Degrees and Certifications:
LICSW - Licensed Independent Clinical Social Work - Minnesota Board of Social Work MSW - Master of Social Work - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities BA - Bachelor of Arts - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Mr. Sao Yang
SCHOOL SOCIAL SERVICES
My name is Sao Yang. I am one of the social workers at Hazel Park Prep Academy (HPPA). I joined St. Paul Public Schools as a school social worker in the late fall of 1989. Since joining the SPPS social work department, I have spent all my years working with students and families in St. Paul Eastside, including Phalen Lake, Sheridan and Ames Elementary schools. I was among the first group of dual staff (Sheridan and Ames) that merged into the current Hazel Park Prep Academy building in 2010 (previously known as Hazel Park Middle School). Prior to becoming a school social worker, I worked as a mental health practitioner in a variety of settings, including community social services, refugee resettlement services, and outpatient mental health servics.
I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1985 where I double majored in social welfare and sociology. I completed a Master's degree in social work with a concentration in health and mental health at the University of Minnesota in 1987. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with both the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the State of Minnesota Education Department.
As a school social worker, I work to support and advocate for scholars and families. I enjoy connecting with scholars, families and the broader St. Paul community. I am proud to be a part of the HPPA community, working with scholars, both individually and in small groups. I work to help address mental health needs and social-emotional learning. I work to support and help them develop tools to be successful both in and out of school. I create situations to help scholars modeling appropriate behaviors, problem solving skills and academic growth. My goal is help scholars develop their social-emotional skills and grow confidence when interacting with others.
I believe that ALL students CAN learn when given an opportunity. Furthermore, I strongly believe that scholars do best when they have strong, positive relationships with staff and peers. My hope for ALL scholars is that they feel supported and safe when they come to school, allowing them to be ready and motivated to learn each day. I want to help our scholars to feel good about coming to school everyday. I am grateful to be in a role where I get to work alongside scholars, famiies, and educators. It is my pleasure to work in this space.
I enjoy playing topspinning, fishing, and watching soccer, volleyball, football and basketball during my free time. I also enjoy traveling and learning new languages.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.