Molly Smith has always had a passion for teaching.
After earning a degree in education in 1993, she taught middle school English and social studies in the Shawnee Mission School District for eight years. She earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Kansas in 1996.
Smith loved teaching young people, but after eight years, she was ready for a change.
“With the encouragement of a friend who was an adjunct instructor at Baker, I decided to apply to teach writing to adult learners in the accelerated programs at the School of Professional and Graduate Studies,” she said. “I came to Baker in 2004 as an adjunct instructor and quickly figured out that I loved teaching adults.”
That was 16 years ago, and since then, Smith has worn many hats at Baker.
As an adjunct instructor, she become involved with curriculum revision and other SPGS initiatives related to writing. This led to full-time employment at Baker.
In 2013, she was named the assistant director of learning services, providing assistance and support to faculty at SPGS. A year later, she shifted to providing writing assistance to undergraduate students. Then in 2017, she began work as a faculty recruiter, hiring and training new instructors at SPGS.
Now, Smith has moved into a role that takes her back to where it all began. She was named the director of continuing education at the School of Education.
“Although I have loved working with the business faculty at SPGS, I am excited that this position will take me back to my roots in PK-12 education,” she said. “As the director of continuing education, I will oversee all initiatives associated with continuing education and cooperative partnerships.”
Smith hopes to build on Baker’s strong reputation for providing high-quality relevant continuing education and recertification courses to educators.
“I want to expand on the great learning opportunities that are already available at Baker and build strong connections in the community, especially with our faculty,” Smith said. “Our continuing education faculty are experienced educators and administrators, either currently working or recently retired. They care about the future of education and are driven to build effective leaders in the field.”
The opportunity to return to her original passion is exciting, but Smith says Baker’s biggest draw is the people.
“The faculty, staff, and students I have had the opportunity to work with over the years are what make me love my job,” she said.