EAST LANSING – The National Education Association Foundation has announced that Laura Chang, a second grade teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg, is one of 46 public school educators nationwide who will receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.
It’s the second major award for Chang this year. In May, she was named 2018-19 Michigan Teacher of the Year.
In nominating Chang for this prestigious award, Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart called Laura “a model for what excellence in education looks like.” Former Vicksburg superintendent Charles Glaes described Laura as “that rare classroom teacher whom principals rely upon, parents lobby for, colleagues admire and enjoy working with, and students love.”
Chang has been an outspoken advocate and practitioner of mentoring and collaboration with young teachers. “In her nearly 20 years in the profession, I am certain that her mentoring and advice to young colleagues has been instrumental in not only improving their teaching skills but keeping many of them in the profession as well,” said Herbart.
In an era of overreliance on standardized testing, Chang’s use of student data to drive instruction, while reminding new teachers to always teach to the students and not the test, has been well received by her colleagues and the education community.
In addition to classroom teaching, Chang helps facilitate professional development in the Vicksburg Community Schools, while continuing to improve her profession by teaching preservice and graduate level students at Western Michigan University.
Chang will receive her award at the NEA Foundation’s “Salute to Excellence in Education” Gala next February in Washington, D.C.