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Carefree Cares Recipient is Luo Laoshi

The Town of Carefree is proud to recognize one outstanding Cave Creek Unified School staff member from each school each quarter of the school year based on exemplary service to our community and schools. HTES is very proud to announce that our 2nd quarter "Carefree Cares" recipient is Luo Laoshi! Lijia Luo is a ROCKSTAR first grade Chinese Immersion teacher at Horseshoe Trails. She’s only in her second year of teaching after graduating from Arizona State University and you’d never know it. Her work ethic and dedication to her students and her teaching is second to none. She works tirelessly before and after school to ensure she’s meeting the needs of her kiddos and what impresses me the most about Lijia this early in her career is her ability to reflect, think, and make instructional adjustments so that all kids can be successful in her room.

Protecting the fidelity of the Chinese Immersion classroom is of the utmost importance to Lijia. She’s always instructing in the target language and rarely allows her students to communicate in English to her and to their peers. Due to this commitment on her part, student growth in language proficiency has been tremendous.

Most importantly, she cares deeply for her kids and is so genuine, kind, and patient. For first grade students (or students of any age), learning in an immersion classroom can be a really scary thing. Lijia is very mindful of this and takes great measures to provide a safe and nurturing classroom for her students. She uses proximity, physical touch, hand gestures, visuals, and body language to communicate with kids but also to build positive rapport. At the end of the day, Lijia is giving her students the two most important things a teacher can provide: RIGOR and RELATIONSHIPS.

Our students, staff, and families simply adore Lijia and she’s a huge reason why our Chinese Immersion program continues to grow and improve. I haven’t even mentioned that she went right back to school after graduating with her degree in teaching and is now pursuing a Masters degree in Science from ASU. It’s amazing how much time she puts in at work considering the responsibilities she has outside of the classroom as well.

I’m beyond excited for Lijia to receive this award because she’s so deserving but also because she’s really hard on herself. She truly doesn’t realize the difference she’s making with our kids. Let’s hope this award will help in that regard. We appreciate you Lijia and your hard work is not going unnoticed. THANK YOU!