dr patricia baumer

The Change Agent

Dr. Patricia Baumer

Executive Director, Office of Access and Enrollment Services

The Objective

Prioritizing Equitable Enrollment

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Show Notes

This week, Dr. Patricia Baumer, Executive Director of the Office of Access and Enrollment Services at San Antonio Independent School District, sheds light on how districts can prioritize equitable enrollment practices. By removing barriers, supporting families, and working as a whole district team, schools can increase enrollment and help students and families find their perfect educational fit.

Host Bio: Dr. Chris Balow is the Chief Academic Officer at SchoolMint. Dr. Balow has a Ph.D in Educational Psychology and served for 33 years as an educator in various roles with focuses on literacy, mental health, and the behavioral and emotional growth of students. He has worked the last 6 years in the educational technology field to promote student success on a larger scale.

Season 2 : Episode 6

Title: District Spotlight: Prioritizing Equitable Enrollment

Subtitle: How San Antonio ISD supports families to increase enrollment and create a better experience.

VoiceOver (00:02):

Welcome to the ChangeAgents in K12 podcast. Join our host, Dr. Chris Balow, Chief Academic Officer at Schoolmint, as we dive into thought provoking in-depth conversations with top educational leaders. Our goal? The advancement of education and improved outcomes for all students. Listen in, be inspired, and ask yourself, are you ready to be a change agent?

Dr. Chris Balow (00:29):

Welcome everybody to ChangeAgents in K12, where we bring to you some of the most insightful and action oriented people today in education. And I'm really delighted today to bring to you Dr. Trisha Baumer. Uh, I met Trisha, um, about a month and a half ago at the Texas superintendent association conference. And I was just so, um, enthralled with her and and her work. And so I just thought she would just be an amazing guest. So Dr. Baumer is an education professional dedicated to equity, collaboration, and customer service. Her career pathway started as a Catholic school teacher and principal in Jacksonville, Florida. She then entered the education reform space in Texas with the Dallas independent school district as a founding member of their office transformation and innovation to being a founding member of the office of innovation and establishing the enrollment office with San Antonio. I S D along the way, she earned degrees from the university of Notre Dame and her doctorate in educational leadership from Southern Methodist university. Dr. Trisha Baumer welcome to ChangeAgents in K12.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (01:46):

Thank you, Chris, such a pleasure to be here, tickle pink that you invited me to, um, have this fabulous discussion with you.

Dr. Chris Balow (01:53):

Awesome. Thanks so much. Um, well, let's start off. Um, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about San Antonio ISD.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (02:02):

Yeah, so San Antonio ISD is one of the larger urban school districts in the United States. Um, urban meaning that it's really centrally located within the metropolis of a city. Uh, we have about 45,000 students. The majority of our students are Hispanic, Latino, because we are in Texas. We are more Southern. Also the majority of our students are economically disadvantaged. And so that means that, um, income wise, they qualify to receive free or reduced price lunch, according to the federal guidelines here. Um, it's a really great city, great town. It is growing, um, demonstrating a lot of economic growth, but then we have to balance that with the needs of our school communities, um, and how we can, uh, serve the populations, um, among all their needs.

Dr. Chris Balow (02:54):

Oh, interesting. Yeah, that sounds like a really dynamic place. And I know Texas, you know, thousands of people are moving to Texas every week. And so I'm sure you see that growth. Well, you have a really unique role in terms of the office of innovation, um, and enrollment services at San Antonio, um, and office of access. Tell us a little bit about your role there.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (03:19):

Yeah. So I will say San Antonio, I S D is definitely on the forefront of thinking of how enrollment should be prioritized within the, um, education space. Nothing that we do with our schools will come to fruition if we don't have children in the schools. And so that means enrollment is a top priority what San Antonio ISD has done. And what they brought me on board to do was to actually create an enrollment office that focused on the needs, uh, that focused on removing barriers that focused on the ability of getting our students enrolled in our schools, supporting our families to, uh, in the registration and enrollment process, knowing that it is truly the first folks that people see when they come into a school, um, it's their first experience in the school district. And so we, that's why customer service for me is so important to make sure that we give folks that when they come in so that they truly feel part of the San Antonio ISD family within there.

Dr. Chris Balow (04:26):

Yeah, that's, that's, um, really, really interesting because, um, would, would you say that that mindset is common across the country? Or maybe not so common?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (04:38):

I would Def I, I would, in my experience, um, with the, both with the Catholic school system, the public education system, we need to make that more common too often. Enrollment is a forgotten piece of the process. It's the well everybody has to do it's. So no matter how good, how bad it is, families have to do it anyway to get into the school. But if we change our mindset to make it really the customer service oriented piece, I know that people don't like thinking of schools as a business, but in a way we do have to think part of it as a business, if we go into was store an apple store, um, or even a grocery store, we expect that we're gonna be treated in a friendly way. We have this expectation, right. Of, um, that we're gonna be taking care of and things like that. We need to have that same feeling with schools. We have to remember that people aren't just going to come, just because they're entitled to a public education. We have to remember that we have to give them that same customer feeling that same touch, that same, we value you experience within there too. And that's people don't necessarily like hearing that all the time. They're just like, but you're not a store, but I'm like, but why would it be any different? We walk into a target, we walk into a, we walk into a restaurant. We expect to be treated in a certain way at, we should give that same experience to our families when they walk into our doors too.

Dr. Chris Balow (06:15):

Yeah. That's such great advice. And so all, all listeners, listen to what Dr. Baumer saying, it's so important. And as I've studied the landscape, education's changed in the last 10 to 15 years where, I mean, you're talking about customer service and it's really a marketplace where people have options and they, and they can vote with their are feet, right?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (06:38):

Yes, absolutely. And especially in San Antonio, I S D we have had a rise of charter organizations that are not affiliated with our school district. And so families are seeing that they have options, whereas before really your only option was the neighborhood school to which you went to, which is why there was no focus really on customer service or on making sure that our families knew that we were there. It was just assumed that they were gonna come in the door, but now within the 21st century marketplace of schools, you can't make that assumption anymore. And, and it's great. It is great that families have all these options. And I love talking to families about finding out what is the best fit for their child. But what I tell them is San Antonio ISD has so many options, uh, for them, but at the same time, I have to understand, and I have to own that a, a parent has the right to make the decision for what school of what education option they're going to do. Um, and honestly, that was actually the, one of the very first lessons I learned in the Catholic school system as a Catholic school teacher and principal, we are, it is literally ingrained in us that the parent is the first educator, you know, to remember that. And even I carried that lesson into the, you know, into my work, uh, within the public school system, parents truly are the first educator. They're the ones that help teach their child how to walk, how to talk, you know, all these different things. And so if we also give them that same respect when they come to our schools, yes, we might have the professional development. We might have the, the degrees and the certification that we've learned more about how to teach children, but to give them the respect to remember that they were the very first ones. And they're the ones that will nurture and care for them when they leave our building too.

Dr. Chris Balow (08:33):

Yo that's so profound, uh, Trisha, um, truly, and it it's, um, it's, you know, it interesting because currently in our, our time there, there seems to be a, a lot of discussion about the role of parents in education, uh, in their child's education. And I, I think what you're telling us is that they're a partner and enrollment finding that right. Fit the right program, where, where that child can reach their potential. And they're, they're excited and energized to come to school every day and learn you serve a really important role in you called it a fit. Um, yeah, absolutely. So how, in, in a big district, how do you manage that? Figuring out and helping the parents, uh, essentially shop for that best fit.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (09:25):

Yeah. And I don't want, uh, people to think, oh my gosh, in that school, just, they just let the parents like decide, you know, everything I'm like, no, no, no, no, it's not that we say parents can choose anything. They want it's that we respect that parents are their first educator. We respect that parents understand their child the best, but then it's our role as the enrollment office to tell them, okay, so these are the parameters, here's your option for the neighborhood school? Here's the option. If you don't like your neighborhood school, we have the transfer process, or we have all these great choice goals that you can apply for, you know, so it's not like it's a free for all. Um, but we give them the ability to choose. Now, there are times where families don't like the things I tell them. Sure. They don't like any of their options. And I, but I have to still be firm with them and say, I understand that you don't like any of these options, but this is what we have to work with. You know? And so, but it is at least giving them the ability to control what they can control. We, you know, and then we talk them through it. So, and that's how it is. We, we, them, we ask them some basic questions that like, so we can ascertain their needs. So what is it that your child likes to do? But at the same time, what is it that the parent is looking for? Because at this time the parent is still making some big decisions, but then besides that, we also get to the nitty grit. We know what your wants are. What are the circumstances that would also affect your decisions, which would include, is transportation a concern, um, is aftercare a concern, um, where do you live according to the district, or if you don't live in the district, what district location is closest to you? So we do a blend of finding out what their and dreams are, but then I, I always call myself a practical dreamer. So I get to hear what their dreams are, but we bring it down to the practical sense of what is reality at the same time.

Dr. Chris Balow (11:30):

So you really listen to the parents and you're guiding them. You're, you're educating them on the options. And in the end, probably 99% feel really good.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (11:42):

Yes, yes. But you know what, Chris, this the same thing that I would, um, also just make everybody aware, even though I, we are, um, working with the parents a lot. On the flip side, I also have to work with the schools and the district departments a lot too, because they have to understand that they are an option. They have to understand how to best support the students that come in, you know, to their schools too. Um, it really is just breaking the mindset of my kids, my attendance zone. This is how we serve them kind of thing. Sure. If we do allow families, you know, and that's the flip side, you can create an enrollment system in which you give families options, but at the same time, you have to have a school and districts support system that would be able to service the students within there too. And it's not saying we're doing anything revolutionary, um, or, um, really like making dynamic changes throughout, but it's just changing the perception of who it is we serve and how we serve them, that we would be open to all student and that say, somebody does transfer through this school. And if it doesn't work out that they just say, okay, sorry, it didn't work out. You have to leave now. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. That's not how it works. It's equity entering the system, but then equity and also exiting to make sure that we actually gave the students the most supports and interventions they needed to success. And if they're not finding success in the school, realizing it may not be the best fit to sit down and have that conversation with the parents again and say, Hey, look, here's, what's happening with this situation again, like you said, being a partner with the parents and just not making the decision for them, but allow them to understand. And here's, what's going on. Is this still the decision you want to make?

Dr. Chris Balow (13:40):

Yeah. Very good. And, you know, you talked early on about customer service, it sounds like it's really important for the school leaders to, to approach it from that perspective when, uh, some student is coming in as a choice school or, uh, a boundary exception or whatever that have to approach it, uh, from that perspective.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (14:00):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's the same thing too, when I was, um, in the Catholic school space. So it is the Catholic schools do operate as a private organization. Um, and people assume, oh, you can just, again, exit people out whenever it's not fitting a nice, it's the same thing though. You sit down with the families and say, is this the best fit again? You know, again, partnering with them, making them understand whether or not it's the best fit, um, kind of thing. And then if they truly feel there are some times where, where families are just adamant, no, I want to stay, I want to stay then just continuing to work with them as best as we can. Yeah. Um, but they are in full know of what's happening. Yeah.

Dr. Chris Balow (14:43):

So important. You know, as, as a psychologist who worked in the schools for over 30 years, I can tell folks that changing schools is really, can be very traumatic for, for students. And so a decision to say, Hey, you failed at school A, you need to go to school B um, that actually has lifelong implications. Cause I've talked to students that, um, have undergone that change because of behavior problems or whatever. And they remember that and they view it lifelong as a big failure point in their life. And so yeah, we have to be very cognizant of those kinds of decisions.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (15:21):

Yeah. And I've also talked to, uh, principals and school administrators who approach me and say, this student has so many absence. I, I want to exit them or this student has so many behavior issues. And again, remember at the beginning where I said those, um, district is a large percentage, economically disadvantaged, this is the one I have a real talk with the principal or the administrator I say, okay, we know that this student has a lot of absences, but if you with the family to find out why they're absent all the time, or why all of a sudden in the past two weeks, they've been absent for 10 days in a row. And if they haven't done their due diligence to find out what's going on with that family, I don't let them exit them good for, and not, not I, but like the structure, our processes in our systems, we really say, Hey look, well then the, sometimes the school finds out, oh, they got kicked out of their house. Uh, yeah, there would be a reason why they're absent because they're literally trying to find a place to stay or their car broke. And so they literally didn't have transportation. It's these kinds of things that if we don't take the time to really find out what's going on with our families, then why are we making these assumptions and decisions? It's the same thing with behavior. So I also work so closely with the office disability services for our students with special needs. There was an uncharacteristically high number of, um, draws or transfer revocations for students with needs. And when I, um, delved into each one, because now they had to our office make sure that they're following the process. We spoke with a lot of administrators because they were trying to exit students for behaviors that were in their I, their into liberalize education plans that were in their IEPs. And I'm saying, wait a minute, you already know that they have an identified need related to behavior, and you're going to exit them because the you're seeing the behaviors. I'm like, no, you can't do that. That's when we have to work as a district to say, what other interventions or supports do we have in place besides the fact that there's law, there is a law saying that you can't exit students related to behaviors that are in their identified plans. You know?

Dr. Chris Balow (17:44):

Well, that's amazing. And I, I want people to take note here. We have, uh, Dr. Baumer, who's in charge of the enrollment office and she's saying, we need to meet the needs of kids. We have to take the time to develop the proper interventions. And you talk about chronic absentees and that's a very complex problem. There are so many ideological basis basis for chronic Absenteeism; maybe that child's getting bullied. I mean, there's so many, I, I could list 10 or 20 possible causes and exiting them only exacerbates it.

Schoolmint Ad (18:24):

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Dr. Chris Balow (19:43):

I wanna talk shift gears a little bit and, you know, equity is a huge part of, of who you are and, and, and your passion in education. And we need that. And, um, how does communicating with families and parents making it easy for them to know how to register where to register? It can be overwhelming. I would think to some parents, particularly if they're, if first generation immigrants and so forth, um, how do you make it equitable for everybody? So they have the right information and the deadlines and all of that.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (20:22):

So that is, um, really at the forefront of the work I've done both with the Dallas ISD and San Antonio, I S D it could be, be something as easy as what is the predominant language that is spoken in your school districts? It boggle my mind that when I started at both places here in Texas, the large majority of our populations are Spanish speakers. Yet the registration sites were not translated into Spanish. The paperwork was not available in Spanish. Um, little things like that. That is the access for me, equity. There is a large focus in our academic world right now of equity within the classroom. Um, you know, equity within the academic learning and things like that. For me, again, equity is all about what happens at the very beginning, because if we can't even get them into the classrooms, then we won't have that discussion about equity in the classroom. Right? So let's look at, um, the parent who doesn't know how to read. Let's look at the parent who speaks a different language. Let's look at somebody who has network have been in the American school system, and it's new to the first, for the first time. So this is where I really partnered with a lot of different departments within the school district, because the other think Chris enrollment is not a one office job. Enrollment is the job of the entire district. Like it really is a true team effort for every to pitch in and help out with their families. So knowing that, uh, language was a barrier. So one of the first things we made sure that every single, um, registration form and enrollment form was translated into the second, most dominant language of the district. So everything's in English and Spanish. Um, even on the website, if nothing else on the website was in English and Spanish, we made sure the registration part was in English and Spanish. And then because we also have refugee families coming in, made sure that there was a pipeline for additional translation services or folks who could help, um, for, and even though it might be a tiny population, but we want to make sure they feel cared for as well. Um, the other thing that I also, uh, really brought in to focus on was our choice schools. So every, um, school district in the United States, or a lot of them anyway, now have these choice schools, these specialty campuses that are doing innovative things have really different programming that are really engaging students and engaging families. There was not equity in entering those schools. Yes. Um, with all of our families. And when we looked at the demographics of students who were enrolled in there, they were so disproportionate to the actual demographics of our district. So one of the things that we did was look at the application process for those schools and where we saw, um, I mean, it was, you had to have essays, you had to have interviews, you had to submit your grades. You had to submit your, um, behavior issues. If you've ever been suspended. Like it really only, uh, made it seem like one kind of student could be successful or could enter into these schools when truly the purpose of these schools was to tap every child because their interest could be different. So we then looked at how to remove barriers, make equity in the application process itself, and also at the same time, by the way, following the law. So a lot of the things that I do in creating the office and in looking at the equity lens is honestly, starting with one, are we following the law? And if we're not, we have to make sure that our practices show that because in most states in most education laws, it, it, the laws are meant to remove the barriers, but practice in enforcing the laws has not necessarily been there. So in, in our choice schools, the law states that there cannot be screening entering the schools. And so if you, you have literally an essay that you are already screening, because now that student has to be able to write clearly when we know that not all of our students are at that capacity yet. Um, and then if they interview, well, there are students who are not gonna be able to interview well and things like that too. So we removed those pieces and just created a straight lot of demographic, you know, and just use demographic factors, um, to say, because we have to have a balance of English or Spanish speakers in our dual language programs, or, um, if there's a blueprint like the Texas education agency, um, for a particular kind of school to have been approved, we have to have a certain number of at risk students like it's, but it's all demographic factors. And it's nothing that they would have to do. Parents or students would have to do anything. Um, more so. And it also allowed our students with special needs to apply. We had, there was a scarcity of students with needs in our choice programs, because the families didn't believe that it was a program for them. Now, there are some needs that cannot be accommodated for within our choice schools, especially the ones that call for a specialized type of class unit. Um, those are the students with the more extreme, but for those who don't need that, they absolutely should have been able to apply and to be able to enter our schools. So it's that equity lens too. Are we really allowing access for our students who need these choice goals to get into the choice schools? Yeah. And then also, um, another thing that we've really done in San Antonio ISD that was also something we brought down from Dallas, was looking at our poverty index in a more nuanced way. Um, economically disadvantaged with the federal guidelines is very black and white, but it doesn't break down the extremity of poverty even within that, because there are some families who have some economic disadvantage, but then there are families who are in a very low poverty level. We looked at our, um, poverty index in an even more nuanced way. And we really fought for the students who were in the most disadvantaged, um, groups. We specifically called them. We specifically sent them a different kind of mailer, reached out to them to make sure they really understood. Hey, do you wanna apply for these choice schools? Hey, do you need help registering for school? Like, we really wanted to make sure that our most disadvantaged families who are the ones that would need the most support, but they got that through the enrollment process.

Dr. Chris Balow (27:05):

Well, that's just fantastic Trisha because, you know, having this, these entrance criteria, it's going to eliminate the possibility of some amazing student and, and child not getting the opportunity. And it it's, um, I'm, I'm just, I'm just so proud of your work and, and increasing that access and giving the most disadvantage, the opportunity. And, you know, you talked about, for example, as a psychologist, I work with all these kids with behavior problems, a lot of them, because their needs were not being met in the classroom and they weren't, they, their, their passions weren't being ignited. And maybe they, that choice school would be the place where that student would just you know, turn on and be excited and come to school every day and, and work hard. And they just wouldn't ever get that opportunity. And so you, you are a change agent in making a difference in kids' lives, um, in, in major ways. Couple, couple questions, just so many questions pop into my mind, Trisha, because you know, some of the things you're saying are so amazing. You talked about a lottery, how do you accomplish a lottery? That that's really fascinating.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (28:18):

So one of the things that we do also with the amount of choice list that we had, we wanted to make sure that the system was easy for people to apply. And that also there was no bias yeah. In even doing the lottery, because that historically there was, you know, especially when charter schools were first starting, there was bias within Lotteries. And if you're not doing it in a fair and open way, um, we actually, we ended up using a system. Uh, so we took Schoolmint on as our program, but it really just allowed us to collect all the students information. And also we have, we have created a lottery system to ensure that we have a diverse population students in our schools. We have some campuses that we call the diverse by design schools. And so, um, within our school and lottery system, we literally collect their application, look at the demographic information we've collected, and then specifically put them into an economically disadvantaged bucket or a non economically disadvantage, because there are research that shows that a blended population helps everyone to succeed. It helps them socially, economically, I mean, emotionally, uh, to grow. And there's no academic deficit instead what it shows, it decreases the learning gap. If you purposely have this, um, diverse, uh, student population. And so we literally separate applications into separate buckets and then do a lot, we set aside seats within each category. So that we know that we're going to have a balanced population. We do that for our dual language campuses as well. And then also we do that for both our students who are in our attendance zones and outside of our attendance zones. We want to make sure that we have choices for everyone, we, but we can call controlled choice. We're we make sure that the percentages of students that we're serving in our schools are the ones who should be within there.

Dr. Chris Balow (30:27):

Fantastic. Fantastic. One more question then, then our time is up. Um, so in your time in San Antonio, what's been happening with, with your overall enrollment trend has been increasing, decreasing staying static. I, when I was in Texas at the, and presenting at the superintendent conference, a lot of talk about declining enrollment and in this whole marketplace what's happening in your district.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (30:51):

Um, definitely seeing the same national trend. Yep. Um, so we have, we do have decline in enrollment, but it's interesting. I've been questions a lot, you know, it's becoming, it's getting in the news, but have we seen anything remarkably different? I would say we're still seeing the same patterns of why people are leaving, but it's just heightened due to the COVID effect. Sure, sure. So it's, it's more of an exponential thing, but it's still, there are more families who are moving because they have to be with family support systems that are not in San Antonio. There are families who are still choosing to leave our school district for other school options because they feel it's the best fit for their students. I would say the most heightened COVID effect though is in our early childhood grades, still with the pre-K kinder. Um, those are still the lowest enrolled, but then also we do have a small population of students who just chose not to go to school due to the COVID scare. And so we are looking to see now that the vaccine has been approved for the five to 11 year olds, we're gonna be reaching out to those families specifically, making sure that they understand. Hey, you had said before that you were concerned about COVID you were waiting on the vaccine, here it is. We're gonna give them the vaccination clinic information. So it'll it be interesting to see both in our district and nationwide, if there's going to be a, a slight uptick or trend with student coming back to schools, once the vaccination period, um, has happened for that particular population. Sure. But it's been hard for us to just, I wish I could tell you that this was a historical trend or anything like that, but even with COVID last, I can't even compare it to COVID effect from last year because the parameters we're experiencing this year are completely different from last year. Last year, the big question was in person learning a remote learning. So it was a whole different of decision factors for families, right. This year, the majority trend has been in person there's been hardly any remote learning across the nation. Uh, because we saw that in person was a better effect. And so then it was a completely different set of decision factors for families there. Sure. So talk to me again in a couple years, let's see what happens with enrollment trends to see what continued COVID effect, or just maybe it's the remnants of COVID effect will happen.

Dr. Chris Balow (33:23):

Yeah. We're all wondering kind of what the long term impact will be. Oh, one final question comes to mind. So you have all these choice programs. Do you attract students from other districts in, into San Antonio?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (33:34):

We do San Antonio. I S D of all the school districts around us has the most choice options from pre-K all the way through 12th grade. Okay. So we do attract families from outside. And also because we are located in the heart of San Antonio city, we attract the families to work downtown who would have to travel for work anyway. Of which I am one of those. Um, and so I've, I've taken a advantage of that option too, so yeah. Yep. We do. So if anybody's listening out there, call our enrollment office.

Dr. Chris Balow (34:07):

Yes. Talk, talk to Dr. Baumer. Um, well, Trisha, it's been a fantastic conversation and I know, um, folks tuning in are gonna learn a lot. Uh, and my I'm guessing people even reach out you to pick your brain on, on some things would love it. Love it. Yeah. So, um, your, your work is so important. And, and I think you've, you've really, uh, got that out to folks, but before I let you go, you have to participate in the fast five where I ask you five personal questions, not too personal. And you have to give us your quick answer. So here we go. You ready?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (34:45):

Okay. Sock it to me.

Dr. Chris Balow (34:46):

What is your favorite family vacation?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (34:49):

I will say we just bought a popup camper. And I, we have absolutely loved doing that experience. It's it? And nobody's, I, we tried it because of COVID, but we just fell in love with it. So taking that popup camper, choosing a, a park national park or a site spending the weekend. It's fantastic.

Dr. Chris Balow (35:10):

Oh, cool. Cool. If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (35:17):

It would be definitely a Filipino related meal. So I'm Filipino. Yep. Um, and it would probably be a combination of lumpia , Adobo and Muno. These are all very traditional Filipino dishes.

Dr. Chris Balow (35:33):

And I have no idea what those are, but I'll bet you they're delicious.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (35:38):

Oh yeah. Next time I see I'll cook. I'll invite you over for a Filipino meal, Chris.

Dr. Chris Balow (35:41):

Oh, I love it. I love it. Um, okay. What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (35:49):

I would probably say, and some people might not think it's daring, but the fact that I had, I got married had four children and a full-time job while getting my dissertation at the same time.

Dr. Chris Balow (36:03):

Oh, that's, that's borderline crazy.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (36:08):

So yes, I, for while I look back on it now and people are just like, how'd you do that? I'm like, I don't know. I just did.

Dr. Chris Balow (36:15):

That's like the leap of faith.

Dr. Trisha Baumer (36:17):

Yes. And if you want, so if you wanna say daring that I chose to take that all on at the same time. Um, within four and a half years, by the way that all happened.

Dr. Chris Balow (36:26):

Well, you, you are impressive. No doubt about it. Um, do you collect anything?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (36:32):

I do. So I have these, um, like little figurines from every country that either I visited or that if my family goes to visit, they'll get a, a little figurine from there and it could be something random. My sister went to England and got me a little bear, like a little Paddington bear. Um, or I went to, I've also been to Indonesia and I have these owls, these wooden owls. Just from a, uh, village community that literally had, um, apprenticeship at, with carpentry in there. So interesting little things like that.

Dr. Chris Balow (37:06):

Cool. Okay. Last question. What was your first job?

Dr. Trisha Baumer (37:11):

My very first job. And I'll say professionally. So everybody's familiar in the United States with TFA, which is teach for America. An organization that places teachers in schools. I did the Catholic school version of that. Uh, called ACE Alliance for Catholic education. And they placed me in a school inner city, Catholic school in Jacksonville, Florida. And I was a horrible first year teacher I'll say that, but the second year got better. And look here. I am now years later.

Dr. Chris Balow (37:45):

Well, fantastic. Well, Dr. Trisha Baumer, I wanna thank you for, um, sharing your insights, your wisdom, and, and all the great things you've accomplished in San Antonio. Thanks again,

Dr. Trisha Baumer (37:56):

Thanks so much, Chris, you are awesome.

VoiceOver (37:58):

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