Inside ECS- Kristin Baker

Kristin is a speech and theatre teacher at Elkhart Central, and is in her 2nd year of teaching at Elkhart Central and her 18th total year of teaching. Kristin is the Secondary Teacher of the Year for Elkhart Community Schools.

Kristin comes from a family of teachers – both of her parents are teachers. She knew at the age of five she wanted to become a teacher, telling her mom that she wanted to be a mommy, a cheerleader, and a teacher – years later, she came to discover those first two titles make up a significant portion of the third. As a child, Kristin was shy and struggled with social anxiety, and found a safe space on the stage of a theatre, an experience she uses to help her students. Kristin’s greatest accomplishments as a teacher are found in reading her students’ evaluations at the end of the year – many students praise her for truly getting to know them and for helping them build confidence. In the classroom, Kristin believes every student has value and something to add to the class and greater community. Her lessons are designed to give students time to explore they why behind their words and actions, as much as the how and what. Due to the nature of her speech curriculum, social philosophies also come into play, as students debate current local, societal, and global issues, as well as what actions might need to be taken to make our world a better place. She teaches students that failures and challenges are not something to be feared, but are simply stepping stones to success.

Kristin is in love with the Elkhart community and dedicates much of her free time to helping the community thrive – including community clean-up projects, volunteering at church youth groups, helping local students travel and volunteer, and participating in annual food collections. Through her church, she also met Henriette Ngenga, whose story about surviving genocide in Rwanda turned into Kristin’s first published co-authored book “Carrying Devine: My Rwanda Genocide Survivor Story.”

Congratulations again to Kristin! Thank you for all that you do for our students!