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Joseph Baker
NEAT Teacher Barber Middle School, Georgia

I was born in Clinton, Iowa on August 26, 1976.  We (mom, dad, my sister and brother) lived there until I was about 8 years old, when Mom got a position with the government.  We then moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma for two years before Mom was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.  After staying in Belton, Texas for one year Mom’s job took us overseas to Pirmasens, Germany.  We stayed there for five years.  It was an incredible experience to live abroad and see so many different cultures.  The history was amazing, not to mention that the village we lived in was over 750 years old!  I still have dreams about those days ever so often.  We eventually moved back to the states my senior year and I graduated from Wellborn High School in Anniston, Alabama.  After graduation I took an acting scholarship at Jacksonville State University where I received my undergraduate degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in biology and health.

My first teaching assignment was at West Blocton High School in West Blocton, Alabama.  I stayed there for two years, while receiving my graduate degree in Secondary Science at UAB, before I joined Hoover City Schools, teaching at Crossroads Alternative School.  One year later I found myself moving to Kennesaw, Georgia where I took a position with Cobb County Schools at Dickerson Middle School as a sixth grade science teacher.  My wife is originally from Georgia, so the transition was something that finally came to fruition.  I stayed at Dickerson Middle for four years before taking my current position at Barber Middle School (still in Cobb County).

I currently live in Adairsville, Georgia with my wife and five-year old son Austin.  I am now an eighth grade earth science teacher.  I enjoy playing guitar, hackie-sacking, playing with my son, fussball, hiking, basketball, baseball, traveling, hang gliding  and anything dealing with the outdoors.

Past/current experiences include:  Participation in Dauphin Island Sea Lab (marine biology workshop for teachers), Science-In Motion (Outreach Program), Teacher Space Camp, NSTA Conferences (Baltimore and Atlanta), published units on-line, Professional Development Chair, Science Department Chair, Team Leader, SGA co-sponsor, Junior Varsity Baseball Assistant Coach, Science Olympiad Coach, Science Club Sponsor, TOSS mentor, Expanding Horizons mentor, GIFT (Georgia Interns-Fellowship for Teachers) Fellow, presenter at GaETC (Georgia Educational Technology Consortium), presenter at GSTA (Georgia Science Teachers Association), GIFT presenter and NEAT (Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers) member.

Special Honors:  NEAT member, GSTA Georgia Middle School Science Teacher of the Year (2005), Dickerson Middle School Alternate Teacher of the Year (2005), Designer of NEAT symbol, GIFT Fellow, Bibb County Grant Recipient, Cobb County Grant Recipient, Disney Teacher Hand Nominee, Who’s Who Among Students in Universities, selected as UAB’s most promising students, inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Psi Omega, and Omicron Delta Kappa.

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Editor: Brian Day
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated:June, 2006
Students Contact: Jennifer Heldmann
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe