On November 1, 2023

Ludlow Rotary honors revered teacher Heidi Baitz


At its Oct. 24 meeting, the Ludlow Rotary Club surprised Ludlow Elementary’s long time sixth grade teacher, Heidi Baitz, by presenting her with its annual Vocational Service Award. Baitz, who retired in June, thought she was going to a craft show with her sister at the United Church of Ludlow. She arrived to find the Ludlow Rotary Club meeting where she was the honored guest. Her husband, Mike Normyle was there waiting as well. 

Rotary’s Past President Jim Rumrill emceed the awards ceremony listing many of Baitz’s outstanding contributions during her 38-year career at Ludlow Elementary School. Baitz coached sixth grade teams for Odyssey of the Mind for many years, qualifying for Worlds two times. She worked with parents and students to fundraise for field trips to Boston and Washington, D.C. Rumrill and Bruce Schmidt shared tributes from former students to Mrs. Baitz, crediting her for setting them on the road to success.  

  Baitz always made sure the students were involved in community service, helping them understand the importance of it.  Sharon Bixby spoke about Baitz’s role in her students’ developing permanent exhibits at Black River Academy Museum, including historic downtown Ludlow, and the Floods of 2011 compared to 1927. Baitz was the epitome of a comprehensive educator, according to former Town Manager Frank Heald, who added that “if you searched Wikipedia for educator, the definition would read Heidi Baitz.”      

Given the chance to speak at the end, Heidi stated that she loved her job, which made it so wonderful to work for so many years with Ludlow’s students and their families.  She was presented with flowers as well as the Vocational Service Award.

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