Chesapeake High School Spanish teacher Carol Bak has been named a finalist for the 2016 Washington Post Teacher of the Year Award. Bak will represent Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and is one of approximately 20 teachers in Washington-area school districts being considered for the award.
In addition to her classroom duties, Bak chairs the World and Classical Languages Department at Chesapeake and is an instructor at Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ El Campo del Bosque summer Spanish immersion program. She is a reader for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Spanish Exam and is a two-time Fulbright Hays grant recipient. Bak has also developed curriculum for the BioMedical Allied Health magnet program at Glen Burnie High and has served as a director for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Center for Global Languages.
“Through the lens of my content, I hope to help students see the possibilities that lie beyond the walls of the classroom,” said Bak, who is also one of five finalists for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. “I love working with my students and am so privileged to participate in their learning journey. I share this award with the many talented and hard-working teachers of Anne Arundel County, as well as the teachers and mentors who have inspired me to work in the field of education.”
Bak is known for setting examples for her students to be lifelong learners and for encouraging them to achieve more than they may believe they can at the outset.
One student described going from a “D” student to a successful member of the University of Maryland Baltimore County Leadership Program in part because of Bak’s influence. Another said: “It was the best class that I’ve ever been in and the class where I actually learned and improved the most I ever have in a year. It has truly changed how I look at things that I need to accomplish in my classes now and how I will approach things in the future. “
Bak will be featured on a special page in The Washington Post in the coming weeks.