Deanna M. Baird
Deanna Morrison Baird of the Class of 1968 is currently a foreign language educator in the Upper St. Clair School District in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. She teaches German and is also the K – 12 Foreign Language Curriculum Leader.
She grew up on Park Avenue and still shares with her classmates many happy memories of their years at Washington Elementary School. She was also fortunate to be able to learn the German language and culture during her school years when she visited her grandparents in Germany. She graduated from high school with a strong foreign language background and then graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B. S. in German Education. After receiving a Fulbright academic scholarship to study abroad for a year, she studied at Middlebury College and then completed her Master’s in German Language and Literature at the Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet in Mainz, Germany.
Deanna’s teaching career has extended over thirty years in Upper St. Clair where she has taught grades 6 – 12, currently teaching the advanced and International Baccalaureate levels. In 1992 she organized and continues to takes students on a biennial exchange to a partner school in Leverkusen, Germany. She also succeeded in instituting a Spanish language program for all elementary children in Upper St. Clair. In 1997 she was a runner-up winner for the Pittsburgh Teacher Excellence Award. She also helped to found Pittsburgh’s Cultural Communications Alliance (CCA) , which sponsors annual international marketing competitions for Pittsburgh area students through the Bayer and H. J. Heinz Corporations; she is currently the president of CCA. Within the state she has worked on various committees for the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA), helping the Pennsylvania Department of Education to write Pennsylvania world language standards, team-writing books on assessment and the establishment of elementary foreign language programs, and helping to design the first state-wide foreign language department awards. In 2004 she received the Foreign Language Educator of the Year Award from PSMLA. At the national level she has been trained and certified as an oral proficiency interviewer to rate speakers of foreign language, and she was a finalist in the Northeast division for the first National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. She has presented workshops on the CCA and on foreign language assessment at the local, state, and national levels. Nominated by her students, she has been included in Who’s Who Among American Teachers several times.
Within her community of Mt. Lebanon, Deanna is a member of the Methodist church where she is active on the Missions team. She organized a partnership with a church in eastern Germany shortly after the fall of the Wall. She now plans and participates in the church’s exchanges with Germany and also with a new partner church in Lithuania. Her leisure interests revolve around traveling, dancing, and reading.
Deanna is married to Rick Baird, and they have two daughters, Jessie and Margot. She is the daughter of Kitty and the late David Morrison of 5th Street. Her brother Michael (Class of 1979) lives with his family in Hershey, Pa.