Frank Yip named Lincoln’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

Frank Yip named Lincoln’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

Frank Yip stands beside his wife, Toni Motta, after he was given Lincoln’s “Teacher of the Year” award. Yip, who teaches social studies at Lincoln High School, said he walks into the school every morning, feeling energized by the atmosphere. (Breeze photo by Brittany Ballantyne)

LINCOLN – The Lincoln High School cafeteria filled with teachers and administrators who thought they’d be attending a staff meeting last week.

Instead, was an announcement that Frank Yip, social studies educator, was selected as the district’s “Teacher of the Year.”

Beaming, Yip walked past his colleagues, who were standing and cheering, to the podium where Supt. Georgia Fortunato congratulated him.

She called him a “talented, insightful teacher who has made a difference.”

When school officials gathered to select the 2016-2017 “Teacher of the Year,” Fortunato told The Breeze, everyone at the table agreed: It was Yip.

Beyond his classroom instruction responsibilities, Fortunato told the crowd last week, he also serves as adviser for the LHS chess club, and ski and snowboard club.

He brings students on ski trips to what Fortunato described as some of the most challenging mountains, and said was “certainly, a metaphor for real life.”

When visiting his classroom or talking with students, she said, it’s clear Yip makes every student feel welcome.

“He has influenced the lives of many students,” she said.

Yip credited his colleagues for helping him grow as an education professional over the approximate 20 years he’s been at LHS.

Every morning when he walks through the high school doors and to his classroom, he said, he’s energized by the atmosphere.

Every day, year, and group of students is different, he said. It’s a job that’s constantly changing, and he loves that about his profession.

Yip currently teaches mostly freshman courses, and one elective open to all students. Part of his job, he said, is understanding how much students are juggling with schoolwork and their everyday lives outside LHS and helping them balance everything.

It also means having fun, organizing ski trips for the LHS club. One of those trips stands out in his mind as clear as day. It was 2013 when one student thanked Yip for bringing the group to the mountain, and hugged him.

One by one, all 40 of the kids on the trip came up to hug him, and said thank you. To Yip, that was a moment he said he won’t forget.

Yip hadn’t always planned to become a teacher, and instructing didn’t always come easily to him, he said.

The first few years at LHS were tough, he said, as he was unsure if his instruction was clicking with the students. Dick Morrissey, who has since retired from teaching, would ask Yip at the end of every school day how things were going.

Regardless of how Yip answered, he said, Morrissey would tell him, “tomorrow, it will be better.”

He was right, Yip said. After a few years, he was confident in his ability to lead as an educator.

At last Wednesday’s surprise event, Yip motioned to the rest of the assembled teachers.

“This is humbling, because a lot of them could be up here,” he said.

Yip called teaching “the best profession in the world.”

He advised fellow teachers, particularly those just starting out in their careers, to stick with it.

“Don’t allow people to tell you that there’s only one way to deliver the content,” he said.