Forest Hills Teacher Recognized by UCPS Board of Education

Teacher brings new ideas from Washington after receiving an award. 

Robert Gay, Staff Writer

Lauren Baucom, a science teacher at Forest Hills High School, addressed Union County Board of Education members last week during the monthly school board meeting on Oct. 4. Baucom, was present at the meeting to receive recognition from board members after being selected to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching (PAEMST).

She used this time to challenge board members to consider policy implementations that addressed ‘inequities in the classroom’ following her visit to Washington D.C. during the National Science Foundation Next Generation Forum.

“We know that not all schools are created equal and not all classes are created equal,” said Baucom. “I see that in my own classes when I have 36% Whites and 33% African-American enrolled in a mathematics course yet those numbers drastically change in my Advanced Placement Calculus when it becomes 68% White and 14% for both Latino and African-American. We have to ask ourselves why that is.”

She encouraged the board to consider the importance of active learning in the classroom, job ready computer science skills, and following a STEM education model that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

Board members seemed especially receptive to Baucom’s remarks at the meeting, which was held at Cuthbertson High School. “We want to thank you for putting our children first and bringing innovation and passion into the classroom,” said Melissa Merrell, UCPS Board of Education Member.

Baucom has been teaching math for eight years, three of which have been in the Union County School system. Last year, she served as the Forest Hills Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the UCPS Teacher of the Year.

Staff writer Gabe Kromah contributed to this story

Edited by: Sara Gunter

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