Teacher Spotlight: Julie Baker

Teacher Spotlight: Julie Baker

Julie Baker poses with her daughter, Selona. Baker took a break from teaching science at JC to raise her daughter for six years and returned last year at the beginning of 2010.

Sarah Kearby, Lifestyles Editor

Growing up in Dickson County, Tennessee doesn’t seem to be much different from growing up in Harford County except for science teacher Julie Baker’s accent.

Although in Dickson County, they put a little more emphasis on homecoming week. “Each class built a float that went along with the homecoming theme,” Baker said. It was a class thing and a lot of students joined in to help design the float, competing against the other grade levels.

Baker helped design the float but this was only the beginning of her love for design. She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated with her doctrine of philosophy in chemical engineering. “I just liked chemistry, and engineering gave me the ability to design things,” Baker said.

Even with a chemical engineering degree, Baker loved teaching. She was a teaching assistant at Vanderbilt, working for the engineering department. She helped with the junior and senior level labs along with teaching classes similar to the introduction to engineering that she recently started to teach at JC.

After living in Tennessee for her whole life she moved to Maryland because her husband, whom she met at Vanderbilt, was from here. Baker first arrived at JC in the fall of 1997 and she taught for seven years up until 2004.

She took a break for six years to raise her daughter and returned last year, at the beginning of 2010. “I didn’t want her to be in daycare somewhere with strangers when she was so little. My mom stayed home with my three sisters and me when we were growing up, and I loved her for that,” Baker said.

While she was on her break from teaching, Baker ran the Baltimore Half Marathon in 2008. “I decided to run the Baltimore Half Marathon because at that point I had been running pretty seriously for 4 years, and I wanted to challenge myself,” Baker said.

“My favorite part of the race was passing people and when I saw a person dressed in a tiger suit with a boom box that was blasting out ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ that old Survivor song,” Baker said.

Baker came back to teach because her daughter had started school. “I couldn’t stay away forever,” Baker said. She currently teaches honors chemistry, environmental science, introduction to engineering, and AP physics.

“I really enjoy the interaction with the students and trying to plan fun ways for them to learn science,” Baker said.

Sarah Kearby is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.