Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

March 15, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact

Waco ISD-Baylor School of Education Partnership Wins National Award [03/15/2018]

Hillcrest PDS

Teacher Bianca Ochoa, M.S.Ed. ’93, Ph.D. ’13, with Sara Sommerfeldt, a junior elementary education major, at Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

For the second year in a row, the Baylor University School of Education has won a prestigious national honor in recognition of its Professional Development School (PDS) partnership with local schools.

The partnership between Baylor School of Education and Waco Independent School District to prepare future teachers has earned the Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). The award will be presented March 17 to Baylor School of Education and Waco ISD, plus three other university-public school partnerships, at the NAPDS annual conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

The NAPDS award is given to a small number of school-university partnerships each year whose work creates and sustains genuine collaborative relationships between pre K-12 schools and higher education and prepares the next generation of teachers with valuable classroom experience. NAPDS cited the Baylor-Waco ISD partnership “for its mutually beneficial 25-year collaboration and its leadership in PDS work nationally.”




February 1, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact

School of Education PhD Candidate wins Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award [02/01/2018]

Corina Kaul, MA ’14, a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology, was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from the Baylor Graduate School. Every semester, the Baylor Graduate School selects three graduate students for this award to celebrate their achievement in classroom instruction.

Kaul received the award for teaching The Developing Child in the Spring of 2017. It was her third semester teaching the course that discusses development and “emerging adulthood.”

“I enjoy teaching this class so much, because it gives students an opportunity to connect material we cover in class to experiences they have in their own lives,” Kaul said. “When they get those ‘a-ha’ moments, I get excited with them.”

The class is a collaboration with two Baylor School of Education faculty members, Dr. Janet Bagby and Dr. Tamara Hodges, and graduate student, Robin Wilson. Together they share information, plan activities, and work through ideas together. Continue Reading →

January 9, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE Alumni Win Awards in 2017 [01/09/2018]

2017 was a good year for Baylor School of Education alumni — judging by the number of them who received awards and recognition for their professional service. It happens every year, but now the School of Education is collecting and sharing news of alumni honors more often.

If you have won a professional award in recent years, please share the news with Baylor School of Education by emailing We are recognizing alumni awards on the SOE website here: Continue Reading →

December 12, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Dr. Rachelle Rogers Elected to National Board [12/12/2017]

Rachelle Meyer Rogers
, Ed.D., clinical assistant professor in the Baylor University School of Education and university liaison to Midway Middle School Professional Development School (PDS), has been elected to serve on the national board of directors of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).

Voted by the membership nationwide, Rogers will take office in February 2018 and serve for three years. She was the only board member elected this year as a representative of university teacher-preparation programs.

See the full story HERE.

November 1, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Fall 2017 Issue of “Impact” is Online [11/01/2017]

The Fall 2017 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs. In this issue, you’ll find statistics about the School’s outstanding faculty in the “Annual Update” section, leadership news, and important faculty accomplishments.

Don’t miss the cover story on the work of educational psychologists to improve student behavior in a local elementary school. A special web “Extra” provides a video profile of Rachel Vaughn, honored as the Texas Student Teacher of the Year. And if you enjoyed the alumni Q&A in the printed magazine, there are more exciting baseball insights on the website.

Read the issue at

School of Education graduates should receive a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email

August 14, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Dr. Tamara Hodges Named Baylor Outstanding Faculty [08/14/2017]

Christmas break finds most Baylor faculty enjoying a sabbatical of caroling, eating and resting from school obligations. But peek inside the home of Baylor School of Education (SOE) Senior Lecturer Tamara Hodges during the holiday season, and you will find her buried under books about improving teaching methods. Although Hodges is quite familiar with how to teach, she dedicates herself to ceaseless improvement.

Her commitment to learning, along with her passion for teaching and concern for her students, are just a few of the reasons Hodges received the Baylor 2016-2017 Outstanding Faculty Award for outstanding teaching.

“There’s always got to be a new way to teach a class,” said Hodges, MS.Ed. ’94,  Ed.D. ’96. “You have to keep finding new ways so you’re excited, because that’s contagious. If you’re excited about what you’re teaching, the kids are going to be excited too.” Continue Reading →

May 25, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Impact Newsletter Spring Issue is Online [05/25/2017]

The Spring 2017 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs.

Two stories highlight faculty research that has blossomed into university-wide initiatives. The cover story explains how research by School of Education associate professor Dr. Nathan Alleman and his doctoral student led to a realization that some Baylor students experience food insecurity and an organized effort to help those students.

In addition, research into the experiences of student veterans as non-traditional students, started in 2010 by senior lecturer Dr. Janet Bagby, was the spark that ignited Baylor’s significant support system for veterans pursuing degrees at Baylor.

All this — plus great news about inspirational alumni, national awards, student success, faculty activity and grant funding — awaits you with a simple click!

School of Education graduates should receive a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and do not receive a printed copy, please email

May 8, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Memorable Teachers Honored by Baylor School of Education [05/08/2017]

Two Texas teachers were honored at the annual Baylor University School of Education Senior Recognition Banquet on April 20. Every year, Baylor SOE honors memorable teachers who were nominated by Baylor School of Education seniors. Students submit essays to support their nomination, and educators are chosen by a Baylor faculty committee.

Those honored this year were Dennis Saffold of Addison and Stephanie Schminkey of Whitehouse.

Dennis Saffold

Dennis Saffold was nominated by Alexa Roush, a senior elementary education major who met Saffold as a seventh-grader at Trinity Christian Academy. Saffold is a seventh-grade history and English teacher at Trinity Christian Academy, where he has been teaching for 31 years.

One of Saffold’s fondest memories of teaching at Trinity Christian Academy is playing basketball after school with the kids for 28 of those years. At TCA, he has served several different roles. He has been a teacher for fourth through ninth grades, a middle school administrator, and a soccer coach. Continue Reading →

May 3, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
1 Comment

Dean McLendon Takes on Added Role as Hale Endowed Professor [05/03/2017]

Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., dean of Baylor University’s School of Education, has been named The Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and interim director of the Hale Center for Educational Leadership. McLendon will continue his duties as dean, said L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost of Baylor University.

“Our Pro Futuris vision calls us to an intentional focus on leadership development, and these existing center and professorship assets, along with Dean McLendon’s national prominence as a scholar and an advisor to states and foundations on leadership and policy in both K-12 and higher education settings, will provide a new pathway for the University to achieve its vision in leadership initiatives,” Jones said.

Read the full story on the Baylor University site:

School of Education leader will continue duties as dean, reestablish Hale Center for “national visibility and regional impact.”


May 2, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact

Outstanding Seniors Honored with SOE Awards [05/02/2017]

Seven Baylor School of Education seniors were honored at the Senior Recognition Banquet on April 20 at McLane Stadium. Dr. George Kazanas, superintendent of Midway ISD, spoke to the group of seniors, faculty, mentor teachers and family members, welcoming the seniors to the teaching profession and offering encouragement for their future careers. Continue Reading →