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Part of what makes Xi’An International Sschool unique is the mix of personalities, backgrounds, and life experiences of our teachers.

In this series of articles, we want to explore into the backgrounds of our teachers that helps make XIS special.

To start this series, we are interviewing Cassidy Outlaw, one of our new teachers for the 2023-2024 school year.

She admits her road to XIS came from a non-traditional path, via conservational biology, which, on the surface, sounds more suited for field work. But she also studied environmental education for youth, which involved creating educational materials for kids, from kindergarten to fifth grade. She continued this path of mixing environmental studies with education by joining a zoo’s education team.

“…at the zoo, it was an outdoor classroom…They [the students] came four days of a week, September through May, but our classroom was outdoors.”

Miss Outlaw, with a giant turtle at the zoo. 

“The Teacher Who Gave Hugs.”

When asked about some of her favorite teachers or important teachers in her life, Miss Outlaw brought up Miss Jeffcoat, her fifth grade teacher.

“I didn’t always speak up for myself, but she was just very quick to realize whenever I was struggling to express what I needed. And I also remember that she would give out hugs at the end of the day. She’d line up at the door and she’d give all the students a hug. So I liked that a lot about her. She was very welcoming.”

The Road to XIS

Even though this is Cassie’s first time at XIS, it is *not* her first time teaching internationally!

“Yeah, so the only other time I traveled internationally I went to Peru. And that place is very dear to me. I spent six weeks there and I got to visit Lima and Cusco but also went up into the mountains.”


“It was very beautiful and the people were very kind and got to teach English there to some of the school teachers for the month that I was there.”

the Peruvian connection

XIS’s new First Grade 5 Teaching Assistant, Vilma Ancassi, comes from Peru! And Marita Aguirre, a former XIS fifth grade teacher, is also a Peruvian-American!

“So I actually had the opportunity in college to meet some international students studying from China on my campus and just got to know the people in the culture through that and really fell in love with it. So I started looking for opportunities to become myself and found XIS.

Miss Outlaw helps in the Library, teaches Well-Being classes with Miss Vale, teaches Arm-Chair Travelers, oversees Warrior Buddies, and teaches digital citizenship. She is one of only two teachers who will teach every student at XIS over the school year.

On the lighter side of things:

Gryffindor, or Ravenclaw?

Cassie, a voracious reader, read the first Harry Potter book when she was in the third grade. And when asked which house she would belong to, she answered:

“I think I would give the Sorting Hat a hard time between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, But Gryffindor, because I really value loyalty.”

A Current Favorite Book Series:

“So there’s a series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I think it’s called the Missing Series. I’m not sure about that, but it is about these kids who are from this adoption agency, but what the adoption agency does is it takes children from the past, steals them from history, and transports them into the future. So it’s like historical fiction and science fiction mixed together.

And then when the kids find this out, because their parents don’t know, they have to go back and fix history.

We hope through this short profile on Miss Outlaw, the reader can see how her diverse background, interests, and path to Xi’an International School helps enrich the tapestry of our school, and makes XIS a better place!