Edgar Baxton is here to make a difference.
From a dream of playing football at Ohio State University, to wrestling in the U.S. Army and a 23-year stint as a college professor, Baxton has a background a little more diverse than many.
But that diversity is only the beginning of why he wants to make a difference in the lives of students.
“There’s no success without education,” says Baxton, a mantra he hopes to pass on to his students.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Baxton began his studies at Ohio State before opting for a 2-year hitch with the U.S. Army. He later played football and wrestled at Waldorf College and then Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Before coming to Fort Dodge 13 years ago, he had a long career as a professor at Waldorf. In addition to his undergraduate work, Baxton earned a graduate degree from Minnesota State University.
Baxton says he was looking for a place like Fort Dodge — some place with a minority student population that perhaps didn’t see enough of itself among the teaching faculty.
“I am one of very few blacks in the district,” he notes.
Actually, Baxton says as a male teacher he’s already a minority, regardless of color. Coming in to the middle school, where Baxton teaches health, students have seen fewer male teachers at the elementary level.
His presence, Baxton hopes, will serve not only minority students well, but also members of the larger student population who will encounter many more cultures as they graduate and go out into the world.
Preparing students to make good decisions along the way is his constant goal.
“At the middle school level, it’s more of a challenge. They’re growing up. We know that they’re going to make mistakes, but we want them to make small mistakes,” he says.
In the year ahead, Baxton will be teaching a few classes at the high school, in addition to his class load at the new middle school. He looks forward to working in the new school and says its very design will facilitate a better student environment.
Making a difference each day — showing kids that education leads to success — is his reason for being in Fort Dodge, and something he serves to demonstrate each day.