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Language Instructor Named Top Teacher

With 35 years of teaching under her belt, Rita Baker was chosen as Greenwich Public Schools representative for the 2011 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program. A long-time Greenwich resident, Baker has taught German, French and other languages to Greenwich High School student since 1975.

"I was impressed by her ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each of her students," said Dr. Sidney A. Freund, superintendent of schools. "

Frau Baker, as many of her students and colleagues call her, began her teaching career as an English as a Second Language and French teacher. She developed the first ESL program at the high school and developed the curriculum for a multi-level program.

"Between the interactions with her students, the high energy in the classroom and the mutual admiration for those in the classroom, all factored into my decision," said Freund.

In 1983 she became a German teacher and has been known to add life to the coursework and help those who are struggling with the program.

"I am completely overwhelmed and so honored to be considered for this award," said Baker.

Another award recipient was Ricco Burkhardt , a former student of Baker's, for the Electronic Music Competition. "I convinced Ricco to take [Advanced Placement] German with me and now we got to spend the evening together," Baker said.

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