Lynn, MA – June 29, 2021 –Allen Wang, AP Chemistry Teacher and Science Department Chair for grades 9-12 at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate in Lynn, MA, has been named a 2021 Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award Winner this week. Mr. Wang is among 10 educators nationwide to win this year’s award and will receive $10,000 in recognition of his exemplary work in the classroom. Below you will see photos that document Wang’s extraordinary teaching and a video of the moment he found out and was surprised with the award.
“Allen Wang’s commitment to students, families, and the community at large is palpable and his devotion to teaching and teaching well is unparalleled. We often talk about our science department as “before Mr. Wang and after Mr. Wang,” says Kari Schuler, Dean of Math and Science Instruction at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate. “Wang constantly and consistently goes above and beyond to find ways to expand student access to and practice with technology and spark curiosity and joy that is centered in equity.”
The Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award is given annually to a select group of K-12 teachers from KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools around the country. Teachers are selected for the award based on their track record of improving student achievement, their leadership in the classroom and throughout their school, and their commitment to equipping educationally underserved students with the skills needed to be successful in getting to and through college.
Wang’s guiding principle is a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and he has been a prime facilitator for the school’s internal initiatives in prioritizing social and racial justice. He is a founding teacher of the KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate’s Asian Student Union to support positive identity development for Asian and Pacific Islander American students. And as an AP chemistry teacher, Wang frequently interweaves the material with essential life lessons and an unwavering belief in students’ abilities to overcome systemic obstacles.
He has written grants and received close to $10,000 to bolster digital literacy, democratize student access to technology, and fund innovative lab projects in engineering. Under his leadership, students in his Principles of Engineering class won the Massachusetts Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, receiving $15,000 in technology, for creating a device from recycled materials to increase safety for residents in cold climates. Moreover, Wang is responsible for growing the AP Chemistry by approximately 20 students annually and doubling students’ passing rates from 2017-2019.
KIPP MA students shared the following about Wang:
“As a teacher, and most importantly a friend, he has always pushed me to strive for greatness through his grace and dedication for others to succeed. Truth be told he has been a catalyst for my future and overall potential. Mr. Wang is a gift to our community and should be acknowledged and admired by many.”
“From the beginning I can tell that he had faith in me and in my abilities as a student. he ALWAYS found time to go over topics that I was struggling in and never stopped until I 100% understood. He’s a phenomenal teacher and we need more like him.”
The Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award honors the legacy of Harriett Ball, a visionary educator and mentor teacher. A 35-year teaching veteran of Houston and Austin public schools, Ball incorporated chants, songs, and movement to get her students engaged and learning in the classroom. In late 1992, Ball began mentoring Teach for America corps member Dave Levin in Houston. Inspired by her methods, Levin co-founded the KIPP in 1994.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 255 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll over 112,000 students in all grades from PreK through high school. Nationwide, KIPP students complete their bachelor’s degree at a rate of 34 percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than the average for students from families facing economic hardship.