LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When you meet Lori Dipietro, a 4th grade teacher at William K. Moore Elementary, it will be hard not to smile. She's been making an impact on student lives right in her hometown for 22 years.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, she is now teaching reading and writing.
"This class in particular I have a special bond with because I've watched them grow in reading since they were young," Dipietro said. "and I love that they are doing great."
Her passion for education developed when she was five.
"I used to play school," Dipietro said. "My dad got me a little desk and I had it in the living room and I had all my stuffed animals out and I would take attendance and read to them so I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I still love it."
Her students adore her.
"'Mrs. Dipietro is my favorite teacher,' that's what you hear all the time," said Principal McKenzie.
Principal McKenzie said the students who make up the school demographics are mostly Latino and Black with many students facing hardships at home. Everything from homelessness to foster care makes going to school not only a place to learn, but a safe space.
A safe space is something Dipreito helps provide.
"It's love, it's laughter, it's learning, and that's what I do," Dipietro said. "I try to promote a family. This is an honest and open place. Your secrets are safe here, and with me and you can trust me, and they do trust me. They trust me to teach them what they need to know for 4th grade and I can't let them down."