FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 10, 2003
"Special" Educator Receives National
Springfield, IL - Carolyn Baider not only teaches
children with special needs, she personifies the word special.
Originally hired as a classroom assistant at Walter R. Sundling
Junior High School in Palatine, Ill., Carolyn demonstrated
a real gift for teaching and, after earning her M.S. in Special
Education, she joined the teaching staff at Sundling. Four
years ago she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but she
didnt let that stand in the way of teaching. She rarely
missed a day of school even while she was undergoing treatment
and she never complained.
That inner strength and passion for teaching is what made
Baider a recipient of the Milken National Educator Award.
As one of two Illinois honorees, and one of 100 nationwide,
Baider will also receive $25,000 to be used in any manner
The award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary
teaching skills and personal commitment to education. This
year, 100 teachers in 47 states and the District of Columbia
will receive Milken awards. To date, the Milken Family Foundation
has honored almost 2,000 teachers, distributing more than
According to her colleagues, Baider is a natural born leader.
She is praised for her tireless efforts in finding innovative
teaching strategies that help students learn and sharing her
knowledge with the other teachers. Baider is credited with
creating a new referral program for the building and is considered
the local expert in Brain Based learning throughout the district.
She is also very active on committees throughout the district
and frequently conducts workshops to share her expertise and
Baider works closely with parents and community members as
well. Her philosophy is that working together towards improving
learning is vital in helping ensure that all students become
According to one of her colleagues, shes a multi-faceted
leader and uses creative ways to reach people at every level.
Now in remission from cancer, Baider doesnt take the
time to look back. She focuses only on the future and doing
what she loves mostteaching.
The name of the other Milken recipient will remain confidential
until the educator is notified later this month.