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.
EDICUT Preservice Educator of the Year Award
Meredith Steward, an all-level special education major from Boerne, Texas, was named the 2019 EDICUT Pre-Service Educator of the Year. This award, also known as the “Dean’s Award,” honors a student who most exemplifies the bright future for the teaching profession by the Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities in Texas (EDICUT).
Steward said, “I believe strongly in helping those in need. I pursue teaching in the special education field, because I am passionate about seeing every single student succeed in and outside the classroom.”
Steward is a member of Delta Delta Delta, serving as the Philanthropy Chair and organizing 350 women to fundraise a Tri-Delta record-breaking $270,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She created a new All-University event that raised $7,500 for local philanthropy Mission Waco and St. Jude. To support her philanthropic ideas, she gained over $40,000 worth of sponsorships from the Baylor Student Senate. Steward’s teaching internship was at Midway Middle School in a self-contained special education classroom, learning next to her mentor teacher, Mrs. Jackie Villarreal.
Steward will begin a master’s program at Texas Woman’s University in fall 2019 to become a licensed specialist in school psychology.
“I love working with students with disabilities, but I also love working and collaborating with other adults and professionals,” Steward said. “Becoming a specialist in school psychology will allow me to do both. I will help the students with disabilities, their families, and their teachers determine the best educational path for them.”
Dolores Coker Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Student in Education
Lindsey Carpenter, a middle grades math major from Nacogdoches, Texas, received the 2019 Dolores Coker Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Student in Education.
Carpenter said, “I want to teach because I love seeing the joy of my students when they are finally able to understand or perform something they thought they could not achieve when the potential is always within them.”
Carpenter is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi chapter, an international honor society in education. She was vice-president of pre-service teachers for Central Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CTCTM). At Baylor’s spring 2019 Academic Convocation, she was among eight seniors in the School honored for outstanding academic achievement. She also presented her action research at the 2019 National Conference for the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Her senior year student teaching was at Midway Middle School in Mrs. Amanda Packard’s seventh-grade mathematics classroom.
Baylor SOE Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Rachelle Rogers said, “Lindsey Carpenter participated in three national presentations connected to her experiences as an intern at Midway Middle School. Lindsey shared her experiences with action research and cognitive coaching to standing-room-only crowds. Needless to say, I was so proud that Lindsey represented Baylor University and the future of education.”
In fall 2019, Carpenter will teach seventh-grade mathematics at Midway Middle School in Waco, Texas.
Lorena B. Stretch Award for Outstanding Student in Elementary Education
Megan Talley of San Antonio, Texas, received the Lorena B. Stretch Award for Outstanding Student in Elementary Education for 2019.
Talley said, “I want to teach every day so I can make sure the future generations are empowered while instilling my love for teaching in them.”
Talley is a member of Kappa Delta Pi as well as Baylor’s Zeta Tau Alpha chapter, in which she helped raise money for breast cancer education and awareness. She was recently nominated by Baylor for the Texas Directors of Field Experiences (TFDE) clinical teacher of the year award.
Baylor University Intern Supervisor Linda Cox noted that Talley is a composed, inclusive, and prepared teacher who ensures that both excelling and struggling students experience success. Cox highlighted an experience Talley brought to the classroom when she wowed her first-graders using gummy worms and earthworms to determine the difference in living and nonliving things. Talley served her teaching internship at Robinson Primary Elementary School under mentor teacher Terri Senior.
Senior said, “She goes above and beyond with the care and instruction that she gives our children, and she has truly found her calling with teaching.”
Talley plans to teach in San Antonio, Texas.
Award for Outstanding Student in Middle Grades Education
Ashley Nock of Denver, Colorado, a middle grades mathematics major, received the Award for Outstanding Student in Middle Grades Education.
Nock said, “I believe teaching is what the Lord called me to do. I have a passion for guiding students and hope to make an impact in their lives so they can grow in wisdom and knowledge.”
While at Baylor, Nock was Vertical Ministries Vice President of Missions in 2018, and as a member of the Baylor Chi Omega chapter, she served as Sisterhood Director in 2017 and Director of Programming in 2018. Nock was asked to present at the 2019 National Conference for the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) in Atlanta, Georgia, this past February over her Action Research project, as well as about her participation in the Coaching Cycle.
Nock’s eighth-grade mentor teacher Kayla Glisson said, “She is a profound and inspiring teacher who is always finding new and engaging ways to teach students. She is kind and loving to everyone, and her happiness is contagious.”
In July 2019, Nock will be moving to Jinja, Uganda, to be a mathematics teacher at The Amazima School for the next two years.
M.L. Goetting Award for Outstanding Student in Secondary Education
Connor Galloway of Coppell, Texas, a secondary social studies major, received the M.L. Goetting Award for Outstanding Student in Secondary Education.
Galloway said, “I want to make students feel valued and empowered to become active global citizens who create change in their communities and make the world a place they want to see.”
Since 2016, Galloway has been a member of Asian Ministry Intervarsity that aims to reach Asian populations using the Gospel, as well as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Best Buddies, a program that creates meaningful opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Galloway served his teaching internship year at Waco High School under Mrs. Kristen Williams. In the classroom, he made a point of emphasizing cultural relevance so students could broaden their perspectives, and he often attended his students’ extracurricular events.
Williams said, “The work comes with trying to reach the students. Figuring out how each student learns, how to connect the learning to their lives, and gaining their trust — that is where Connor truly excelled. He has connected without students in a way that some seasoned teachers struggle to achieve.”
In fall 2019, Galloway will be teaching at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas.
Award for Outstanding Student in EC-12 Education Programs
Abby Olson, an all-level special education major from Edina, Minnesota, received the 2019 Award for Outstanding Student in EC-12 Education Programs.
“I teach because I have a passion for encouraging and advocating for students with special needs.”
Olson spent the fall of 2018 at a secondary school placement, teaching moderate-to-severe special education students in a self-contained classroom, and in spring 2019 she taught core subjects on various developmental levels in an elementary in a fourth-grade resource classroom for reading and writing.
Olson’s special education mentor teacher Jessica Hogg said, “She is patient, positive, and easily adapts to student needs and unexpected situations. I am proud and cannot wait to see the impact she will have on her future students and their families as a passionate advocate for students and special education teachers.”
While at Baylor, Olson has been a member of Baylor’s Chi Omega chapter. She attends the Waco special Olympics events to support the athletes and has volunteered at Friends for Life to engage with seniors with disabilities, particularly those who are without a family to care for them.
Internship Supervisor Jonita Huffman said, “She stressed social skills as well as academics — teaching the students to ask and answer with appropriate conversational questions to interact with peers. Along with the students, she inspired also inspired the staff to make the most of each day.”
Award for Outstanding Student with Minor in Education
Grace Wiley, a mathematics major from Sugar Land, Texas, is the 2019 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Student with Minor in Education.
Wiley served her internship year at University High School under Mr. Andrew Chapman. Wiley was the first intern Chapman had hosted in his classroom, so he was wary when she began co-teaching with him. Chapman said he was quickly impressed by her instant impact with each student while also using those connections to fill every lesson with optimism and energy.
Wiley’s intern supervisor, doctoral candidate Ryann Shelton said, “She was outstanding. She successfully balanced all of her responsibilities and actively seeks feedback both from her mentor teacher and myself to become a better educator.”
While attending Baylor, Wiley has been as a Young Life team leader at Midway High School to build relationships with students, sharing the Bible and spiritually caring for fellow missionaries. For the past three years, she has been a Supplemental Instructor for a Christian Heritage course and a student grader in the mathematics department. She is also a member of the Baylor Alpha Chi Omega chapter, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Beta Kappa, Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences honor society.
Wiley said, “I knew I wanted my profession to put me in a position to serve, love and care for others. What I didn’t know was how much my students would do the same for me. They teach me every day and have truly made me love teaching.”
In fall 2019, Wiley will be teaching geometry at Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas. She will pursue her M.Ed. at Houston Baptist University the following year, deferring her enrollment a year.
By Cameron Bocanegra
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