Kitty Baker


Kitty Baker working with students 

Sallie Kathryn (Kitty) Baker (née Caldwell) was born in 1912 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A gifted artist and mathematician, she majored in mathematics at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. After completing her bachelor's degree there, she earned a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Chicago in 1935. She also continued to study and create works of art. 

After completing her degree, Kitty became a mathematics instructor at Baylor University. In 1936, she met Paul Baker, who had been teaching at Baylor since 1934. According to an interview with Kitty's daughter Sallie in a San Antonio Express News article, the two "had a conversation about art and sciences and creativity that started that day and never stopped.” Kitty and Paul married three months after meeting, and had three children together: Robyn, Retta, and Sallie. In 1941, Kitty started teaching an art and drama class for Robyn and other children in her neighborhood, drawing on the Integration of Abilities philosophy. This class eventually developed into the Children's Theater program at Baylor. 

Besides working with Paul, Kitty's work also influenced Jearnine Wagner. Indeed, she co-authored A Place for Ideas: Our Theater with Wagner in 1965. 

After the Bakers left Baylor, Kitty became a mathematics instructor at both Trinity University and San Antonio College. She also continued to create art, particularly weaving and other textile-based art, which she delved into extensively after her retirement from Trinity in 1976. Kitty passed away in 2014. The Baker's daughter, Robyn Baker Flatt, who founded the Dallas Children's Theater, is one of many who have continued the educational legacy of Integration of Abilities.