Yi-Wen Liu, Mandarin teacher and chair of the Upper School World Language Department, has been recognized by the University of Chicago with an Outstanding Educator Award. The honor is the result of a nomination by Lila Wilson ’23, one of Liu’s students who is now a freshman at the university.
“I was thrilled when I heard that Lila nominated me as an Outstanding Educator,” Liu said. “When I received the award in the mail, it was a great reminder of why I became an educator — and how much I appreciate Ravenscroft students like her.”
“I can’t tell you how meaningful this class has been to me!” Wilson wrote in a note to Liu that was included with the award. “Your kindness has meant the world, and over the past four years I feel like I’ve learned so much and have been inspired to learn so much more as I continue my education. Thank you for being an incredible teacher.”
Liu has been at Ravenscroft since 2019. Under her leadership, the Mandarin program at Ravenscroft has been recognized by the Chinese Language Teachers Association as one of 20 Distinguished K-12 Chinese Programs in the United States for 2023. During her tenure, numerous Upper School Mandarin students have had their written work included in the annual CLTA publication “Selection of American K-12 Outstanding Chinese Works.”
With the program’s success has come growth, and a third full-time Mandarin teacher, Yan Zhou, join Liu and colleague Chiu-Ping Lin this year.
Liu has also been active in professional organizations that bolster the work of world language faculty. She currently serves as president of the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, having served on the executive board since 2016. She is also past president of the Chinese Teachers Association of North Carolina. Through her association with both groups, she has helped them connect across shared goals and boost participation among members.
Liu has encouraged her students to consider the value in such collaboration as well. The Upper School’s Pan-Asian Affinity Group, which Liu advises, partnered with Cary Academy and Durham Academy to plan the first Triangle Asian Alliance Conference in April 2023.
Learn more about Ravenscroft’s World Language programs in this Spring 2022 story from Ravenscroft Magazine, Four Innovations Boosting Learning and Engagement in World Languages.