Re­becca Baus­man

‘Truly com­mit­ted’ spe­cial-ed­u­ca­tion teacher worked to as­sess the needs of young chil­dren through­out Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Re­becca Ann Kelly Baus­man, a spe­ciale­d­u­ca­tion teacher who worked with in­fants and tod­dlers through­out Bal­ti­more City, died of hy­per­ten­sive heart dis­ease Aug. 24 while va­ca­tion­ing with her chil­dren in the Turks and Caicos Is­lands. The Lutherville res­i­dent was 41. Fam­ily mem­bers said she was snor­kel­ing when she suf­fered a coronary in­ci­dent.

The daugh­ter of James Pa­trick Kelly, an An­der­son Honda sales­man, and Mary Mar­lene “Doody” Buchanan, a Loy­ola Univer­sity Mary­land de­vel­op­ment worker, Re­becca Ann Kelly was born in Bal­ti­more. She was raised first in Charles Vil­lage, and later in Gar­denville and Jack­sonville in Bal­ti­more County.

She at­tended St. Do­minic School, then Mary­vale Prepara­tory School in Brook­landville, where she grad­u­ated in 1992.

She earned a de­gree in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion at Loy­ola Univer­sity Mary­land, and later re­ceived her mas­ter’s de­gree there.

“She was an out­go­ing and bub­bly per­son,” said her un­cle and god­fa­ther, Charles B. Kelly of Bal­ti­more. “As a teacher, she saw so many chil­dren, and she brought out the pos­i­tive as­pects of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion.”

Ms. Baus­man served as a stu­dent teacher at Car­roll Manor El­e­men­tary School in Bal­ti­more County, then started teach­ing in Har­ford County.

She be­came the head of the spe­ciale­d­u­ca­tion de­part­ment at Youth Ben­e­fit El­e­men­tary School in Fall­ston.

While teach­ing, she also took cour­ses at the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more School of Law.

Ms. Baus­man left the class­room and be­gan work­ing for Epic De­vel­op­men­tal Ser­vices, for­merly Care Re­sources, on Cromwell Bridge Road.

She held a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in early in­ter­ven­tion, and worked un­der a con­tract with the Bal­ti­more Health De­part­ment to help spe­cial-needs chil­dren and their fam­i­lies de­ter­mine their el­i­gi­bil­ity for spe­cial­ized in­ter­ven­tion.

She worked with chil­dren be­fore they be­gan the first grade.

“She was truly com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing qual­ity care for chil­dren and fam­i­lies,” said Suzanne Wayson, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor for Epic De­vel­op­men­tal. “Re­becca would go all over the city. She was an in­te­gral part of our ser­vices.

“She could tell a good story, too. She could make us all laugh,” Ms. Wayson said.

Fam­ily mem­bers said she hired, trained and placed spe­cial-ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers and aides.

More re­cently, she tested and as­sessed chil­dren to de­ter­mine their need for early in­ter­ven­tion. She then cre­ated a spe­cial­ized learn­ing pro­gram for young chil­dren.

“I re­call her en­thu­si­asm. She ra­di­ated ex­cite­ment. She made me and her friends feel good to be in her com­pany,” said her aunt and god­mother, Ginger Patinella, a res­i­dent of Fort My­ers, Fla.

“Her face would light up when she be­gan any­thing she put her mind to,” she said.

Mrs. Patinella, who is a read­ing spe­cial­ist and teacher, said she would dis­cuss les­son plans with her niece.

“We would dis­cuss how to get chil­dren in­volved. Re­becca al­ways wanted to make a les­son so that her chil­dren could un­der­stand the con­cept and suc­ceed at school.”

Ms. Baus­man en­joyed fam­ily trips to Ocean City. She also fol­lowed her son’s and daugh­ter’s sports ac­tiv­i­ties.

As a young woman she was a dancer, do­ing jazz, tap and bal­let, and she en­joyed all types of mu­sic.

A Mass of Chris­tian burial will be of­fered at 11 a.m. Sun­day at Mary­vale Prepara­tory School, 11300 Falls Road, Brook­landville.

In ad­di­tion to her par­ents, sur­vivors in­clude her son, Con­nor Pa­trick Baus­man of Lutherville; her daugh­ter, Hadley Cather­ine Baus­man of Lutherville; a brother, J. Pa­trick Kelly of Glen Allen, Va.; and a grand­mother, Mary Buchanan of Parkville. Her mar­riage ended in di­vorce. Re­becca Baus­man’s sto­ry­telling “could make us all laugh,” said a col­league.

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