Laura Baker-Coronis has a gift for creating learning environments that connect math to the real world. Her ninth graders at Connecticut’s Ansonia High School use algebra to solve mysteries, compare cell phone plans based on data usage, use real world data to make predictions and figure out which careers provide the most income. In the Cereal Box Challenge, a highlight of Baker-Coronis’ geometry classes, students design boxes to hold specified volumes, with constraints like production costs, graphics and having to fit multiple boxes into specified shipping cartons. Every activity centers around student discourse, peer review and teamwork, with Baker-Coronis emphasizing socialization, open communication, respect and mutual commitment. Students are comfortable collaborating, participating and making mistakes in front of their peers, and they are determined to succeed—for themselves and for their teacher.
Baker-Coronis is a respected leader who challenges colleagues to think creatively to support students. She leads the math department, analyzing data with colleagues to identify student weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome them. As freshman team lead, Baker-Coronis facilitates collaboration among teachers to address students’ behavioral, social-emotional and academic needs. She mentors student teachers, has led professional development on vertical alignment from middle to high school, and has worked on district committees for curriculum development and SRBI (Scientific Researched-Based Interventions). During the pandemic, Baker-Coronis trained colleagues in Google Classroom, created instructional math videos to engage students, and helped revamp the curriculum to help students hit priority standards despite the challenges of remote instruction.
Student success is paramount for Baker-Coronis, and pupils’ needs are always top of mind. When the middle school lost a math teacher and students missed a lot of instruction, Baker-Coronis created and volunteered to teach extended geometry classes to make sure they caught up in ninth grade. To help Ansonia High raise SAT scores across the board, she created a “problem bank” with hundreds of sample problems for all teachers to use in their instruction. She helped drive the direction of the Freshman Academy to help students transition to high school, helped write the curriculum for Freshman Seminar, has organized virtual award ceremonies and capstone presentations, and advises the Student Ambassador Club, where students raise money for local organizations, including an animal shelter and center for victims of domestic abuse. Former students who have pursued STEM careers credit Baker-Coronis for their success after high school.
Baker-Coronis earned a bachelor’s in mathematics in 2011 and a master’s in education in 2015 from Southern Connecticut State University.
Valley Independent Sentinel | Mar 31 , 2022 | Naugatuck Valley, CT
WTIC-TV | FOX | Mar 31 , 2022 | Hartford, CT
Republican-American | Mar 31 , 2022 | Waterbury, CT
WTNH-TV | ABC | Mar 31 , 2022 | Hartford, CT
Connecticut Post | Mar 31 , 2022 | Bridgeport, CT