Faculty & Student News

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Faculty & Student News

Student Leadership Trips

The following leadership experiences are fully funded trips that provide the opportunity for self-discovery in a challenging environment.

Twelve rising seniors have been selected for the Joe Key Award, a trip that recognizes selfless character and involves seven days of sea-kayaking, hiking, and camping on the islands of Acadia National Park this July. The trip honors the late Joe Key, who worked at Baylor from 1961 to 1988 as a military instructor and study hall supervisor and was affectionally known as “Sarge.” The trip honors students of admirable character whose selfless efforts might otherwise go unrecognized by the school or their peers. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Sophie Workinger, Katy Waddell, Kate King, Leah Kessler, Jake Weekley, (back row) Ridley Browder, Morgan Burnette, Caroline Barker, Max Berube, Connor Duffy, Max Montague, and Anika Iqbal.

Ten Baylor students traveled to Jamaica for the 22nd annual spring break Jamaica Servant Leadership Trip. The group included (left to right) trip chaperone and Baylor athletic trainer Lori Moss, senior Ada Ludwick, trip leader and community service director, Elin Bunch ’09, junior Maggie Clark, trip founder and assistant community service director, Joli Anderson, seniors Bailey Priddy and Jalen Holley, juniors Maggie Kerley and Sara Catherine Daniels, seniors Zoe Rye and Taegan Bunch, and juniors Ellie Raughton and Lucy Townsend. In addition to their service work, the students delivered duffel bags stuffed with school supplies and raised thousands of dollars for the Jamaica Education Fund, established in 2002 to help children in Kingston attend school.

Twelve rising seniors were selected to travel to Washington, D.C., this summer on the David M. Abshire Civic Leadership trip for an intensive eight-day experiential course of study on national leadership, ethics, honor, and service. The program was created in partnership with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the late Dr. David Abshire ’44, who served as president and CEO of that organization. Pictured are (seated, left to right) Morgan Burnette, Lea Hunter, Defne Bozbey, Julia Hartman, Maddy Toledano, (standing) Caroline Webb, Kennedy Watson, Nathan Webb, Saad Mohammad, Ridley Browder, Kate King, and Leah Kessler.

Science and Engineering Students Excel

Nearly 200 people turned out for the fourth annual Science and Engineering Symposium on May 15. The symposium showcases the college-level work conducted by students enrolled in Baylor’s advanced scientific research program and featured 32 abstracts. Following a round of judging, the top winners of the evening were junior Lauren Hill, Best Overall (left) and senior Liz Li, Runner-Up. Experiential learning guides the Baylor Research program and is evident in laboratory spaces, particularly in the molecular biology research lab and engineering research lab.

Seniors Izzy Boyd and Sydney Anne Sutherland and juniors Lauren Hill and Sarah Rutledge presented their research projects in cancer biology at the 14th Annual Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition as part of the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Atlanta, March 29 - April 3. The group was led by Baylor Research instructor Dr. Elizabeth Forrester, who holds a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Vanderbilt University.

The Baylor Robotics team, otherwise known as the Ohm Raiders, finished up its winter season at the FIRST Tech Challenge at Middle Tennessee State University in February. The Ohm Raiders' 22.5-pound robot entry won three of five matches and finished among the top 12 teams. Members of the Ohm Raiders started and helped tutor two new elementary and middle school FIRST Lego Leagues for children at Baylor Community Service sites and invited area schools to campus to learn more about the FIRST Tech Challenge. “To say that I am proud and impressed would be an understatement,” said Dr. Mary Loveless, director of Baylor’s engineering research lab and Ohm Raider coach. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Kayode Akinlaja, Karina Quinn, Kenny Zheng, Chloe Crooks, (back row) Heath Montgomery '99 (coach), Catherine Bryant, Leo Xu, Rhiannon Von Klar, Job White, Sophie Covert (holding BojBoj the Robot), Jade Liu, Dake Peng, Dan Pham, Samuel Townsend, and Loveless.

Students in Erin Woodrow’s eighth grade science class built, tested, and tweaked an electric car and won first place in a race against other middle school teams at the 2019 Chattanooga Green Prix. The car was built entirely from a kit by the students and reached a top speed of 16 mph on the test track at Heywood Stadium. Race day was May 11 at Chattanooga State Community College with over 30 local elementary, middle, and high school teams competing. The race was sponsored by Green Spaces, and retired Baylor teacher Larry Roberts ’65 was also involved in the project. Pictured is the Baylor race team (kneeling, left to right) Burke Murphy (crew chief), Claire Holtzclaw (presentation lead), Charlotte Murphree (race driver), Helen Webb – in car (race driver), Conleigh Brock; Callie Czarnecki, (standing) Evelyn Stein, Sophia Baleeiro (pit crew chief), Maggie Smith, Nathaniel Smart, Braden Martin, Drew Dietz (race driver), Marguerite Pippenger; (back row) Charlie Cushman, Cayman Hughey (car handler), Micah Tisdale, and Marceo Collins.

Fine Arts

The Baylor Players’ spring production of the musical comedy Once Upon a Mattress included the talents of more than 70 as cast, crew, and orchestra members. Directed by Beth Gumnick, the production also involved faculty members Tom Schow, musical director; Cathy Pettway, choreographer; Garret Walsh, set designer; and costumes designed by Allison Lamb. Pictured (left to right) are Sam Lustig ’20 as King Sextimus the Silent, Lexie Edwards ’19 as Queen Aggravain, Max Montague ’20 as Prince Dauntless the Drab, Sophie Wisenbaker ’19 as Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, and Charlotte Wang ’20 as the Nightingale of Samarkan.

The 64-member Baylor Concert Choir received the top score in the High School Concert Choir category and the highest score of any ensemble performing in any category at the OrlandoFest adjudicated musical festival on March 8. The Choir also performed at the J. B. Lyle Choral Festival at the Center for Creative Arts in Chattanooga on March 15 and received a rating of “superior,” the highest score given at the event, from all three performance judges. In April, the choir attended the High School State Choral Festival in Nashville and received its highest score in four years, earning an “A” rating from a distinguished panel of three collegiate adjudicators.

Senior Erik Fong and junior Charlotte Wang represented Baylor as members of the Tennessee Music Educators Association All-State Honor Choirs in Nashville, April 10-12.

Sophomore Erica Wu won a National Gold Key Scholastic Art and Writing Award for her sculpture, Form and Shadow (above). The work will be exhibited in New York City and recognized in a ceremony in Carnegie Hall this summer. Regional Gold Key award winners were senior Zoe Rye (painting); juniors Leah Kessler (painting), Jacky Song (painting), and Davy Turner (photography and digital art); and freshman Ellie Smith (photography). Silver Key award winners were senior Kate Padilla (painting), junior Lucy Townsend (drawing), and sophomore Irene Chen (painting, drawing, and sculpture). Chen also received an honorable mention (painting), along with sophomores Karina Quinn (painting) and Shirley Zhang (three for painting).

Junior Leah Kessler won first place in the Tennessee Third Congressional District Art Competition for her painting Inspirations. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

Baylor’s concert dance troupe, Vervé, presented its annual concert Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 in Roddy Theater. This year’s show featured choreography by faculty members Cathy Pettway, Elizabeth Roemer ’05, Karen Smith, Jennia Shanley ’03, and Margaret Harman ’14, as well as Baylor seniors Liz Li and Cecilia Rodriguez and guest choreographer Maggie Pelton. Tech crew and other backstage contributors include faculty member Garrett Walsh, seniors Nick Perlaky and Peyton McGilberry, junior Jade Liu, and sophomores Karina Quinn and Molly Stanfield. The annual Last Chance Dance, May 10-11, featured choreography by seniors Lily Zabel and Rodriguez; sophomores Mary Alex Bachus, Frances Brantley, and Megha Chanamolu; and eighth graders Grace Burkes, Caroline Dart, Sydney Shaw, Maggie Smith, and Abby Todd.

A group of 19 drama and dance students headed to the Big Apple over Winter Break to enjoy sights of the city, Broadway shows, and workshops led by some of Broadway’s top artists. The group also had the opportunity to learn about the tech side of working on Broadway and Off-Broadway shows from professional stage managers. Some of the shows included Dear Evan Hanson, Mean Girls, and To Kill a Mockingbird; and dancers in the group caught a performance of The Sleeping Beauty by the New York City Ballet. Trip chaperones were Beth Gumnick, Allison Lamb, Elizabeth Roemer ’05, and Karen Smith. Pictured with Tony Award winning actor Lou Liberatore are (front row, left to right) Sara Grace Snead, Sarah Kathryn Oliver, Lizzie Hill, Morgen Newton, Loren Floyd, Sarah Dougherty, Zach Elias, Lily Fridl, Liz Li, Lou Liberatore, and Kendyl Baker; (back) Katherine Jefferson, Halle Smith, Peyton Anne Randolph, Elizabeth Van Deusen, Sophie Wisenbaker, Macie Lane, Lily Zabel, Riley Grove, Kristopher Kennedy, and Max Montague.

Student Travel

Twelve Baylor sophomores and one junior were selected to participate in exchange trips with schools in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain. During their junior year, they host students from the same schools. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Orly Berke, St. Hilda’s School in Gold Coast, Australia; Avery Santin, Emrick Garrett, and Katy Waddell, Waikato Diocese School in Hamilton, New Zealand; Frances Brantley, Durban Girls College in Durban, South Africa; (back row) Emma Gray, Holland Moss, Isaac Waxenberg, and Luiz Campos, Otto Hahn Gymnasium School in Dinslaken, Germany; Camilla Zavala and Ellis Coffelt, Sacred Heart School in Pamplona, Spain; and Rosa Anderson-Barrera and Elisabeth Lau, San Fernando School in Aviles, Spain.

Seven rising seniors who completed the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in German this past spring participated in a 10-day culture and language immersion trip to Germany and Austria in June. The students visited multiple cities including Munich, Salzburg, Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. They also hiked through the Bavarian Alps, visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, explored Mozart’s birthplace, shadowed German students at a local vocational school, toured the German parliament building, and much more. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Autumn Seymour, Jake Weekley, Gracen Ford, (middle row) chaperones and German language instructors Neil Hetrick and Dr. Chiann Tsui, (back row) Sean Dougherty, Max Smith, Carson Brinn, and Ian Campbell.

Twelve Upper School students enrolled in advanced Chinese language classes at Baylor participated in a 10-day culture and language immersion trip to Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai in June. Sightseeing highlights included tours of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and more. The group also visited a local school in Shanghai where they participated in a cultural exchange program with local students. Pictured with Chinese instructor and chaperone Jean Lau, are (left to right) Maxime Werk, Creighton Arrington, Maddy Tindall, Brooke Romanchik, Lauren Yim, Frances Brantley, Nick McKenney, Bo Starks, Kaleb Wiley, Jamie Butt, and faculty member Christine Lau ’14, who also chaperoned the trip. Not pictured are Caroline Imsand and Zoe Ubamadu.

Eight Baylor students participated in the annual Walkabout trip to India, Dec. 26 – Jan. 10. Highlights of their journey included sites in the bustling capital city of Delhi, bouldering in Hampi, taking an overnight train to Bangalore, a flight to Bagdogra, a four-hour drive to spend a few days with the girls at the Sikkim Happiness Home, visiting a sacred monastery and Buddhist sacred area, and trekking in Gangtok with views of snowcapped mountains. Pictured are (front row) Takisha Haynie, Sierra Ross, Maddie Reap, Kate Padilla, Eric Shibata, (back row) Caroline Moon, Lily Zabel, Lucia Jackson, Natalie Lopez-Durel, and Jennifer Clemmer ’07. Faculty sponsors for the trip were Tim Williams, Haynie, and Clemmer.

The Class of 2019 celebrated commencement on Friday, May 31 (watch video above), with remarks by  valedictorian Jeremy Brien, who will attend Purdue University, and salutatorian Ryker von Klar, who is heading to the University of Alabama.

After receiving 238 acceptances,183 students from the Class of 2019 have enrolled at 93 different colleges and universities around the world, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and 13 Public Ivies. For a complete list of college choices, visit baylorschool.org.

Awards Day 2019

Baylor conducted the school's annual Upper School Awards Day ceremonies (watch video above) on May 20 in Alumni Chapel. Click here for all the award winners.

Sophomore Alyssa Kim Earns Perfect ACT Score

Baylor sophomore Alyssa Kim has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT, the entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. Only 0.136 percent, fewer than 14 out of 10,000 students taking the ACT, makes a 36. It is rare for a sophomore to take the ACT, but the April test was the fourth try for Kim. Her lowest score had been a 33. “I had plans to take a lot of AP classes during my junior and senior years, and I didn’t want to be stressed by the ACT and SAT as well, so I just took them all this year,” says Kim. “I took the practice tests while I was in the eighth grade.” Kim is the second Baylor student to report a perfect 36 ACT score this school year, joining Ryker von Klar '19, who aced the test in the fall.

Five Baylor Faculty Members Earn New Positions

Ruth Ann Graham (far left) has been named chair of the world languages department, replacing language instructor Eli Anderson-Barrera, who has served as the department chair since 2012. Last fall, Ashlee O’Steen ’00 (second from left) was named the director of Walkabout, while Tim Williams remains involved with the program as the assistant director. Vic Oakes (center) is taking over as chair of the fine arts department, relieving drama instructor Beth Gumnick, who has served as the department chair since 2012. Elizabeth Bryant (second from right) is stepping into the role of assistant to the headmaster, replacing Susan Collins, who will retire at the end of summer. Lauren Callihan (far right), who served as the interim head librarian for the 2018-19 academic year, was named head librarian in the spring.

Dallas Joseph Receives National Award

The National Business Officers Association has named Baylor School Chief Financial Officer Dallas Joseph as the recipient of the 2019 NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award, the highest honor given by the association for professional achievement.

Bill McMahan Celebrates 45th Year at Baylor

Coach Bill McMahan ’67 celebrated his 45th year at Baylor. Under his leadership for 27 years, Baylor girls’ track teams have won seven state championships, including four in a row from 2008-11, and two runner-up trophies while the boys’ teams won two state championships and were runners-up twice.

Greg Elie (right) and Mike Kinney (left) were recognized as Division II Coaches of the Year by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association in January (pictured above with TBCA Player of the Year, Teddy Lepcio ’18). In their first year as co-head coaches, Greg and Mike led Baylor to a 24-6 record and the 2018 TSSAA Division II-AA State Championship. 

Congratulations to former tennis coach Park Lockrow (left), who entered the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics Hall of Fame March 1, and retired basketball coach Austin Clark (right), who was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame on March 4. Lockrow retired from Baylor in June and Clark serves as assistant dean of the Upper School.

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Volume 31
Issue 2