After two years in the district, English teacher Brandon Baggett announced he would be resigning from Atlantic High School to take a position at EEHK. Baggett teaches drama, English 1, and debate classes. He also directs the spring play.
“I decided to resign to garner more home and family time,” Baggett said. “The position I took will put me closer to home.” His family lives in Elk Horn, IA, and Baggett makes the commute between towns every day. While working at AHS, Baggett would often stay late to assist in speech and play practices. “Probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a job was directing this year’s play.” However, these late hours put a strain on Baggett’s family and home life. “I did spend a lot of time here.”
Since he arrived in 2020, Baggett has made an impact on many students. With 40 students participating in a speech in 2021 and 50 in 2022–over three quarters making it to state each year–Baggett is an accomplished teacher. During speech season, he coaches students for individual and group events after school and on weekends. During the spring, he goes to play rehearsals every day and set painting on the weekends. Baggett can be seen roller-skating around the school and sarcastically reciting Romeo and Juliet to his students on a given school day.
“He taught me a lot of things this year,” freshman Megan Birge said. “As a drama teacher, he was really funny; he got us all involved in classroom activities.” This year, Birge participated in speech and the play and took Baggett’s drama 1 class. Additionally, colleague and speech co-coach Trisha Niceswanger said, “I’m sad to see him leave Atlantic…I think he’s really funny, he’s easy to talk to, he’s one I can go to bounce ideas off of. He’s the kind who will always ask how you’re doing, care about how your day’s going.” Niceswanger works across the hall from Baggett, and regarding the new speech coach, she said, “I hope we can build on strengths as a program and continue to grow our number of performers for the future.”
Baggett’s leaving big shoes to fill. The school will open a position for an English teacher, but where does that leave the speech kids and play kids? “I’m more worried about the electives and the spring play.” Baggett says he will miss “[his] students most of all” and says to those he is leaving behind, “Do the right thing and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”