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Angela Harvala

Angela Harvala (MN '14)


Princeton Intermediate School
Princeton, MN

At the time of the Award, Angela Harvala was:

North Elementary School
Princeton, MN

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary

Biographical Information

While many students cheer the end of another school year, the mood is bittersweet for kids in Angela Harvala’s fifth grade class, who often cry as they say goodbye to their teacher. Harvala is known for creating an uncommon bond with her students and encouraging them to believe in themselves and realize they can create their own future.

Referred to as a “data geek,” Harvala works tirelessly to individualize instruction. She does this by gathering diverse data about her students including their achievement data, learning preferences, home life, and anything else that could influence their performance. She then uses that information to modify instruction and set specific goals for each student.

To get a clearer picture of how students are progressing, Harvala develops alternative assessments in which students can show what they know. She also holds them accountable for their work by asking them to personally rate their own effort and progress. She shares what’s happening in the classroom with parents through social media such as Facebook and Instagram. To ensure that students who need extended learning time get the support, she developed a “Catch-Up Club” where students can get assistance with completing assignments on time. She also leads the girls’ iEmpower group afterschool.

Harvala is active on the school’s Tiger Pride PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports) team. Last year in fact, a video she and her students produced highlighting their PBIS efforts won the award for “Best Picture” from the national Association for Positive Behavioral Supports. She is the fifth-grade level coordinator and serves on various committees such as curriculum, the science vertical team and district alignment.

Harvala’s student scores on the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) tests demonstrate significant growth from the beginning to the end of the year. And not only do students feel pride in their work, they are influenced by their teacher’s pride in the teaching profession—a career choice that she not only models but advocates. Perhaps one day in the future, a student of Angela Harvala’s will be surprised with the Milken Educator Award!

Related Connections

Article: Why I Became a Teacher

Educator Quote:

“Great teachers don’t teach what to think; they teach how to think, solve problems and communicate.”..." (read more)

Angela Harvala Newsletters

Veterans and Frontlines
Nov 10, 2014

Angela Harvala In The News

Princeton 5th-Grade Teacher Wins $25,000 National Cash Award
MinnPost  |  Oct 30 , 2014  |  Minneapolis, MN

Princeton Teacher Angela Harvala Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
StarTribune  |  Oct 30 , 2014  |  Minneapolis, MN

Princeton Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KSTP-TV  |  ABC  |  Oct 30 , 2014  |  Saint Paul, MN