Connally Elementary School is celebrating a new greenhouse and outdoor learning environment, thanks to the work of Baylor assistant professor Dr. Stephanie Boddie and graduate students from the Baylor School of Education, Truett Seminary and the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Boddie holds joint faculty appointments in the School of Education, Truett Seminary and the School of Social Work.
The greenhouse project has spanned the entire academic year and began in the fall when Boddie taught the course “Education from a Gardener’s Perspective” to graduate education and seminary students. The first day of class was a literal walk through a garden. Then the class planned the space; for their midterm grade, the class collaborated to write a grant proposal. One of 900 applications submitted to the Whole Kids Foundation, the project received $2,000 to build the self-sufficient geodesic dome and support it with life-science lesson plans. Boddie’s fall students wrote the curriculum.
Dr. Lakia M. Scott, assistant professor in Baylor School of Education, received the Texas NAME Research Award on Friday, April 26, 2019. Scott was one of four difference-makers to be recognized, receiving the award for her prolific research focused on social issues in education, social justice, race, gender, and social class.
The Texas Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (TXNAME) is a state-affiliated chapter in Region 5 of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). The association promotes the understanding of unique cultural heritage, the eradication of discrimination, and the development of culturally sustaining curricula, among other things. Each year, the association awards educators and community leaders who stand for these values and inspire others to do the same.
Dr. Scott receives her award from Dr. Brandon Fox of Stephen F. Austin State University, director of Region 5 NAME.
Scott was honored in part for her extensive research with Baylor’s Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School, which provides a summer literacy program for students from culturally diverse and low socioeconomic backgrounds every summer in Waco. Additionally, Scott has conducted research in rural Ghana and has led research on human trafficking curriculum for high school students.
Take a moment to consider this question. If asked on the spot, how would you define literacy to someone else?
As a literacy educator and researcher, I often get asked about literacy development for children and youth. One way I respond to such questions is by asking how literacy is being defined.
Oftentimes the answer to this question revolves around basic functions of reading and writing. Relatedly, public discourse, that is the everyday ways we hear and talk about literacy, tends to reflect linear, simplistic understandings of literacy. For example, people are generally categorized as “literate” or “illiterate,” equating “literate” to being able to read and write.
The classes are all taught, the papers all graded, and Dr. Larry Browning has mostly cleaned out his familiar office as he prepares for a well-earned retirement. After 42 years with Baylor University, Browning is thankful for the fond memories he’s made and the people he has shared them with.
“Over 42 years the change has been phenomenal,” Browning said. He recalled earlier times at Baylor when Fountain Mall was a parking lot and mornings were spent drinking coffee in the faculty lounge of the SUB before classes. “We’d go in there and sit and waste an hour every morning eating cookies and drinking coffee,” Browning said.
Browning has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Reading, Social Studies and Curriculum in the School of Education. Since 2006, he has served as the chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.
Baylor School of Education (SOE) recognized seven seniors as outstanding students at the 34th Annual Senior Recognition Banquet April 25. Seniors were recognized for their excellence in academic and fieldwork in education programs and their readiness to impact the world.
Two teachers were honored at the annual Baylor University School of Education Senior Recognition Banquet on April 25. Following tradition, Baylor School of Education seniors had the opportunity to nominate teachers who had been influential in their lives. Students submitted a nomination essay about their teacher, and the awarded educators were chosen by a Baylor faculty committee.
This year, Steve Willemssen of Aurora, Illinois, and Andy McCoy of Georgetown, Texas, were honored with the Baylor School of Education’s “Most Memorable Teacher” award.
For 35 years, the popular McGraw-Hill historical text series Taking Sides: Clashing Views in U.S. History has been edited and authored by former history professors. Now the baton has been passed to Baylor School of Education faculty Dr. Tony L. Talbert and Dr. Kevin R. Magill. The duo’s background in social studies and pedagogy brands their writing of the 18th edition with a unique edge of cultural and social consideration while consciously reaching for the reader’s attention. Since 1985, the most successful companion classroom resource has analyzed historical nuances between facts to provide a well-rounded perspective for students and educators.
Flip through a traditional American history textbook and you will find the expected ญญญญ– a linear progression of facts, drawn from primary resources, about what happened before and after the Civil War. Every event from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights movement is covered and drilled down to the basics. But Magill and Talbert do not find the past so simply compartmentalized.
Waco kindergarten teacher Cathy Henson will receive the Centennial Outstanding Mentor Award – a first for the Baylor School of Education – during the SOE’s Senior Banquet on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at the Baylor Club.
The Centennial SOE Outstanding Mentor honor is being awarded in conjunction with the SOE’s year-long Centennial anniversary celebration. Henson was chosen from among a field of educators nominated by current and former SOE students, faculty, staff and partners. Alexandria Knight, Henson’s student teaching intern this year, nominated her mentor along with three of Henson’s former interns: Landreigh Knapp, BSEd ’18; Carmen Gutierrez Rodarte, BSEd ’16; and Lauren Ancell, BSEd ’17.
A native of Teague, Texas, Henson received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Baylor in 1973. She has taught school for 34 years — in Burleson, Marlin and Waco — and now teaches kindergarten at Parkdale Elementary School in Waco ISD, where she has been since 2005.
Senior teaching interns in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) will present their “Action Research” projects next week at the Action Research Symposium. Through research in the classrooms where they are student teaching, the Baylor seniors are learning to improve their own teaching practice.
The symposium will be Tuesday, April 16, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 West Waco Drive. Baylor faculty members, plus teachers and administrators from Baylor’s partner schools, will get to see the project results and discuss them with students.
While working in classrooms this year, Baylor seniors have conducted studies to gauge the effects of allowing students choice in their learning topics, implementing various teaching approaches, using physical activity in the classroom, and more.
The Baylor University School of Education hosted a mission trip over spring break to San Jose, Costa Rica, taking a group of 19 students – including a Baylor pre-business major who grew up in the community he returned to serve – and faculty members to work in an elementary school and high school in the rural community of Santa Elena.
Members of the Costa Rica education trip had the opportunity to teach classes that helped Costa Ricans practice their English and participate in a community philanthropic event to help the schools and the Santa Elena community with their education and English skills.
“It was an amazing experience with the teachers, community members and students at the school,” said Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., mission trip staff leader and graduate program director in the Baylor School of Education. “We learned so much and had a chance to engage in cultural activity so that we all shared our backgrounds. Dr. Randy Wood and I began this partnership 11 years ago. It has been a wonderful experience where we have developed lasting friendships. One of the best things has been watching the children grow up over the 11 years and see where they are now. When we go back each year and see them—again it is like family.”
Dr. Robert Cloud, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership in the Baylor School of Education, received the Lifetime Leadership Award from Higher Education Innovation (HEI) at its conference in March.
In presenting the award, HEI president Dr. Mary Darden, MSEd ’91, EdD ’06, a former student of Cloud’s, said that he always set an example of integrity, honor and self-sacrifice.
“Dr. Cloud always went above and beyond, especially for students,” Darden said. “He expected the best from his students and almost always got it. He was a mentor and encourager, challenger, scholar and advocate.”
Baylor’s Mathematics for Early Learners Academy (MELA) program, hosted at the Mayborn Museum each summer, received $70,000 from the Cooper Foundation for the summer of 2019, allowing the program for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to expand to more schools. The Baylor School of Education previously funded the program, but now MELA is expanding with the goal to serve a hundred students.
The four-week experience, led by Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor of mathematics education, aims to build on children’s developing understanding of early number concepts with children from five Waco ISD elementary schools: South Waco, Crestview, Brook Avenue, JH Hines, and Alta Vista. The grant will now allow MELA to expand to LaVega ISD. Students with low district assessment scores are eligible to attend, and Cooper’s research has shown that math abilities of the participants progressed to get them ready for the next grade level.
Marrs McLean Science Building Courtyard is the place to be March 22 from 4-6 p.m. Mark your calendars! Baylor School of Education is celebrating with live music from In10City Band, fun giveaways, games, fantastic prize drawings, George’s catering, a photo booth and more!
March 22, 1919, is the actual date that the Baylor Board of Trustees voted to create the School of Education as a separate academic unit dedicated to preparing educators.
Suzanne Nesmith, Ph.D., is passionate about the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across the disciplines, and now she has taken that commitment to new heights. A science educator, associate professor and associate dean in the Baylor University School of Education, Nesmith is serving as president of the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA), a multi-disciplinary organization founded in 1901. Her two-year term as president runs until the fall of 2020.
SSMA brings together researchers and teachers to promote research, scholarship and practice to improve school science and mathematics and to advance the integration of school science and mathematics.
“The organization was multi-disciplinary very early in its history and is the oldest STEM organization in its addressing of more than one content area,” Nesmith said. “And that’s why it’s one of my favorite organizations and I get so much out of it, because we have individuals with expertise in different fields coming together and recognizing the value of looking at things from these different perspectives.”
Baylor School of Education graduate Dr. Neil Shanks, who will join the Baylor faculty in the fall, received the 2018 Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award from the National Council for the Social Studies. The award recognizes outstanding research completed in pursuit of a doctoral degree.
Shanks graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and in 2014 with a Master of Science in Education. He then completed his doctorate in social studies education at the University of Texas.
Maria Franquiz, Ph.D., a national expert on bilingual education and professor at the University of Utah College of Education, has chosen a Baylor University-related theme of “Illuminate” for her Feb. 19 campus lecture, “Illuminating the World Through the Gift of Bilingualism.”
“The theme to ‘Illuminate’ is beautiful. It allows us to see what is familiar while at the same time widening our seeing to what is unfamiliar. This broader view can offer new insights for becoming our best selves,” she said.
Franquiz will deliver the Centennial Lecture for the Baylor School of Education, co-sponsored by the Baylor Office of the Vice Provost for Research, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Packard Auditorium (101) of the Marrs McLean Science Building, 1214 S. Fourth St., on the Baylor campus.
Many seniors feel the pressure of the unknown that inevitably comes as they anticipate life after college. For elementary education senior Olivia Moses, however, this pressure began to subside due to her involvement with the Baylor McNair Scholars Program.
Last fall, Moses was among Baylor’s first group of McNair Scholars, chosen after the program launched at Baylor. Over 150 other universities have the program, giving McNair students a broad network of resources and support.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program that helps low-income and first-generation undergraduates — as well as students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education — prepare for the path to doctoral degree programs through a variety of scholarly activities, including immersion in research with a mentor. The program also provides financial planning for graduate school success, summer research internships with stipends, and the opportunity to attend academic conferences.
Four graduates of the Baylor Sport Management master’s program are making significant contributions as part of elite college basketball programs — right here at Baylor, where both the women’s and men’s basketball teams are vying for conference titles and the Lady Bears are ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Three graduates are working in the men’s basketball program and one in women’s basketball. They said that the Sport Management (SPM) program, which they completed through the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, taught them to foster personal relationships as well as master financial management, facility and event management, marketing, psychology, and ethical issues in the sports world.
While Baylor School of Education is celebrating 100 years, we have another important “100” to celebrate — a 100% pass rate on certification exams by Baylor School of Education graduates!
The Baylor School of Education is celebrating its Centennial year of preparing teachers to go into the field of education equipped to make a positive difference in the lives of children, communities, the nation, and our world. As we reflect on the rich history of the Baylor School of Education, we celebrate many accomplishments, and there are certainly many to celebrate. One is the amazing success of the Baylor School of Education graduates on the examinations required to become educators.
The Texas State Board of Educator Certification report for the 2017 – 2018 has recently been released. And, once again, teacher education graduates of the Baylor School of Education boast a 100% pass rate on the examinations that are required for preservice teachers to be recommended for certification – 100% for both the content and pedagogy Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) tests! This is the fifth year in a row that Baylor School of Education graduates can claim a 100% pass rate.
Courtney Jerkins, a student in the EdD in K-12 Educational Leadership program in the Baylor School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, is one of two educational leaders statewide to receive a special TASA scholarship.
Jerkins, Coordinator of Elementary Science/Social Studies and English Learners for Midway ISD near Waco, will receive the 2019 Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship from the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) at the group’s Midwinter Conference Jan. 27-30 in Austin. The scholarship recognizes the leadership of Dr. Johnny L. Veselka, who dedicated nearly 44 years of service to the association, including 32 years as TASA’s executive director. TASA awards the scholarship annually to two outstanding doctoral students pursuing careers in educational leadership, with particular emphasis on the superintendency.
School of Education faculty members presented research at the 68th annual conference of the Literacy Research Association, a prominent national conference on literacy studies. The conference was held Nov. 8 – Dec. 1.
Dr. Kelly Johnston and Dr. Phil Nichols, both assistant professors in the Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction, presented several research sessions and served in other leadership roles.
The year 2019 marks the 100th birthday of the Baylor School of Education as a separate academic unit at the University. During this year, numerous events and publications will celebrate the long commitment of Baylor University to K-12 as well as higher education and share a vision for the future.
To stay updated on all SOE Centennial news and learn more about our history, visit the Centennial website at baylor.edu/SOE/100 and follow the hashtag #baylorSOE100 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@baylorSOE).
Faculty members Dr. Sandi Cooper and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith were featured guests on the "Central Texas Living" program hosted by Ann Harder on KXXV-TV. Cooper and Nesmith won a national award from the School Science and Math Association for a series of professional development workshops for teachers and student teachers at Waco ISD schools.
Navigating life with a learning disability may bring various challenges. That is why on Thursday, Nov. 29, Baylor University invited 70 students ages 8 to 17 from Goldthwaite Independent School District to campus for a presentation by four Baylor School of Education graduate students about dyslexia and how to thrive despite challenges.
Graduate students Olivia Borba, Stephanie Fritz, Felicity Frost and Ally Yturralde are each working towards an educational specialist degree in school psychology. They are currently working in schools for a practicum, and this event exposed to them to children of all ages with academic struggles.
The School Science and Mathematics Association has awarded the Baylor University School of Education and Waco ISD collaborators the Award for Excellence in Integrating Science and Mathematics for highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) use in two Waco ISD elementary schools. They received the award at the SSMA convention in October.
Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education, and Suzanne Nesmith, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor of science education in curriculum and instruction, approached the principals of Mountainview Elementary and Bell’s Hill Elementary with the idea of working with a small group of teachers to learn the importance of STEM for early learners. The schools wanted to take it a step further and include every teacher on both campuses.