Year Honored: 2010Balderas Elementary School
At the time of the Award, Lou Xiong was:Teacher
Balderas Elementary School
Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
There is a waiting list to gain entry into Lou Xiong’s fourth-grade class at Balderas Elementary School in Fresno, CA. At a school where 96 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, Xiong’s thriving classroom is proof that even in the most challenging environments, students can achieve at high levels.
Like many of her students, English was not Xiong’s first language, and she stands before her students as a testament to the fact that they can achieve anything with hard work and dedication. At the beginning of the year, Xiong tells her new class that they are expected to work extremely hard to reach the levels of academic gains she has set for them. In 2009, 75 percent of her students scored proficient or advanced on the math portion of the California Standards Tests (CSTs), and in 2010, more than 90 percent scored proficient in math.
Xiong strives to improve learning throughout her school and district as well. She created new fourth-grade pacing guidelines that are now used in classrooms throughout the district. She welcomes teachers to observe her teaching practices and demonstrates math lessons districtwide. Xiong also serves on the superintendent’s task force, as grade-level representative and is a member of the school leadership team.