Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

Statewide Honor for SOE’s Safety and Wellness Summit for Future Teachers


Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff and Lisa Osborne

Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff and Lisa Osborne with the SOE’s innovation award from EDICUT.

School of Education teacher-education graduates are heading into the work force better equipped because of a new School of Education (SOE) seminar for future teachers, and it received statewide recognition for its innovation. The SOE’s School Safety Summit originated in the spring of 2023 when seniors confided in Dr. Jenifer Johnson, Director of Recruitment and First-Year Experience, about their apprehensions regarding the increasing dangers in school environments. In response, Johnson invited SOE Dean, Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke, to meet with the SOE Student Advisory Council to discuss the matter. After hearing from this group of student leaders and volunteers, Hagan-Burke quickly tasked Johnson and the school’s Office of Professional Practice (OPP) with identifying solutions to support these future educators.

Dr. Jenifer Johnson

Dr. Jenifer Johnson kicking off the inaugural Safety Summit for SOE seniors.

“Some student teachers had voiced concerns about what to do to keep their students safe,” said Lisa Osborne, Associate Director of Assessment and Professional Development in OPP. The inaugural summit was held in April 2023 and targeted seniors “about to embark on their careers in the classroom,” she said.

The event was well received and OPP, led by Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, Director of Clinical Experiences and School-Based Partnerships, decided to make it a recurring part of the teacher preparation experience. The programming has expanded to include both juniors — who teach in a local school four mornings a week — and seniors — who teach full-time four days a week in a local school, and it occurs in the fall as they begin their clinical work in schools.

The Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (EDICUT) gave Baylor’s Osborne and Clark-Goff the organization’s “Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award” in the fall at the annual meeting of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education. The annual award is specifically for university programs preparing teachers.

Baylor’s annual summit includes a safety presentation by the Texas School Safety Center, which educates Baylor students about safety requirements mandated by the State of Texas for schools and teachers, as well as best practices for ensuring school safety. Other speakers at the event address health, nutrition, and spiritual wellbeing. Osborne said the information empowers students to evaluate school environments during their job search and equips them to maintain their health and wellness as they embark on their career.

Dr. Celina Bley of the Texas School Safety Center spoke in the fall and also shared the Center’s online resources that can be used for later reference. Then pre-service teachers met in smaller groups based on the school district where they were assigned for their in-school clinical experience. Juniors and seniors learned more about protocols from a district safety representative from their assigned district — La Vega, Midway, Robinson, or Waco ISD — giving the Baylor students a good knowledge base as newcomers to their school environment.

“Even young children are generally well trained in their school safety protocols, such as having the Baylor student show an ID before opening the classroom door — even though the child knows the Baylor student,” Clark-Goff noted. “Some Baylor students came from schools with similar systems, but some did not.”

Clark-Goff said the information on well-being is important for students. “We see the challenges of mental, spiritual, and physical health for teachers,” she said, and those wellness concerns are just as real for Baylor pre-service teachers. It’s important to establish good routines as early as possible, because teachers — and student teachers — are so focused on creating safe spaces for children that they may not attend to their own wellbeing, she noted.

“Teaching is an adult responsibility, so our students are beginning that challenging transition to adulthood, possibly before some of their Baylor peers,” Clark-Goff said.

The seminar included presentations on nutrition, movement, and character that were designed to “create space to consider healthy practices that will enable you to be the best version of yourself both personally and professionally,” according to the printed program.

Clark-Goff said the nutrition session was very practical, with advice on attainable ways to practice good nutrition when busy with life as both a university student and an educator. There was also an emphasis on movement to promote physical and mental health. A focus on spiritual health introduced students to the SOE’s Center for School Leadership, which can be a source of support throughout their careers.

Both Clark-Goff and Osborne are gratified to have received a statewide award as representatives of the SOE, but they are more satisfied with the knowledge that the Baylor School Safety and Wellness Summit is preparing Baylor students to address the unique challenges of the school environment, so that they can impact society through improved outcomes for their students and themselves.


For more news from Baylor School of Education, visit the Instant Impact home page.
For media inquiries, please contact / (254) 710-6435.


For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. 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. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit to learn more.


Baylor 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.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.