We recognize Paula Baker for her support of Nebraska Writing Project programs, teachers, and partnerships at Pyrtle Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Paula Baker is nominated by her colleagues at Pyrtle: Beverly Hoisted, Tiffany Young, Ashley Mundill, Amy Johnson, and Sandra Peter.
The lead nominator, Beverly Hoisted, writes:
“Paula has always known and shown the importance of writing. “Writers’ Workshop” has never been abbreviated, cut or ignored in any way. She emphasizes, supports, and models what good writers do, daily! She has worked hard to have writing opportunities for students that have given them insights into what REAL writers do. We continue to have authors come talk to our school and our school continues to participate in Plum Creek’s Literacy Festival each fall. Though it takes an entire DAY of school, she understands and supports the fact that not all important lessons take place in the classroom.”
NeWP Teacher Consultant and Pyrtle Elementary School Teacher, Tiffany Young, writes:
“Paula has a unique ability of knowing both her students and her staff. Working together in a title I school, during the height of No Child Left Behind and a period that minimized our work with children to test scores, I will always remember the moment late one evening that Paula stopped me in the hallway of our building. She spoke not of whether or not we would meet adequate yearly progress, but rather to thank me for the work I had done to help a certain child feel more comfortable and safe at school. Of the hundreds of children at our school, she knew this child by name, knew of his concerns, and even noticed that they were being addressed. This rather simple moment provides a glimpse into Paula’s unique care of every individual in her watch. Paula’s sense of knowing is often evident through her use of writing. It is not uncommon for her to write a handwritten Valentine’s Day card to every child in the building, or for her to place “drops in our bucket” by writing teachers personalized notes of thanks or support. Paula writes emails to staff with ideas to support our students. She also provides staff with time to write and reflect about our work with students.”
Paula has provided space and support at Pyrtle Elementary for the Nebraska Writing Project’s Leadership Institute, and for the Warrior Writers Program, and she has welcomed her teachers who have been involved in the writing project to present to their colleagues in order to enrich the practice and student of writing pedagogy at her school.
We are very grateful for administrators like Paula Baker who support us in implementing the programs that we know, through our work with the NeWP, can have the greatest impact in improving writing instruction for students and in creating effective professional development for teachers.
Please join us in recognizing Paula Baker with the Nebraska Writing Project 2015 Administrator Certificate of Recognition.
Assistant Professor of English
Acting Director, Nebraska Writing Project
6 May, 2016