The School That Made A Difference – Noble Academy Alumni Shares Their Gratitude

By Mai Sue Yang







Noble Academy is a K-8 public charter school in the Twin Cities, offering free tuition and recognized for providing high-quality education. Established in 2007, the school’s aim is to deliver an excellent, multicultural education. Despite facing challenges, the school is known for ensuring students receive a top-notch education focused on state-mandated content and standards. Noble Academy, now 18 years old, has over 900 alumni making a difference in various fields. Let’s celebrate their success by hearing about their experiences and current endeavors.

First, let’s hear from the leadership team at Noble Academy:

CEO Neal Thao says, “I’ve always dreamt of creating an educational institution that equips students with the skills they need to thrive in a diverse and competitive society. Noble offers a first-class education to all who seek it. I want our students to believe in their ability to achieve anything they set their minds to, even reaching for the stars!”

Dr. Mai Yia Chang, the Superintendent, expresses, “After dedicating over 30 years to education, it warms my heart to witness our students’ achievements in the news and online. I’m especially delighted when our graduates return to volunteer at school events. It demonstrates that investing in our students means investing in the future. I’m proud to contribute to an organization that is shaping a future that benefits us all.”

Alumni Testimonials:

Education:  Osseo Senior High

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights:  I currently serve in the U.S. Army (aviation branch). I am a crew chief in our UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters stationed in St. Paul, MN.

“Noble prepared my academic life in a way that differed from your regular public school. Spending time to reflect on it, now that I’m asked about it, my mindset was more focused on the learning aspect of school and branching my education. I was less likely to be distracted by my peers and less likely to be peer pressured into doing rather unbeneficial things.” – Nyiaj

Education: Century College

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights:  A Honor Roll, 3.9 College GPA, Cosmetologist at Ulta Beauty

“Noble had prepared me for high school by granting me the opportunities to grow academically and socially. The teachers and staff allowed me to exercise my communication skills in many ways. As a quiet middle schooler, I didn’t know that I had the potential to make a speech to the family and friends of the 8th-grade graduates. My middle school English teacher went above and beyond working with me and another student on formatting our speeches. That was pretty cool! In the same year, I also joined the theater drama club. As shy as I was, I never knew that I had the potential to use my voice if the staff at Noble never invested in me by having extracurricular activities such as these. As for academics, when I was struggling with math, the Noble Academy staff connected me with tutors to help me with the subject I was struggling with and got me on track! I’ll never forget Noble’s motto, ‘Aim for the stars and you may reach the sky.’” – Alanna

Education:  Sophomore at Coon Rapids High School

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights:  Captain of JV volleyball team, All Program Team Award, Noble volunteer

“I got a really good education at Noble. I learned about subjects like math, science, and social studies, which helped me succeed in tough high school classes. It also made me a better leader as the captain of my volleyball team. I’m thankful for the education I got at Noble because it’s setting me up for a great future.” – Teeb

Education:  Senior at Anoka High School

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights:  A Honor Roll, Upward Bound, Honors Business Internship (BPA), Target team member, Noble volunteer

“Noble instilled in me the mindset ‘Anything Is Possible’ and ‘There Are No Excuses’! Because of Noble’s high standards, I can manage my time efficiently in high school while working, taking challenging courses, and participating in internships simultaneously.”  – Alan

Education: St. Catherine University

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights: Public Health degree, advocate for children’s oral health, NHS, and parent of two children

“I am proud to be a product of Noble Academy. I developed my work ethic and love for learning after spending 9 years (K-8) at Noble. My parents were intentional about putting me there because my home school was considered a “poor performing school.” As I reflect on my early learning experiences, I am extremely grateful that they made that decision. Noble provided a strong foundation that influenced my current achievements. Now I do everything with purpose.” – Nkauj Zoo

Education:  Minneapolis Community Technical College

Activities/Accomplishment Highlights:  Co-founder of youth leadership program, Becoming Organizers Becoming Advocates (BOBA)

“Noble taught us about self-discipline when it comes to school workload. It was easy for me to attend high school and post-secondary school while I was in high school. This allowed me to network with professors and organizational community leaders. I want young people to know that Noble Academy did help develop many parts of my social justice analysis by loving and continuing to serve Hmong people in our communities.” – Huab Cua

Noble Academy is now accepting enrollments for grades K-8. For more information, please visit, email, or call (763) 592-7706.

Noble Academy is also looking for qualified individuals to join their team! For more details, visit their career opportunities page at

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