There is little disagreement among college faculty members that the quality of our students' academic performance is in large part a function of the quality of their academic preparation: "Good teachers produce good students." Given the number of children entering California's schools at all levels, our state is greatly in need of good teachers. It has an excellent one in Karen Baum.
Ms. Baum graduated magna cum laude from Sac State in 1990 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies. She proceeded then to obtain her teaching credential and joined the faculty at Will Rogers Middle School in Fair Oaks, California. A decade later, Ms. Baum has come to be known as a superior teacher of mathematics.
At Will Rogers Middle School, Ms. Baum has served as Math Department Chair, a Mentor teacher, a member of the school leadership, district standards and assessment, and district restructuring teams, and a middle school Math Renaissance lead teacher. She is also a Master Teacher for the Sac State Middle School and Multiple Subject programs.
Ms. Baum's dedication to teaching her students earned her the designation of finalist in the competition for the California League of Middle Schools' (Region 3) Teacher of the Year award in 1996. The following year, she was awarded one of teaching's most coveted prizes, the Jaime Escalante Mathematics Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the ARCO Foundation and, in 1997, was cosponsored by the Sacramento Regional Foundation. Students nominate their teachers for outstanding qualities and provide examples of how the teacher positively affected their determination in mathematics. A rigorous interview process follows focused on teacher uniqueness, student motivation, and classroom techniques.
SSIS and the Liberal Studies Program are immensely proud of their alumna and of the inspiration that she provides our future teachers.
"Even when you are on the right track, if you stand still, you will get run over."