Two recent graduates of the Baylor School of Education (SOE), Lynette Atkinson and Stephanie Limes, received recognition this summer from Quest for Quality as outstanding teacher candidates in the state of Texas. A collaboration between CREATE (Center for Research, Education and Advancement of Teacher Education) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Quest for Quality identifies exemplary teacher candidates and exceptional practices in university-based teacher-preparation programs in the state of Texas.
Lynette Atkinson, who graduated from Baylor magna cum laude in May with a BSEd in all-level physical education, is from St. Louis, Mo., and was also recently awarded as the Outstanding Senior Woman in HHPR (Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation).
Also known as “Coach A,” Atkinson made the Dean’s List every semester. She competed on the Baylor Track and Field team and served as a reading mentor at a local elementary school, a Life Group Leader at Waco’s Antioch Community Church, Special Olympics volunteer, and a track and field coach for children.
“I’ve just always been inspired by teachers who have spoken into my life and encouraged me,” Atkinson said.
Stephanie Limes, who graduated from Baylor magna cum laude in May with a BSEd in elementary education, also recently received the School of Education’s Lorena B. Stretch Award for Outstanding Student in Elementary Education. She is from Greenwood Village, Colo.
Limes’ intern supervisor, SOE lecturer Dr. Mary Witte, said that Limes “consistently uses best practices in pedagogy” in the classroom. “She understands that she much create a positive learning environment, invest and believe in the assessment cycle, deliver strong instruction and diligently work with parents and other professionals to make the difference in a child’s life.”
Limes’ mentor teacher at Waco ISD’s Hillcrest Professional Development School, Dr. Bianca Ochoa, said Limes “exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional teacher.”
Selection criteria for the Quest for Quality candidates includes depth of subject and pedagogical knowledge, excellence in planning and delivery, and ability to create a positive and engaging environment in the classroom. Candidates were judged based on narratives submitted by university faculty members, and each narrative was reviewed by six experts.