Many of the students who took classes with Dr. Paul Baker played an instrumental role in spreading his Integration of Abilities philosophy, incorporating and expanding on his ideas in their teaching, theater, and artistic work after they graduated from Baylor and Trinity.
Among the most influential were the Baker students who went on to found Learning About Learning, including Jearnine Wagner, Susan Marcus, Susie Monday, Cynthia Herber, and Julia Jarrell, among others. You can read more about the many programs and projects they launched in the Learning about Learning, Unlimited Potential, and Legacy sections of this exhibit.
Cynthia Ridgeway Herbert
Cynthia "Cindy" Ridgeway Herbert grew up in Waco, Texas. At the age of nine, Herbert’s mother enrolled her in the Children’s Theater at Baylor University. When Baker and his company moved to Trinity University in 1964, former students followed. Baker and Wagner formed the children's theater program Ideas in Motion at Trinity and Herbert was offered to teach full time in the program by Baker and Wagner. However, Herbert was unable to afford the tutition at Trinity. Baker and Wagner were able to secure a full tuition on a work scholarship so she could attend. This meant full days for Herbert; with courses during the day and instructing for Ideas in Motion in the afternoon. She was a contributor to the book A Place for Ideas: Our Theater, by Wagner and Kitty Baker. She worked deeply with the Unlimited Potential program, which was directed by Wagner. Herbert was placed in the Kenwood community. She led the creation of a photographic and rythmic essay My World is My Mirror centering child experiences within the community. At Hemisfair in the Project Y Youth Pavilion, Herbert help to coordinate Children's Garden and Intercambio Exchange Program.
Julia Byrns Jarrell
Julia Byrns Jarrell was grew up in Dallas, Texas. Jarrell participated in the teen theater program at the Dallas Theater Center when it was associated with Baylor University. Upon graduating high school, Jarrell knew she wanted to continue working under the Baker philosophy. Intending to go to Baylor, when the Baker theatre company moved to Trinity, Jarrell followed. During her first year, she was approached by Jearnine Wagner, and asked if she wanted to work with children in the Ideas in Motion program. Jarrell worked with children for the next two years in Ideas in Motion. Jarrell credits her awaking to one particular assignment in which Wagner sent a group of children from widely differently backgrounds with Jarrell to the San Jose Mission. She continued to work with Wagner for Unlimited Potential being placed in the Kenwood neighborhood, and help coordinate the Children's Garden and the Intercambio Exchange Program with Herbert and Monday.
Susie McAtee Monday
Like Herbert, Susie McAtee Monday grew up in Waco, Texas, though their childhoods were different. Her father taught chemistry at Baylor University. As a child, Monday attended the Baylor Children’s Theatre with Wagner as an older student instructor. At the age of 12, her family moved to Houston, but she remained in contact with the program and was later a contributor to A Place for Ideas: Our Theater.
Like many protégés of Wagner and Baker, when they moved the theater to Trinity, Monday followed. She would spend summers in San Antonio participating in the Youth In Motion summer programs at Trinity under the direction of Luanne Klaras and Virginia DuPuy. After high school, she attended Trinity to study studio art, receiving a BA in 1970.
While at Trinity she continued working with the Ideas in Motion Program as a student teacher. She contributed to Wagner’s Unlimited Potential Program, working with youth from area schools, as well as Hemisfair’s Children’s Garden and the Intercambio Exchange Program.