Secondary Science Presidential Award Recipient
“Successful classroom teachers are rewarded on a regular basis by their students’ achievements. The Presidential Award is the highest form of recognition a science instructor can earn from top-tier experts in science and education. While it serves to acknowledge excellence in past performance, it also calls upon recipients to advance their profession in the future. I am lucky to have a career doing what I love to do. This award is a unique honor that compels me to do better in the years to come."
Dean Baird has taught Physics and Advanced Placement Physics for more than 25 years at Rio Americano High School, where he also taught Pre-algebra, Physical Science, and Newspaper. Dean designed and implemented successful school-wide ad campaigns to increase enrollment in physics. Colleagues around the world access Dean’s unique curriculum materials via the Web site he established in the 1990s. He also shares ideas and analysis of physics teaching issues on his blog, where his whimsical collection of scientist valentines went viral.
Dean has served and been recognized by the American Association of Physics Teachers at the state and national levels, where he has presented novel demonstrations and conducted engaging workshops. He helped found Physics Teacher SOS to serve new teachers in northern California. California’s State Board of Education appointed Dean to its Assessment Review Panel to evaluate the items and content used on statewide science tests. For the past decade, Dean has authored the lab manuals for Paul Hewitt’s popular Conceptual Science textbooks.
Dean has a B.S.Ed. in physics and mathematics from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in instructional leadership, with Honors, from National University. He is certified in physical science and introductory mathematics.