Baylor alumni Todd and Amy Patterson hosted a School of Education reception at their Houston home on May 5, welcoming alumni and friends.
“We are so thankful to Todd and Amy for this opportunity,” said Dr. Michael McLendon, dean of the School of Education. “Their hospitality opened the door for alumni and friends to catch up with — or get to know — each other and the School. The Pattersons’ dedication to the mission of the School is an inspiration.”
McLendon spoke briefly to the crowd at the reception, providing an update on the ongoing work of the School. And education graduate Blaire Howard, BSEd ’12, a teacher in Spring Branch ISD, spoke about her experiences as a Baylor-trained teacher.
Amy Patterson said she would encourage alumni in other cities to host such an event. “It was a lot of fun, and I heard from so many people that they really learned something new about the School of Education from hearing Dr. McLendon and Blaire,” she said.
Todd Patterson, an attorney and 1990 Baylor graduate, said the couple supports the School of Education because of Amy’s long career as a public school teacher, their daughter’s experience in the SOE, and the mission of the School.
“When we decided to support Baylor through a scholarship, we wanted to honor Amy’s career in public education and acknowledge the fact that our daughter had such a positive experience in the School of Education,” Todd said. “The School of Education is sending young people with strong beliefs into schools and communities, where they touch the lives of children and families. That mission is important, and we all need to do as much as we can to keep that pipeline of great teachers flowing.”
The Pattersons’ daughter Darian Schmeltekopf, BSEd ’13, taught in public schools and now works in academic support for Baylor’s athletic department. Amy attended Baylor and graduated from Houston Baptist University before a 17-year career in teaching in Lamar Consolidated and Katy ISDs. She said the Baylor difference is evident on the campuses where she has taught.
“For the last several years, my team leader, who is the youngest person on the team, has been a graduate of Baylor,” Amy said. “The value of the Baylor education is so obvious, especially compared to graduates of other programs. Honestly, they don’t have the same level of experience. That full year of student teaching makes a Baylor graduate more like a second- or third-year teacher. It’s really true.”
Scholarship support is important for future Baylor teachers, Amy said, because teaching is a life of service, and financial rewards are not as great as in other professions. “It can be hard for families to justify the expense,” she said. “But Baylor is worth it in so many ways.”