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Goal of state’s top elementary teacher is to help students reach greatest potential

Mai XiongMai Xiong, a first-grade teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Academy of Accelerated Learning, is Wisconsin’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year. 

State Superintendent Tony Evers personally informed Xiong of her selection during a special assembly at her school. As part of the Teacher of the Year honor, Xiong received $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

“A Teacher of the Year demonstrates an unwavering commitment to students,” Evers said. “It’s my honor to recognize Mai for the work she does and for being such an exceptional representative of educators in Wisconsin’s public schools.” 

Xiong is described as “empathetic, compassionate, and caring” and as someone who “works tirelessly to provide effective and varied instructional strategies that students with different learning styles and abilities can greatly benefit from.”

These learning experiences tailored to each child’s needs are at the core of Xiong’s educational philosophy. “My role is to mentor and develop my students to reach their greatest potential by setting high standards for every student and finding various ways for them to achieve the standards,” she said. “Education is a unique and individual experience for each child who enters my classroom.” 

As someone for whom English was a second language, she is passionate about improving education for children who are English language learners and being a constant learner herself. “I would like to be a more effective educator for my English language learners and further develop my knowledge as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme educator,” she said.

Getting parents involved and integrating them as an important part of their child’s education is also something Xiong sees as a key to student success. “I believe a student’s No. 1 teacher is the parent and educational success is most achievable when there is evident teamwork between parents, teachers, and community,” she said.

Photo: Mai Xiong (holding plaque), a first-grade teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Academy of Accelerated Learning, is Wisconsin’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year. 


This story is part of a series appearing during American Education Week, November 15-21, highlighting the contributions made by alumni, community partners, school-based and secretarial staff, district support staff and families to help Milwaukee Public Schools in its mission to provide successful student outcomes.

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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2017 earned $62+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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