Baughman titled Teacher of the Year

Forensics teacher praised by students, faculty


Dave Winter

Baughman explains part of the procedue of a lab in forensics to senior Sam Sherrill. “[Baughman] believes in each of her students and gives them all her time and energy in helping them to be successful,” senior Ella Irwin said. Photo by Dave Winter.

Kristen Tibbetts and Dave Winter

The response to Ms. Hosack’s announcement that the faculty has voted Ms. Elise Baughman to be the 2020 Teacher of the Year drew widespread approval from students in her forensics science classes.

Senior forensics science student Henry Winter touched on some oft-mentioned themes when he shared why he thought Baughman deserved the TOY nod.

“You can tell she cares,” Winter said. “She genuinely tries to make the class the best possible environment for her students to learn in.”

Ms. B always makes sure every student is set up for success by providing the resources for every unique learner to do their best.

— senior Lilah Guaragna

As an example of her efforts to differentiate her classroom so her students could succeed Winter mentioned one Baughman innovation: the playlist, where students can choose the sequence of activities and how much emphasis they place on each one.

“The playlist allows students do [activities] in any order they want and [to do] whatever they think will help them out the most. It’s very cool,” Winter said.

Another forensics student, senior Ella Irwin also mentioned the playlists as an example of how effective she is as a teacher.

“She makes time for every student to have check-in with her where we are able to ask her for help or ask any questions we might have,” she said. “I think that’s a good example of how she cares for each of her students as individuals and really wants to make sure we understand the material.”

When I thought my life was ending, she slowed me down and told me it was OK. No one else succeeded like this. A goddess among mortals.

— senior Zion Flores

Irwin also said she brings an enthusiasm to the classroom that sets her apart.

“One of the things that I think that makes Ms. Baughman such a special teacher is how much energy and work she puts into her lessons and labs,” Irwin said. “As a student I always have felt supported and cared for by Ms. Baughman. She believes in each of her students and gives them all her time and energy in helping them to be successful.”

Junior Nadine del Gallo echoed the same refrain in her assessment of Baughman’s teaching.

“She’s very helpful and she always tries to interact with you,” del Gallo said, “and she makes the class very accessible and easy because it’s on Blend. All the quizzes are on Blend. All the notes are on Blend. And if you ever have a question, you can come in during lunch and she’ll help you. I’ve had so many questions, but she’s always been able to answer them.”

Dave Winter
Baughman is presented the Teacher of the Year certificate by Hosack and the Assistant Principals. Photo by Dave Winter.

Senior Janael Copeland also states that Baughman cares about more than just how her students perform in class.

“She continuously checks on her students to make sure they’re doing OK both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said. “She’s extremely open-minded to feedback from her students on how she can better them with their work.”

Copeland also emphasized Baughman’s ability to connect with her students.

“She’s also able to joke around with her students and have a good time during class and seems to always be in good spirits,” she said. “She’s by far one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and I’m very glad to have her as a teacher.”

According to athletics director Thomas Gammerdinger, Baughman is as kind with her coworkers as she is with her students.

“First of all, Ms. Baughman is awesome and was my original nomination for [teacher of the year],” he said.

Ms. Baughman is a teacher’s teacher in my world- she’s generous, humble, and REALLY helps- WANTS to help me- when I need help with Blend; I suspect she’d help with anything in the world though! It’s just how she rolls.

— Jennifer Wood

Baughman has allowed the football team to use her classroom on Tuesday and Thursday morning meetings.

“We have morning meetings… to install offensive and defensive schemes,” Gammerdinger said. “she has graciously allowed us to use her room to teach these things in an academic setting.”

Baughman’s Teacher of the Year award reflects the fact that not only her coworkers, but her bosses appreciate the work that she does.

“Today is your day. We want you to be celebrated for all that you do,” Principal Hosack told Baughman when presenting her with the award.

Hosack stated that she hears good things from both students and faculty about Baughman, and has had the opportunity to see it for herself.

“Continue to do what you do because we are in awe every time we come into your classroom,” she said. “Thank you for being amazing.”