The highest compliment a teacher can receive is to be remembered by a student, says Wallace Elementary sixth-grade math teacher Sue Baucum.
Baucum was recently paid that compliment. She was nominated for the 1995 edition of Who’s Who Among American Teachers by Lake Highlands’ Linda Rejmaniak, who was in Baucum’s 1988 sixth-grade class.
“I thought it through and asked what it was that Linda saw in me,” says Baucum, who has taught at Wallace for 16 years. “You just don’t know sometimes what children remember. To think she remembered me after 12 years of being in school is exciting.”
Rejmaniak was asked to nominate an elementary school teacher after being selected for Who’s Who Among American High School Students in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Rejmaniak graduated in 1994 from Bending Oaks High School, a private school at Greenville Avenue and Forest Lane, which she attended after going to Lake Highlands High School for a few years.
“She was my favorite teacher,” Rejmaniak says about Baucum. “She had taught my older sister, so she knew the family. I was real close to her.”
Baucum remembers Rejmaniak, but says she was surprised by the nomination.
“There are some kids who tell you a lot, like you’re their favorite teacher,” Baucum says. “Linda always smiled and did real well. I guess sometimes you don’t know how deeply you’re touching a child.”
Baucum was notified that she had been selected for the Who’s Who teaching award last spring. She submitted a biography of her teaching career to be published in this year’s Who’s Who catalogue.
This is not Baucum’s first appearance in the Who’s Who catalogue, however. When she was a high school senior, like Rejmaniak, she was selected for Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
“It’s a turn around,” Baucum says. “Who would’ve thought?”
Baucum did not get to nominate any of her teachers when she was in high school, but she credits several of them for leading her into her chosen career.
“I had some very excellent teachers,” Baucum says.
Baucum has wanted to be a teacher since she was a young girl. “I’d make my little sister sit down and we’d have lessons,” Baucum says. “I like working with children. I really wanted to help turn on some light bulbs.”
“I want to instill in my students the belief that they can do whatever they try and that it can be fun. I want them to seek out knowledge because they enjoy learning.”