In recognition of their accomplishments in the study of education, the Baker University School of Education has named Amanda Conrade and Josh Ortiz the 2017 fall Teachers of Promise. Each semester, two graduating Baker students are selected to represent the program at the Kansas Excellence in Education Conference, where they are officially recognized. The recipients also attend a workshop with other Teachers of Promise recipients from around the state.

Conrade, from Topeka, Kansas, is majoring in general music education and completing her student teaching in the Shawnee Heights School District.

“It was the care I received from my teachers that inspired me to pass on that care of education as well as caring for each individual student,” Conrade said. “I chose music education because I can reach my students in a different way by guiding them through their emotions using music.”

Ortiz, from Valley Center, Kansas, did not enter college with intentions to become an educator.

“I have always had a strong desire to give back to something greater than myself,” Ortiz said. “I was going to help individuals find their path in life and discover their passions and interests, just like my teachers had done for me. After changing my major at the end of my first year at Baker, I never looked back. I had found my path.”

Ortiz is student teaching at Eudora High School in Eudora, Kansas. His studies have focused on mathematics and secondary education with a provisional license in special education.

“[This award] means that all of my hard work throughout my time here at Baker has been noticed,” Ortiz said. “That being said, everyone in the School of Education is on their way to becoming phenomenal educators in the workforce of tomorrow. In our small but mighty environment, we will help change the world. We are Baker Built, and I am proud to be a Wildcat!”