Ward Fleissner

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Middle School
Department(s)
History-Social Science
Title(s)
History/Social Science Instructor

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
825

Education

Degree(s)
BA, University of Maryland 1990
MAT, Trinity College 1993

Other Information

Intro
I introduce my students to all the nooks and niches of Baylor, with historical annotations and anecdotes about the legendary teachers and events of the past.
Biography

A Chattanooga native, Ward entered Baylor as a seventh grader when the military program was still in place; "I vividly remember the sound of the drums and the cadets fainting from the heat on the Rike Field parade grounds," he says. When he graduated in 1975, Baylor was a considerably different school. Inspired by teachers like Bill Cushman, John Miller, Jack Murrah, and George Taylor, Ward discovered a passion for learning, and he calls his last years as a student at Baylor "the golden years of youth."

After stints at UVa and the Chattanooga News-Free Press and a sojourn in the publishing world of Manhattan, Ward founded a small specialty typography business in Washington, D.C., where he met his wife, Paula Berard. When their first child, Anton '08, was born, Ward says, "I had an epiphany that I needed to stay home with him and quit the rat race." The couple also has a daughter, Carol '12. He did volunteer work, founding a classroom read-aloud program, earned his master's, and then taught (mostly fifth and sixth graders) for eight years in Maryland public schools. A small stream ran behind one school, and with Ward's guidance two students earned a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant to study and clean up the stream, a project that eventually involved 120 students.

Returning to Baylor as a member of the faculty, Ward feels a special responsibility to give his students a sense of the school's history: "I introduce my students to all the nooks and niches of Baylor, with historical annotations and anecdotes about the legendary teachers and events of the past." He also shares his love of the campus; he enjoys holding classes on the banks of the river, and he says, "In a beautiful space like this, you see the best in people brought out."

Ward loves to let students wrestle with big ideas in his humanities classes. He also emphasizes writing; his students write articles for the Baylor Notes, and the computer-TV link in his classroom enables him to call up a piece of writing, highlight words, present alternatives, and so help students learn the craft of revision. In the afternoons Ward helps with the Middle School digital filmmaking activity. In his spare time he enjoys reading, watching classic movies, scuba diving, sailing, rebuilding old computers, and playing tennis.

Appointed 2001