Baker mourns loss of education professor

The Baker community is saddened by the loss of Machele Timberlake, assistant professor of education and coordinator of student teachers, who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Dec. 10. We will miss her smile, her kindness and her belief that her students would become great educators. However, we are confident her passion for education will live on through the teachers she has helped shape over the years.

Timberlake joined the Baker faculty in 1999 to teach special education courses. For the past five years she had served as the coordinator for student teachers, working closely with students as they prepared to start their teaching careers.

Graduates and faculty from the education department wore red roses in honor of Dr. Timberlake during the commencement ceremony Sunday, Dec. 13. Before the ceremony they gathered to remember their teacher, colleague and friend.

Graduates and faculty from the education department wore red roses in honor of Dr. Timberlake during the commencement ceremony Sunday, Dec. 13. After the ceremony they gathered to remember their teacher, colleague and friend.

Timberlake received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and a Master of Science in Advanced Communication Disorders with an emphasis in early-childhood from Saint Louis University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. Before joining the Baker faculty, she worked with students with disabilities in the Wichita public schools and Casper, Wyo., public schools.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19, at Bannister Road Baptist Church, 7503 East Bannister Road, in Kansas City, Mo. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the service at 11 a.m.

The Timberlake family and School of Education have established a scholarship in her name for a minority student in teacher education. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, you may mail a check or contribute online. To contribute online, choose “other” from the list of choices, check the box indicating that the gift is in memory of someone special, and type Machele Timberlake in the name of honoree box.

If you would like to mail your contribution, make checks payable to Baker University Machele Timberlake Scholarship Fund and send them to the Office of University Advancement, Baker University, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065.

Dr. Timberlake had a profound influence on her students, colleagues and friends. Please share your memories below.

Categories: News


8 Responses to “Baker mourns loss of education professor”

  1. -KW says:

    MT was very positive and could brighten the room with her smile and personality. I will always be thankful for her words of encouragement and support. She also had a great sense of humor and could take you off-guard with her quick wit and banter. My daughter especially loved her clothes and hairstyles. Her appearance was always impeccable and she presented herself with grace and class in every situation.

  2. peggy harris says:

    Machele's combination of classic elegance and irreverent wit made for a delightful personality and one that will be missed. I'm sorry I will no longer be able to bring pie from Baldwin's pie-lady for her birthday celebration.

    Machele's impact on our student teachers was enormous. She was positive, encouraging and full of specific suggestions on how they could become better teachers. She was the perfect mentor and it will be hard to fill her role.

  3. Lauren Shufelberger says:

    I just finished my student teaching with Dr. Timberlake, and I will never forget the giant hug she gave me on my last evaluation day and her telling me I will make a great teacher. She was always so encouraging and she will be greatly missed.

  4. peggy harris says:

    Bill Neuenswander sent this message.

    Machele provided exceptional supervision for Baker's student teachers. She had a special gift to help each student teacher make the transition from theory to practice, assisting each to move to a higher level of performance. She was a special advisor to each student teacher and she celebrated each student's progress and successes. She will be missed by all.

  5. Bill Neuenswander says:

    Machele Timberlake was an exceptional supervisor of Baker University student teachers. She had a special gift to empower student teachers, helping them move from theory to classroom responsibilities. If students needed special encouragement, an improvement action plan, or suggestions to improve performance, Machele was always there, In the end, she celebrated the successes of all students.

    Machele also very carefully orchestrated placement and guidance for students during the January diversity interterm. Several colleagues in the Kansas City, Kansas public school system were very complimentary of Machele'ability to help students connect with real world urban settings.

    Machele will be greatly missed.

  6. SB, prn at Caruthers says:

    Dr. Machelle Timberlake is truly missed. She was an exemplary professional, a colleague and a friend. She always had such poise and grace in any situation. We spent many hours discussing student teachers, their growth, latest trends and research in education which impact a school and other things.

    She was very instrumental in planning the day for our 5th grade students to spend a day at Baker University. We felt that we should expose students to college at an early age and she worked tirelessly to make this day a reality for them.

    She was generous with her time and resources for our school and was always willing to go that extra mile to make a difference in the life of a child.

    No one really knows for sure how far her influence will reach. She will be with us always through her work and spirit.

    Dr. T., you are truly missed. Sing on with the angels.

  7. Terri Blake says:

    I was out recruiting and a prospective student came up to say how sorry he was that Dr. Timberlake had passed away. He had some disabilities and told me that Machalle tutored students at his church. He told me what a great impact Dr. Timberlake had on his life. She will be missed.

  8. Kendra Scarbrough says:

    I will never forget how Dr. Timberlake always encouraged me during my student teaching. She was an amazing person and professor. She is truly missed.