Andrea Baron, Teacher of the Year and alternate curriculum teacher at Hammond Creek Middle School, shares her journey and passion for teaching, particularly in the exceptional student services (ESS) setting.
Reflecting on her inspiration, Baron states, "I knew in high school that I wanted to become a special education teacher, specifically in the alternate curriculum setting."
Her drive comes from witnessing the smallest progress in students, helping parents realize their child's potential, and being a champion for those who need it most.
"My favorite part of being teacher of the year at Hammond Creek is I feel that it shows other teachers and staff around the building are noticing the amazing things that our students are doing in our classroom," she shares.
Baron is thankful for her family and their support. She is also thankful for the principals who endorsed her initiatives, and for her alternative curriculum staff for their crucial roles.
She extends appreciation to the various specialists, saying, "Thank you to all my occupational therapy, physical therapy, visual impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech, adapted music, and adapted physical education people – I hope each of you know how much I appreciate all you do for me and each of the students you serve."
Baron thanks the parents of her students, saying, "Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be in your life and trusting me with helping your child grow and succeed." She also appreciates the broader school community, stating, "To all the faculty and staff at Hammond Creek - so many of you have made such a difference in our classroom with the love and support you show to our students. Allowing us to say hello, helping out in the cafeteria, or saying their name as you pass by means the world. It helps us to feel seen."
Baron's teaching journey is defined by her commitment, compassion, and advocacy for ESS. As Teacher of the Year, she stands as a beacon of excellence, bringing attention to the remarkable achievements of her students and the supportive community at Hammond Creek Middle School.