• A Baylor Bear named Texas’ top student teacher for the 5th time in 7 years

    Natalie Chou speaking to a classroom of young children

    When the State of Texas seeks to honor the state’s top student teacher, they often find that young educator at Baylor. That’s the case again this year — the fifth time in the last seven years!

    Debbie Chou (BSEd ’23) earned top honors this year as Texas’ Clinical Teacher of the Year. Chou, who says two of her main driving factors are “to love others and impact the next generation,” is living out that calling in the classroom. As a Baylor student teacher, she worked with first graders at Waco ISD’s Hillcrest Professional Development School, where her teaching skills and impact impressed — enough that university faculty across the state, who select the honorees through the Texas Directors of Field Experience organization, recognized her from among her statewide peers.

    As the child of educators herself, Chou chose Baylor because she wanted extensive in-class experience — a distinct strength in the Baylor School of Education. There, she worked with faculty and her supervisor, Darlene Bolfing, to develop the skills and tools needed to effectively serve her first graders.

    Of course, Chou doesn’t have to look far to find peers who set the standard in student teaching. She joins a growing list of Bears who have won the same award in recent years, following in the footsteps of Stephanie Wright (BSED ’16, MSED ’17), Rachel Vaughn (BSED ’17), Lauren Hornbeak (BSED ’19) and Alexandra Ronnenberg (BSED ’21). That’s five of the last seven winners (no award was given in 2020 due to COVID)!

    Baylor education students learn to quickly and effectively implement what they learn in the classroom, and the state (along with the rest of the nation) is taking notice.

    Sic ’em, Debbie and Baylor student teachers!