Baylor School of Education-Midway ISD Partnership Receives National Award

March 14, 2017

Media Contact: Meg Cullar, 254-710-6435
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WACO, Texas (March 14, 2017) – The partnership between Baylor University's School of Education and Midway Independent School District to prepare future teachers has earned the "Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award" from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS).
The award, given to only three partnerships nationally this year, recognizes collaborations that "shape educator leadership and practice." The award was presented at the NAPDS annual conference in Washington, D.C., on March 10.
(FOR MEDIA: Link to photos and video in Midway schools for media use, with ID.)

The intense Baylor-Midway collaboration began in 2009 with the establishment of Midway High School as a Baylor Professional Development School (PDS) campus, with purposeful commitment from both Baylor and Midway schools to foster student growth through best practices in the classroom, placing undergraduate teacher candidates in classrooms with outstanding mentor teachers. Two other Midway schools — Midway Middle School and Spring Valley Elementary — have now become Baylor PDS campuses. In addition, Baylor School of Education partner schools in Midway ISD are: Castleman Creek Elementary, Hewitt Elementary, South Bosque Elementary, Woodway Elementary, River Valley Intermediate and Woodgate Intermediate.
The strength of this partnership and its benefits to students and teachers stood out the NAPDS selection committee, which noted, "This partnership is an excellent example of a strong school-university partnership. Its many exciting PDS programs enhance teaching and learning and support the community."
"The depth of collaboration between Baylor's teacher preparation program and Midway schools creates a confluence of rich learning and leadership experiences for all involved — Baylor students, P-12 students, Baylor faculty, the school's faculty, Baylor administrators, and the campus and district administrators," said Michael McLendon, Ph.D., dean of the Baylor School of Education. "We cannot adequately express how much Baylor values our partnership with such an outstanding district in helping to produce the best new teachers in the nation."
"It takes a great deal of involvement to coordinate two educational institutions in a PDS endeavor," said Midway ISD Superintendent George Kazanas, Ed.D. "We are blessed to have a productive, cooperative relationship with the Baylor School of Education in which we all put students at the forefront of our collaborative efforts. I am proud of the commitment to excellence the faculty and staffs of the Baylor SOE and Midway PDS campuses exhibit in our partnership."
In the fall of 2016, Midway ISD hosted 97 Baylor teacher candidates. Of those, 58 were senior-level Baylor students serving as teaching interns and co-teaching in classrooms for the full day Monday-Thursday during the entire academic year. Midway also hosted 39 junior-level Baylor students, who are "Teaching Associates." These juniors conduct small-group and full-class instruction in the schools each morning Monday-Thursday. All junior-level Baylor students are on a PDS campus, where a Baylor School of Education faculty member is also on site.
The partnership has also led to the hiring of many Baylor graduates as full-time teachers in Midway ISD. For the last four years, more than 30 percent of Midway's new teacher hires have been Baylor graduates, peaking at 40 percent for the 2014-15 year.
"We are delighted to see this recognition of the exemplary partnership between Baylor's School of Education and the Midway Independent School District," said L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost at Baylor. "Intrinsic partnerships such as this one make everyone better, and we are honored to participate with Midway and other ISDs in strengthening education in our region and beyond."
Madelon McCall, Ed.D., clinical assistant professor in the School of Education and the University's liaison at Midway High School, said the successful partnership requires commitment from many key individuals at the school district and the University.
"The principals and teachers at Midway High School, Midway Middle School and Spring Valley Elementary School provide ongoing support for the development of exemplary new teachers through Baylor University," said McCall, who taught chemistry and was an instructional specialist at Midway High School before joining the Baylor faculty. "Our shared commitment to the improvement of both teacher education and K-12 student achievement is foundational to the success of the Baylor/MISD Professional Development School partnership."
Key individuals in the Baylor School of Education-Midway ISD partnership include:

  • Midway Superintendent: George Kazanas, Ed.D.
    Midway Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction and PDS Liaison: Brent Merritt, Ed.D.
    School of Education Dean: Michael McLendon, Ph.D.
    School of Education Director of the Office of Professional Practice: Krystal Goree, Ph.D.

Midway High School:
  • Principal: Alison Smith
    Baylor University Liaison: Madelon McCall, Ed.D., Clinical Assistant Professor
    PDS Site Coordinator: Lisa Osborne

Midway Middle School:
  • Principal: Herb Cox, Ed.D.
    Baylor University Liaison: Rachelle Rogers, Ed.D., Clinical Assistant Professor
    PDS Site Coordinator: Sherrie Sanchez

Spring Valley Elementary:
  • Principal: Jay Fischer
    Baylor University Liaison: Leanne Howell, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor
    PDS Site Coordinator: Paula Gardner

The National Association of Professional Development Schools, chartered as an official organization in 2005, serves as an advocate for the educational community that is dedicated to promoting the continuous development of collaborative school/higher education/community relationships and to creating and sustaining genuine collaborative partnerships between PK-12 and higher education.
NAPDS membership includes both higher-education faculty and PK-12 educators, with leadership elected from both groups. Also at the March conference, Doug Rogers, Ed.D., associate professor in the Baylor School of Education, will be installed as president of the organization, after being elected nation-wide as president-elect last year.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation's top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School's research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor's undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.