Understanding and respecting various points of view is important, as Katie Yoder, winner of Stryker’s Franklin B. Walter Award has gathered.
“I like the balance of trying different things, and having different groups of people to interact with.” Said the senior girl.
With a list of extracurricular activities as varied as Yoder’s, she has surely had plenty of experience with that in her high school career. Taking part in Volleyball and Softball, as well as Quiz Bowl and National Honor Society, the Class President has dealt with a wide variety of people. When one also factors in her role in making the school play a success, and her involvement in her Mennonite Youth Fellowship, and her own versatility has to be appreciated as well.
When prompted to attribute a teacher whom had the greatest impact on her, Yoder selected her former math teacher, Melanie Baldwin, citing her creative teaching methods and interactive style.
“She has a different style than most math teachers, which is a good style.” Yoder spoke of Baldwin.
“She’s one of those students who sticks out.” Baldwin returned the praise. “She just loves learning.”
It was her passion for mathematics that ensured Baldwin would not be so quick to forget her former pupil.
“A lot of math students don’t appreciate the math beyond the answer.” Stated the Instructor. “There’s not a lot of kids like that.”
Baldwin taught Pre-Algebra, Geometry, and Advanced Math to Yoder. During that time, they performed unique math experiments, such as measuring the slopes of each set of stairs in the school building.
“We were wondering which one was the steepest.” Baldwin recalled.
Despite being so involved in both activities and learning, Yoder didn’t think she would be recognized for the award.
“I wasn’t expecting to get it.” She admitted.
With her unique desire to learn and understand, maybe Yoder should start expecting more of such accolades in the future.
T.J. Hug can be reached at