• The Pitch staff is on summer break and will resume publishing in September
  • The first day of school is Monday, August 26
  • Have a great summer!
The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

French Teacher Katherine Baird Wins Award

Foreign language teacher Katherine Baird accepts the Marcellus Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award at Wake Forest University on Sept. 17.

Story continues below advertisement


Foreign language teacher Katherine Baird has been awarded the Marcellus Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award by Wake Forest University for her five years of teaching French 1 and French 3 at WJ.

Baird went back to her alma mater of Wake Forest on Sept. 17 to receive this award, being the first MCPS teacher to do so. She also collected a $20,000 prize that came with the award, which she is excited about.

“I’m definitely not going to spend all the $20,000, but I [want to] go to Europe,” she said. “I think I want to go to France, Belgium and maybe Germany this summer.”

This award is used to honor two Wake Forest alumni annually – an elementary and secondary teacher. In order to be considered for the award, Baird was initially nominated by a Blair teacher and friend who went to Wake Forest. Baird then sent in letters of recommendation from Principal Christopher Garran, co-workers, students, and parents, an essay, videos of class instruction and other resources such as examples of lesson plans and tests to be considered.

Garran is proud to have Baird as part of the school faculty.

“She’s a fantastic teacher, a very dedicated class sponsor for the seniors,” said Garran. “I was happy to help her out with her nomination last year, which was well deserving.”

According to a press release, the selection committee at Wake Forest commended Baird for her enthusiasm and many styles of teaching, among many things. They found it very pleasant to see every student engaged and participating in Baird’s class.

“The judges found Katherine to be very creative, passionate and energetic in what she does,” said Wake Forest’s education department chair and former teacher of Barid’s Mary Lynn Redmond, who led the selection committee. “We were impressed that she was constantly learning and doing different things to be a better teacher.”

Baird is grateful that her alma mater has recognized how much she loves what she does.

“I like teaching,” she said. “I have a lot of fun in class and I don’t think it’s boring.”

Baird hopes her students will appreciate and use French beyond the classroom.

“I want [students] to use French not because they need it to graduate,” she said. “I want them to learn it because they want to be able to communicate with people in another country or be able to speak another language.”

In addition to her work with students, Baird teaches Promethean classes to other teachers. The committee especially liked her use of the Promethean board while she taught her French classes.

Not only does the staff recognize Baird for her dedication, especially being the first MCPS teacher to receive the award, students do too.

“She’s really organized and knows what she’s doing,” said senior Mai Nguyen, who is the designated hitter for Baird’s first period French 3 class. “She uses her resources really well and is willing to help anybody who wants to come in for help. [She] definitely deserves [the award].”

Along with being dedicated to her French students, Baird is the sponsor of the French Honor Society (FHS) and senior class advisor. Senior Jackson Giuricich, who is president of FHS and a former student of Baird’s, knows first hand how much she cares about her students.

“I think it’s great that Ms. Baird is being recognized for her commitment to her job,” said Giuricich. “She combines pragmatism with a genuine desire to impart her knowledge.”

Baird credits the award in part to those other, more experienced teachers at WJ who have been her mentors for the past few years.

“They have helped me figure out how to be a good teacher,” she said. “I guess I can start being part of that group.”

Baird hopes she will never have to leave the environment that helped foster her success.

“I love WJ; this is a place where students appreciate the work you put in,” she said. “We have great students, which makes it easier to be a teacher.”


STAFF WRITER KATHLEEN SEALE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

0
0
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Pitch
$940
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Walter Johnson High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Katie Levingston
Katie Levingston, Online Editor in Chief
Although she seems quiet on the outside, 2010-2011 Online Editor-in-Chief Katie Levingston is bursting with energy on the inside. A former young Parisian in her second year on staff, Katie models her life after certain television shows, namely Gilmore Girls and Friends. She is unnaturally familiar with said sitcoms; she longs for the day when she can eat anything she wants and spend all her time at Central Perk in the Village. Nothing happens to her in real life, it all happens in Stars Hollow or in Monica’s apartment… okay? When she’s not practicing her speed-talking, she plays a mean clarinet in many different musical groups and spends inordinate amounts of time editing videos for the website. Among her most pressing decisions in life are what to order at a restaurant and which scarf to wear that day. She is insanely proud of her thick curly hair when it cooperates. She’s super excited to be a part of the up-and-coming wjpitch.com. Her doppelganger Anne Hathaway says, "Hi!"
Donate to The Pitch
$940
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *