Year Honored: 2010Westminster Community Charter School
At the time of the Award, Robert Baxter was:Teacher
Westminster Community Charter School
Subject(s) taught: Biology/Life Science
Grade(s): 7, 8
Robert Baxter attributes his success in teaching to the opportunity to expose his students to a variety of educational experiences. Baxter provides many outdoor adventures which include taking his students to a real life outdoor learning laboratory at a local forest preserve, overnight camping trips, field trips to local businesses and even an amusement park to study large-scale machinery. In a school where 89 percent of the students receive free and reduced-price lunches, many students would not have these opportunities outside of Baxter's classroom. On Friday nights and weekends, he takes trips of his own to his students’ homes to fit in additional tutoring sessions to pass the New York State Regents science exam. He even made weekly trips to the hospital to tutor a student who had sickle cell anemia to ensure he did not fall behind in his studies. His students have rewarded their teacher’s efforts with a 95 percent passing rate in his science course, and 88 percent receiving Regents credit in the eighth grade—an especially strong accomplishment for a school with a 98-percent-minority student body.
Robert Baxter’s generous spirit touches his community as well. He is the supervisor of graduate teaching assistants at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the summer, where he also teaches a class on the science of cancer. He trains and mentors other science teachers at Westminster and other Buffalo public schools. Baxter is a member of Bethesda World Harvest International Church where serves as the president of the Bethesda community development corporation in which he oversees a $1.7 million renovation project and serves as a deacon. His role as the president of the CDC is to create an incubator for entrepreneurs and small business owners in his community providing business opportunities, training and inexpensive rental space. One of his goals is to establish a cosmetology and barber school to provide vocational training programs and business opportunities for unemployed young adults in the city of Buffalo.
Personal MessageMr. Baxter started off as an EOP student at SUNY College at Buffalo. He truly understands that living in poverty doesn't mean you have to stay in poverty. Poverty is a mindset that can be overcome. He continues to encourage his students to reach beyond their current situations and achieve their goals. Students today have so much competing for their attention. Teachers must be innovative, encouraging and purposeful. Teachers can and should be living examples and role models for their student always encouraging them to strive for better.
Robert Baxter In The NewsBuffalo Business First | Jun 03 | 2011 | Buffalo, NY Buffalo Business First | Jun 03 | 2011 | Buffalo, NY NYSUT.org | New York State United Teachers | Oct 07 | 2010 | Latham, NY NYSUT.org | New York State United Teachers | Oct 05 | 2010 | Latham , NY
"That one moment [receiving the Milken Educator Award] is actually the best teaching moment I could ever have. I tell students they..." (read more)