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When third grade teacher Audrey Baugh joined Woodward Academy in 2016 after relocating from Washington, D.C., she brought with her a great depth of experience, having taught at five schools in the D.C. and Atlanta areas. While each school had its own unique community culture, and she grew as an educator through all of her experiences, Ms. Baugh believes there are some special things that sets Woodward apart from other schools.

It’s the diversity of the students and families, and the leadership at Woodward encourages faculty to explore their passions and express their authenticity,” she said. We spoke with Ms. Baugh about her Woodward experience and what the school and her students mean to her.

Tell us more about your Woodward career. 

Since I joined the Woodward community, I have served on several committees, attended numerous professional development workshops/conferences, and served as a mentor teacher. 

What do you like about teaching at Woodward?

There are so many things that I LOVE about Woodward! Our Community Meetings in the Primary School are amazing, and I work with an incredible team of third grade teachers. (Big shout out to my teaching partner, Coach Chase Parker!)

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Woodward?

My favorite Woodward memory was this year's Experience the Arts Day. I ran into many former students I had not seen since they left the Primary School. It was great to chat with and hug so many of my former students who are now in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools! 

What qualities do you most admire in your students?

The qualities I admire most in my students are empathy, encouragement, perseverance, and humor.

How do you know you have connected with a student?

Connections with students are very individualized because each student is unique. For me, when a student shares their "gift/talent" with me daily, I know that I have connected with the student.

Why were you originally drawn to teaching?

I was not an education major during my undergraduate years at Howard University. At the time, I saw a path to medical school for myself. I volunteered with the Big Brother & Big Sister Club on campus during my last two years in college. Through this mentorship program, I realized how much I enjoyed spending time with children. When I graduated from college, I received a spiritual calling that directed my path toward teaching. 

What does the Woodward Way mean to you?

The Woodward Way means honoring each other's differences by showing a desire to learn from each other, respect, support, and appreciate each other's authentic selves. 

What makes Woodward a special place to teach?

Woodward is a special place because of the people in our community. We may be a large school, but we have an even bigger heart. I have felt so much support from the community since my first day on campus from the Primary School administration, housekeeping staff, IT staff, teachers, parents, students, and so on. Every morning I walk through the doors at Woodward, I know how blessed I am to be a part of this community.