Millsboro Middle standout wins district Teacher of the Year
Outstanding teachers, one from each of the 15 schools in the Indian River School District, were recognized at the annual Teacher of the Year ceremony on April 19. There, district administrators made the surprise announcement that Millsboro Middle School’s Cindy Baker had won the district-wide award for the 2011-2012 school year.
“I am shocked. I always have something to say!” a nearly speechless Baker exclaimed when she accepted the award. Known for her enthusiastic teaching and lively classroom, Baker was temporarily surprised into silence during her standing ovation. “I did not expect this at all.
“There are so many wonderful teachers in this room,” Baker said. “I worked with a lot of them. I had their [children as students]. Thank you for letting me be the one to represent you.”
As district Teacher of the Year, Baker will represent IRSD across Delaware, including in the statewide Teacher of the Year competition.
Baker was selected as the district Teacher of the Year once before, in 2004-2005. She is only the second teacher in IRSD history to win the award multiple times. Shirley Truitt was the district winner in 1973-1974 and 1994-1995.
Baker has taught in the school district for 21 years. She has been an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Millsboro Middle for four years. Before that, she spent 16 years as a seventh-grade geography teacher at the former Sussex Central Middle School, one year as a language arts teacher at Selbyville Middle School and two years as a social studies teacher at William Henry Middle School in Dover.
District Superintendent Susan Bunting said she has long known Baker’s “passion and desire to be a teacher of all teachers. It’s been a thrill to see her career in the Indian River School District.”
IRSD Supervisor of Elementary Instruction Audrey Carey read pointedly from Baker’s award, “True stars raise to the top, not through chance, but through purpose and passion.”
Baker earned a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University and master’s degree from the University of Delaware. She has been named 2008 Geography Teacher of the Year by the Delaware Geographic Alliance, earned the National Middle School Distinguished Teaching Award from the National Council of Geographic Educators and received the Outstanding Contributions to Social Studies Teaching Award from the Delaware Council of the Social Studies.
“Cindy Baker exudes an enthusiasm and energy for teaching that is matched by few,” said Millsboro Middle School Principal LouAnn Hudson. “Her passion for our students and their future drives her to test her limits as a professional and seek out every opportunity to become more effective and more engaging. She will not stop seeking answers until she opens the doors of learning for all students.”
Baker is chairman of Millsboro Middle’s social studies department and a member of the school’s instructional leadership team. She is also a member of the National Council of the Social Studies, the Delaware Geographic Alliance and the IRSD Social Studies Coalition.