Two teachers were honored at the annual Baylor University School of Education Senior Recognition Banquet on April 21. 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, Joan Brindley of Temple, Texas, and Daron Eason of Dallas were honored with the Baylor School of Education’s “Most Memorable Teacher” award.
Joan Brindley was nominated by Ashley Barnes, an elementary education major who was in Mrs. Brindley’s third-grade class. In her nomination essay, Barnes highlighted Brindley’s character and how she was inspired by her teaching.
“Never had I met a teacher who made me feel so special and loved,” Barnes said. “I hope I can be half the woman she is when I have my own classroom and my own students.”
Brindley received her bachelor’s degree in kindergarten and elementary education from Southwestern University and has her master’s degree in education administration from Baylor University. With 41 years of education experience, Brindley previously taught at Austin ISD, Temple ISD, and Killeen ISD.
“My goal is to help each student achieve their maximum potential in all academic areas of the curriculum,” Brindley said.
After retiring in Temple, Texas, Brindley taught at Christ Church School for six years and continues to contribute her time by substitute teaching and tutoring. Outside of education, she spends her time attending First Baptist Temple church, being a member of the Retired Teachers Association, and contributing to the International Society for Women Educators, Delta Kappa Gamma.
“The most rewarding thing is to have a student come back and say, ‘You inspired me to become a teacher,’” Brindley said.
Daron Eason was nominated by Rebecca Wessman, an elementary education major who took Coach Eason’s physical education class at Highland Park Middle School. In her nomination essay, Rebecca described Eason’s unique characteristics.
“When students recount their experiences with him, they often speak of his commitment to greatness, mentorship, and care,” Wessman said. “Coach Eason had become not only a personal mentor, but a family friend.”
Eason earned a BS in physical education from Paul Quinn College and master’s in education from Southern Methodist University. With 13 years of education experience, Eason is teaching at Highland Park High School in Dallas and has previously taught and coached at McCulloch Intermediate Highland Park Middle School and at Frisco Centennial High School.
“Teaching for me is all about relationship. I truly believe that kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Eason said. He offered advice to the graduating students about to become teachers themselves: “Be you. Be genuine. Be yourself,” Eason said.
Wessman said she thinks often of the positive impact Eason has made on her life and how his example inspired her own passion for education.
“Coach Eason, you have compelled me to pursue a career in education with a patient and loving heart,” Wessman said. “I can only hope to one day create such meaningful and lasting relationships with my students.”
— By Gracie Ozburn
Baylor’s School of Education celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. The school boasts a variety of academic program options across its three departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Educational Psychology. Baylor’s award-winning undergraduate program in teacher education serves approximately 400 students and has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers with extensive clinical preparation.
More than 700 graduate students pursue advanced study and professional preparation in master’s, Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs. With exciting new academic initiatives both at home and abroad, the school is in a period of significant expansion and is poised for greater impact through the production of meaningful, high-quality research and the preparation of outstanding leaders, teachers, and clinicians. Visit www.baylor.edu/SOE to learn more.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITYBaylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.