Giles has seen former students go on to success

December 9, 2022


Simran Rijal

Physics teacher Beth Giles has been teaching at BHS for 32 years.

Baldwin High School alum Elizabeth Giles has been teaching physics at Baldwin High School long enough that one of her former students is now one of her bosses.

“Dr. Janeen Peretin, who is the district’s technology director, was once a student of mine, and now she’s a boss of mine,” Giles said.

When Peretin was first hired in Baldwin; she was a high school math teacher, so she and Giles had time to catch up with each other and had some laughs about the days when Peretin was a student.
“She was conscientious, always prepared, and did very well. It’s been wonderful to see her be so successful in all her endeavors,” Giles said.
Other students Giles taught have pursued careers in science.

“Katie Barry, a former student of mine, is now a physics teacher, and John Alison is now a professor of physics at CMU,” Giles said.

Giles is in her 32nd year teaching in the district. She now has had the experience of teaching the children of former students.

“At first it made me feel very old, but once I got used to it, it became cool to catch up with my former students,” Giles said.

Technology has changed a lot about teaching, including how students’ report cards are put together.

“Back then, teachers used a calculator to add up all of a student’s scores in a quarter, divide to determine the student’s percentage grade, and then bubble in the grades on a form,” Giles said.

The major renovation of the high school took place between 2006 and 2009. Much of the existing building at the time was torn down in stages, with a new school being built in the same footprint – and classes continued through it all.

“I taught in a trailer in the central parking lot and in the old faculty lounge. Some science teachers taught in locker rooms, with urinals on the wall,” Giles said.

One thing Giles misses is the breakfast day for seniors as their final year wrapped up.

“Seniors would decorate their cars and have senior breakfast day. We don’t have that anymore and I’d like to see that return,” Giles said.

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