• 2019 Baylor grad named National Student Teacher of the Year

    Baylor alumna Lauren Hornbeak teaches in a classroom.

    Two years ago, Baylor alumna Stephanie Wright (BSED ’16) was named a Texas Student Teacher of the Year. A year later, Rachel Vaughn (BSED ’17) followed suit.

    This year, Baylor alumna Lauren Hornbeak (BSED ’19) took things a step further — earning the title of National Student Teacher of the Year for 2019.

    The award — given each year by Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, and the Association of Teacher Educators — is just the latest example of how Baylor’s School of Education so expertly prepares its graduates to step from the Baylor campus straight into leading a classroom of their own.

    The honor was quite the Baylor affair. Hornbeak did her student teaching at Waco’s Midway High School, where both her mentor teacher (Amy Smith, BSED ’99) and intern supervisor (Gerald Brewer, BS ’71, MSED ’78) were also Baylor graduates. That was only fitting for Hornbeak, who is a sixth-generation Baylor Bear and can trace her line back to an ancestor who graduated in 1873 at Independence. Both of her parents are Baylor graduates, and her grandfather, Billy Jack Hollis, BBA ’60, is in the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame. She says Baylor will always be her home.

    “I knew Baylor would push me to grow spiritually, academically and socially, but more than anything it would be a bond to share with my family for the rest of my life,” she says. “To be able to walk the same steps and hear the same bells as family members before me is something I would never trade.

    “I chose to be a teacher, because I want to be a safe place for students to land when the rest of their world seems to be falling apart. I felt God calling me to the classroom.”

    As part of the award, Hornbeak, now a first-year biology teacher at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, will speak at Kappa Delta Psi’s annual convention later this month.

    Sic ’em, Lauren!

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