Biola University School of Education alumna Kaiyan Wang ('13) was named 2024 Teacher of the Year for Compton Unified School District (CUSD). She was notified of the honor in a private surprise event in her classroom at Compton High School on April 11, 2024.

Wang teaches Chinese and computer science, teaching Chinese 1, 2, 3, and 4 and the class, Project Lead for The Way Computer Science, which provides innovative programming in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. In addition, she’s the World Language Department Chair, an eSports Coach, Drone Program Coach, teaches Saturday School, and is a VILS Coach.

“Your commitment to Compton Unified and Compton High School, with our scholars and our staff, is greatly appreciated,” said Compton High School Principal Larry Natividad. “For you to be a thought leader on the campus is something we relish and we want to thank you for your years of service here.”

Compton High School Assistant Principal Alejandro Lopez also touted her dedication to teaching.

“She’s one of the first teachers here on campus every day and is one of the last to leave each day," said Lopez. "You exemplify the type of teacher we want to see at Compton Unified.”

Wang has worked at Compton High School since 2015 and has taught for 13 years total. She was born and grew up in China. She didn’t love school or studying until she was inspired to learn by one of her math teachers, which led to her eventually becoming a teacher. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Biola University.

“Being nominated for Teacher of the Year at Compton High School is an immense honor,” said Wang. “It's a testament not just to my efforts, but to the incredible students and colleagues who inspire me every day. My journey is proof that with dedication and a growth mindset, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. Together, we can transform classrooms into spaces of empowerment and create a future where every student thrives.”

Each year, CUSD schools recognize one Teacher of the Year on their staff. Among teachers nominated or chosen by their colleagues at various Compton Unified schools, one is selected to represent the district in the Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year program, sponsored by the L.A. County Office of Education.

The Teachers of the Year program is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious recognition program to focus on public attention on excellence in teaching. The California Teachers of the Year program, which began in 1972, is part of the National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with Scholastic, Inc.

Wang is not the first Biola graduate to be recognized for excellence in teaching. Alumnus Michael Long ('94, MA '99) received the State of California Award for Teacher of the Year in 2008. Alumnus Tyler Wigglesworth ('12) was named on Yamaha’s 40 under 40 of Excellent Music Educators and was a quarterfinalist for the 2018, 2019 and 2023 Grammy Music Educator Awards. Read more School of Education news

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