Baker’s joy of teaching going on 50 years

Published 7:00 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Part of an ongoing series featuring the teachers nominated for Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year honors.

Kathryn Lynn Baker is going on 50 years as an educator in Mississippi, the last 22 with Porters Chapel Academy where she is a Spanish, government and civics teacher. Baker, the PCA nominee for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, also spent five years as a guidance counselor at PCA and was headmaster from 2006-2009.

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The desire to teach is something Baker said has been with her since she was a child.

“I really don’t know why I wanted to be a teacher because I have wanted to teach since I was around five years old, about 66 years ago,” Baker said. “I know that my mother said I taught all the kids in our neighborhood even if they didn’t want to be taught. I also wanted either sports equipment or classroom supplies for every special occasion.”

She said the interaction with students is what she enjoys most about teaching.

“The kids are so different with personalities galore,” Baker said. “Even after teaching the same subjects for 50 years, no two days are the same. I just know that I am most comfortable in a classroom surrounded by my kids.”

Being recognized by her peers at Porters Chapel Academy is humbling for Baker.

“I would have to say that being chosen for this honor by my fellow educators at PCA is quite humbling and gives me so much to live up to because we have so many excellent teachers at PCA who deserve this recognition,” Baker said.

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will choose one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon Feb. 20. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

Baker is no stranger to the honor and said she hopes if she were selected as the top educator, she would somehow become a better teacher.

“I actually was selected for this in 2005, and it afforded me the opportunity for introspection into the ways that I could become a better teacher and model for my students while keeping in mind that learning is a life long pursuit.

“Teaching is God’s gift to me,” Baker said.