Education

Homecoming queen finds passion in teaching

2016 Penn State Homecoming Queen Lianne Luu, center, is also a student teacher at Mountaintop Area Elementary School in the Bald Eagle Area School District.
2016 Penn State Homecoming Queen Lianne Luu, center, is also a student teacher at Mountaintop Area Elementary School in the Bald Eagle Area School District. Centre Daily Times, file

Lianne Luu is about more than just crowns and sashes.

The 2016 Penn State Homecoming Queen is also studying to become a teacher, and hopes to eventually work with mental health intervention programs in schools.

Penn State Homecoming Queen also a student teacher at elementary school in Snow Shoe

But she’s getting her feet wet as a student teacher at Mountaintop Area Elementary School in Snow Shoe, one of four elementary schools in the Bald Eagle Area School District.

She’s been helping out in teacher Jason Bair’s kindergarten class since last school year.

“I pre-student taught last year, which basically allowed me to be at the school two times a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Luu said. “This semester I’m here every day. I started off teaching afternoons, and now do the entire day.”

And she also brings a little flair to the position.

Earlier this month, she brought in her crown and sash to show to students.

“It was fun,” Luu said. “They really liked it, and a lot of people actually knew that I was named (homecoming queen) before coming to school that day.”

In fact, one parent of a student in her class brought in cupcakes to celebrate.

It’s nice being here in a small school like this and small community that really embraces and supports you in everything you do.

Lianne Luu, student teacher/PSU homecoming queen

“It’s nice being here in a small school like this and small community that really embraces and supports you in everything you do,” Luu said.

Nominations for homecoming court are accepted during two open nomination periods — one during the spring and one during the fall.

All nominees interested in pursuing the title are asked to answer a series of essay questions about what Penn State means to them. The application and essays are mailed to the Homecoming Royalty Committee, which determines which nominees make it to the next round.

Five women and five men are selected for homecoming court, who then solicit votes from the student body.

Those with the most votes are named king and queen.

Luu also named Penn State Miss Asia in 2015

Luu was also named Penn State Miss Asia in 2015.

“At one time I was president of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, and this was my way to represent the organization, through the pageant,” Luu said.

Luu, a fifth-year senior from Bethlehem, is studying childhood and early adolescence education with a minor in education policy studies, sociology and psychology. She’ll start student teaching next month in New Zealand during a study abroad program.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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