Lay Kou- Southland Elementary

Feb 1, 2021, 4:11 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2024, 3:56 pm


Updated nomination: February 2021

“At the end of the 2019/2020 school year my daughter was lost. She had been a part of the dual emersion program learning Mandarin Chinese and switching from in person to online schooling had simply demoralized her. She was struggling, hating every second of it and just miserable. When the school year ended she wanted to quit! As her parents we encouraged her to keep with it and ensured her that the next year would be better.

Enter Lay Kou! Our daughter now comes home every day and tells us how great school was for the day. Our daughters language skills have really begun to blossom along with her skills in Math and other subjects. She just likes going to school! Because of the dual emersion aspect of the program our daughter has two teachers, and they are both fantastic so I do not want to take anything away from the fantastic work her English teacher Jana Sharp is doing however Lay Kou has really pushed our daughter to another level (and pushed us as parents to another level as well). One of the most amazing things about Lay Kou is that she isn’t an easy teacher, if anything she is challenging and always pushing the fringe of what our child can achieve. She has high expectations of both the children and the parents. She is organized and on top of things and if our daughter isn’t living up to what is expected of her (in class and homework) she pushes her to do better and also pushes us as parents to do better. She keeps the parents informed with weekly updates (sometimes more frequent) and follows up with emails about homework and just the general status of how things are going in class. It is this commitment to education both in class and at home that I am nominating Lay Kou for the Teacher Feature!”

Submitted by: Michael Petrogeorge

Submit your teaching hero! Click here to submit your teacher

Original Nomination: May 2018

The following was submitted by Emma Drennan.

“I would like to nominate the kindest, most humble teacher I have ever met. She teaches the Chinese half of the immersion for 3rd grade at my children’s school. She spends countless hours preparing for each lesson to make sure that not only do the kids learn, but that they LOVE to learn. Being a dual-immersion teacher is very hard. You have twice the amount of papers to correct, twice the amount of kids to make sure are reaching their benchmarks. She cares so deeply about the success of each child. She is constantly researching new ways to teach concepts because she knows, as any good mother, that children learn in different ways. She is always positive in her speech. She even has uplifting quotes at the end of each email she sends. She is beloved by all her students and parents.

But this isn’t the most important reason that she should be honored. About four months ago, my husband suddenly found himself without employment. Not only was this a great shock, but this came when our youngest of six kids was just 6 weeks old. As soon as Mrs. Kou found out, she emailed if there was anything she could do. She wanted to make sure that our son Taylor was fine, and that we had enough to make ends meet. I assured her we were fine.

Then one Thursday evening in December, she came to our home with her two daughters. She had brought us a large box of food, baby wipes, and nice gifts for each one of us. I was reduced to tears of course. The kids were overjoyed with this great surprise, and my son, Taylor, knew for sure that his teacher cared so much for him and his family. You can imagine my surprise, when the very next day, she again came to our home. This time with the school principal in tow. They brought food, coats, back packs, and KSL Quarters for Christmas gift cards for each of my children. I wish I could express adequately how touched I was. I had no idea that schools had resources like this for families. I am ashamed to say that I have only contributed once to the Quarters for Christmas campaign, but I will be a faithful contributor from now on. Then, just before Valentine’s Day, she sent home a box of valentines with my son to make sure he would have something to give out. She is always thoughtful.

One example of how she brings fun to learning was using the Olympics. The kids were learning a fan dance for the boys, and a ribbon dance for the girls, to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the school assembly. These are hard dances for 8 and 9 year old kids to learn in just a few weeks. She used videos of athletes making mistakes, and then getting right back up and trying again. She taught them that it is important to never give up. To keep trying. She also applied this in regards to taking their multiplications tests. For some kids, they are very easy. But for some kids, like my son, these test can be very frustrating. This lesson made a great impact on my son. Mrs. Kou truly knows how to inspire her students to keep trying no matter what. I wish that every kid could have Mrs. Kou for a teacher, and each one of us have her as a friend.

I hope that you will consider Mrs. Lay Kou as a recipient of your teacher feature award. Teaching is a hard profession. It is one that is struggling to get new recruits. As a parent, I hope that we can recognize more teachers like Mrs. Kou, who teach purely because they love the children. They have hope for a great future for these kids. They teach because they know that each child needs to be told they are important, they must never give up, and that they will succeed. Children achieve these goals when they feel in their little hearts that their teacher loves them no matter what point on the line of success they are on.

Thank you for you time in considering my nomination!”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Mothers and mental health...

Mira Cheng, CNN

Maternal mental health conditions drive climbing death rate in US, research says

The maternal mortality rate in the US is two- to threefold greater than in other high-income countries and increasing.

15 minutes ago

missing tooele woman Karen Crawford is pictured, she was found dead last night...

Mariah Maynes

SLCPD finds missing Tooele woman dead

Tooele Police Department said that Salt Lake City Police Department found Karen Crawford, a missing Tooele woman, dead on Tuesday.

1 hour ago

In this image from television the Genesis space capsule, which had orbited the sun for more than th...

Britt Johnson

Space capsule to land in West Desert

A space capsule is scheduled to land in the desert west of Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

1 hour ago

A UHP vehicle...

Peter Johnston

3 minors and an adult arrested in Millard County drug bust

According to Utah Highway Patrol, three minors and one adult were arrested in a Millard County drug bust on Monday.

2 hours ago

FILE - Fans sit under a TikTok ad at a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, April 14, 2023, in New York...

HALELUYA HADERO Associated Press

Americans divided on TikTok ban even as Biden campaign joins the app, AP-NORC poll shows

A new poll by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds a three-way split when it comes to banning the app.

2 hours ago

A digital rendering of The Power District, which would include a mlb stadium in salt lake...

Adam Small

Bill would pledge at least $900 million for new MLB stadium in Salt Lake City

Tune in to Dave & Dujanovic! SALT LAKE CITY— A Utah lawmaker introduced a new bill that seeks to support a proposed development. The development would include a new Major League Baseball stadium on the west side of Salt Lake City.  House Bill 562, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox (R-Ogden), would create the Utah Fairpark […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Lay Kou- Southland Elementary