. She will forever be one of my son’s favorite teachers! I feel so lucky to have had Dia to help shape my son.”

Making these kinds of lasting impressions—on students, parents, colleagues and community members—drives Yang to stay in the profession and continuously develop her craft.

“I am deeply proud of fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment, whether it’s sparking a love for learning, fostering a sense of curiosity, or instilling confidence,” Yang said. “What fills me with immense pride is the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on my students’ lives. I am grateful to contribute positively to their educational journey. This nomination serves as a reminder of the collective dedication of our school community to creating an enriching and supportive learning environment.”

Do you or a Wisconsin public school teacher you know deserve extra recognition as an Outstanding Educator? If so, complete this nomination form on the Wisconsin Badgers Athletic Department website. The form asks you to write a paragraph or two about what makes this educator stand out. Educators are welcome to nominate themselves.

The Outstanding Educator program is sponsored by the UW Athletic Department, WEA Member Benefits and WEAC.