Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and ABC30 is highlighting the life of Clovis Unified teacher Vicky Xiong-Lor.

Left: 6-year-old Vicky Xiong-Lor in Thailand - RIGHT: Vicky Xiong-Lor, Ed.D. candidate in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State

Vicky Xiong-Lor


From refugee to role model

Vicky Xiong-Lor has taught in Clovis Unified for 19 years where she is currently teaching 2nd grade at Cole Elementary. She is currently an Ed.D. candidate in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State and will be graduating in May. Vicky also teaches a course at Fresno State in the Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education Department. She is the Hmong lead teacher for the Central California World Language Project to be starting in the fall at Fresno State. She is actively involved in the community where she currently serves as a member of the Southeast Asian Task Force. She is also a member of the Central California Bilingual/Dual language Consortium.

Vicky was instrumental as a Teacher on Special Assignment for the Hmong Refugee Resettlement Project in Clovis during the 2004-2005 school year.

She has served as a board member for the California Association for Asian Pacific Bilingual Education (CAFABE), and was a board member for Stone Soup of Fresno. She was the coordinator for the Hmong Culture and Literacy Academy at Stone Soup since 2005. Each summer, her program attracted more than 150 Hmong kids from Preschool to 12th grade from the central valley.

She is dedicated to furthering the understanding of diversity among cultures in schools and in the community, and works to promote multicultural and multilingual education. Vicky is also passionate about educating Hmong parents. She was the coordinator of a Hmong Parent Advocacy group at Stone Soup Fresno in 2010-2012. She provided resources for Hmong parents to access the school system and get involved in their children's education. She was also a co-host of Hmong READS (Read Endlessly to Achieve and Develop Success), a weekly radio program that was funded by Fresno Unified, designed to promote literacy in Hmong homes and connect Hmong families to school resources on the KBIF 900 AM radio station.

Vicky earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fresno and her Master of Arts degree in Mathematics Education from Fresno Pacific University. Vicky is married to Kyle Tsav Yeej Lor and has three children: Joshua Siab Zoo Lor , Brandon Tsim Txuj Lor , and Rachel Tshua Lor.

PHOTOS
Survivor

Vicky is the oldest of nine children. She has five brothers and three sisters. Her family came to America in 1980 when she was just seven years old because her father had served in the Secret War in Laos since he was 12.

Born a premature baby in the war-torn country of Laos, it was incredible that she survived. For a whole year, her family and relatives along with other Hmong families lived in the jungles of Laos as they searched for a path to the refugee camp in Thailand. Her father left Vicky, her mom, and two brothers behind in Laos while he searched for a safe route to Thailand. A year later, Vicky's father came back to Laos and brought them to Thailand. In Thailand, Vicky fell into a drinking water well one day after a week of the summer monsoon, but was able to walk away from the near drowning experience with the help of her brother and friend.

Once in America Vicky excelled in her education. Vicky started school in in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1983 she left Fulton Elementary School to come to Fresno California. She attended graduated Birney Elementary, Fort Miller Middle School and went on to graduate from McLane High School in 1991. Four years later in 1995, she earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies and landed her first teaching job in Clovis in 1996 after earning her teaching credential.

She was the first in her family to graduate with a college degree and will be the first to earn her doctorate degree in May.

Vicky's passion lies in preserving her language and culture for future generations. She attributes her success to her mother's and father's love and support in her early years of life. Vicky's father made sure that Vicky and her siblings got to school safely each morning by driving them to school and picked them up from school each and every day. Her mother provided a nice warm breakfast for them each morning and had a good meal waiting for them when they arrived home from school. Once married, her husband's love and support helped her to excel in her educational endeavors. She strongly believes that having had a strong foundation in her Hmong language and culture is what propelled her to achieve thus far.

Vicky Xiong-Lor is a survivor, educator and role model!
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