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Apr 17, 2018 | News, SOE Grad

Baker graduate is nominated for Kansas Teacher of the Year


Rhonda Wedel always knew she wanted to go back to school and earn her master’s degree. But juggling teaching duties and family responsibilities meant she needed a program that would work around her busy schedule.

Enter Baker University’s Master of Arts in Education. The program helps practicing classroom teachers develop the skills to become exemplary educators and increase their earning power. It’s designed to accommodate the responsibilities of hardworking professionals, making it the perfect fit for Wedel.

“Enrolling in Baker’s master’s degree program allowed me the flexibility to fit course work around my family’s busy schedule and my teaching commitment,” said Wedel, a 2013 graduate. “The teachers supported and respected me as an educator and a parent so my work and going to school were cohesive.”

Wedel said she was able to take what she learned in the program and immediately apply it to her work both in and outside the classroom.

“The classes I took complemented my educational responsibilities, so I was able to take what I learned and apply it directly in my everyday lessons and leadership opportunities in my school building,” she said.

Now a sixth-grade math teacher at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in the Gardner Edgerton School District, Wedel said Baker’s program has prepared her for continuing professional success.

“I received an invaluable education taught by experienced and caring educators,” said Wedel. “There is no doubt that obtaining my master’s degree has furthered my career and opened doors that may not have otherwise been available to me.”

These opportunities include serving on school leadership teams, representing the school as the district math coach, developing a grade-level student behavior reward system, redesigning how students participate in math interventions, and presenting at professional development sessions.

“The biggest reward has been being able to analyze and reflect on my teaching while exploring teaching and learning strategies that meet the needs of my students so they achieve success,” said Wedel.”

Wedel’s efforts to continue her education and enhance her teaching abilities have paid off. This month, the Gardner Edgerton School District selected her as its 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominee.

“I am very honored to be nominated,” said Wedel. “It is exciting to be recognized for my commitment to providing a positive learning environment for my students.”


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