Clay Baulch Retires

Dr. Clay Baulch, Associate Professor of Education

By Laura Nelson

Growing up in a family of teachers, Clay Baulch followed an uncommon educational path, dropping out of high school and vowing he would never be an educator.

So, of course he spent many years as a teacher and administrator in public schools and several more years as an instructor at Sul Ross State Univ. Rio Grande College and now plans to retire.

Dr. Baulch grew up in Atlanta, but describes himself as “mostly from Texas.” Upon ending his high school career, he enrolled at Schreiner in Kerrville when it was a junior college and finished a double major in English and mathematics at Southwest Texas State Univ. (now Texas State) in San Marcos. He started graduate school there, studying applied geography while working for the Regional Council of Governments where he wrote books concerning population estimates.

He quit his grad studies to move to Germany and ran a Domino’s pizza store on an army base, learning German in order to talk to his staff. When he returned to the U.S., he earned alternative certification and taught junior high math in Uvalde. Although he had never taken an education course, he enrolled in the Master of Education program at RGC so he could move into administration. He served as principal in La Pryor before moving to east Texas and starting his Ph.D. at Stephen F. Austin State Univ.

The Eagle Scout realized that educational leadership was his passion, and once he had his doctorate, he had no intention of teaching in higher education. Once again, he changed his mind when Dr. Bill Tindol, a professor in the RGC Education Department, asked him to apply for an open position. Fourteen years and dozens of graduate students later, Dr. Baulch reflected on his RGC career. He estimated that perhaps 75 percent of area principals are his former students and acknowledged feeling a vicarious thrill when he learns of their accomplishments. He also recalled a distressing time when a tornado ripped through the Rosita Valley Elementary School in Eagle Pass where he was overseeing four interns. Baulch helped in the recovery effort, donating items and staying in touch with his interns to assess the school’s needs.

Baulch and his wife Kathryn plan to move to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington where he will pursue his passions for hiking and biking. He also loves baseball and the couple travels extensively. He declared that he is too young to “retire retire,” so this self-avowed “I’ll-never-be-a-teacher” teacher plans to return to the classroom.