Kendal Bauman Named Outstanding Educator

February 7, 2022 / Andrea Wenger
Kendal Bauman gets at eye level with a first grade student during PE.
Kendal Bauman gets at eye level with a first grade student during PE.

Kendal Bauman has been was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, Massanutten District, with the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award for the 2021-22 school year. The award celebrates educators who model and encourage students to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.

The EMS Strategic Leadership Team nominated Mr. Bauman for the award, noting with gratitude, “Kendal’s ‘can do’ attitude, his hard work, his care for students, his commitment to helping students develop as full people (body, mind and soul), his friendship (he makes us laugh often!), and his practical care for our school’s impact on its little piece of creation in Harrisonburg, Virginia.”

Matthew Phillippi, District Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of Virginia Massanutten  District, presented the award to Mr. Bauman twice on Wed., Feb. 9. First, he presented in front of K-5 students in their weekly gathering, before presenting again for grades 6-12 during chapel.

Mr. Bauman’s contributions that were noted in the nomination highlight Bauman’s varied contributions over his 26 years at the school. These include:

  • High school health and physical education teacher
  • Boys varsity soccer coach, 1992-2012
    • He was the first president of the VISAA (Virginia Independent School Athletic Association) State Soccer Association.
    • He (with Dave Bechler, former athletic director) launched the Menno Class invitational soccer tournament at EMHS in 2001, building on a tournament that began in 1971. Read about the 2021 tournament, which Kendal organized.
    • He mentored hundreds of players, taking a deep interest in their academic life, encouraging them in their faith walk, and long into the future.
  • Assistant athletic director
    • Among many duties, Kendal has spent hundreds of hours maintaining EMS athletic fields with sustainable practices.
    • Supporting the 47-year run of the EMS Peak View Cross Country Invitational.
    • Supporting all athletic programs, encouraging enthusiasm (Wild Fire Fan group), modeling good sportsmanship, promoting skill development, and teamwork.
  • Elementary PE teacher (2018 – present), teaching outside, rain or shine, instilling a love of nature and respect for the outdoors. He:
    • implemented the K-5 vision of outdoor natural play and learning space, incorporating found and natural materials (old tractor tires, fallen trees),
      • facilitated 5th grade building a peace fort,
      • networked with an area expert to design and build a climbing wall,
      • welcomed a local chainsaw artisan to create a piece for the space,
      • organized parent volunteers to finish the site.
  • School sustainability champion ( View his sustainability story, shared in chapel in fall 2021 He:
    • Sponsors the student sustainability club.
    • Oversees the school compost lunch waste management, started during the pandemic, diverting thousands of pounds of trash from the landfill.
    • Manages collection/processing of paper, glass, cardboard, and plastics in the school’s buildings.
  • Alumni relations advocate
    • In fall of 2021,  when the team EMS was scheduled to play for boys varsity soccer homecoming game canceled on short notice, Coach Bauman rallied 35 alumni players to compete on short notice.
    • Writes dozens of personal letters and postcards to former players and other alumni, inviting them to join the school’s annual Christmas Fund Drive each year.
  • Maintenance team back up one day a week. No task is too big; and no task is too small.
  • Eager volunteer who sees things that need to be done, and jumps in when asked.
    • He was among 35 volunteers who helped to install 357 panels for the school’s solar array (generating one third of our facilities’ energy needs).

“Kendal does all of this with a spirit of fun that sets a positive, encouraging tone for an entire system,” wrote the leadership team in the nomination. “He generously shares:

    • his passion for all things Canada (his home country).
    • items he bakes for fun and for our annual auction. See a write up about him teaching kindergarten students to make his mother’s special cinnamon rolls.
    • practical jokes (ask him about the armadillo road kill he brought all the way back from Mississippi for a colleague!).
    • creative outfits during spirit days and wacky hats at morning drop off.
    • passion for professional and college athletics, organizing faculty/staff March Madness brackets, and friendly bets for lunches out over big soccer matches (especially if Canada is in the game), community ice hockey (when the weather cooperates).
    • his Christ-like walk that welcomes all with dignity and respect.”


Check out some more photos from this story

Posted in tagged:


  1. Lois Blauch Miller on February 10, 2022 at 7:38 am

    Mr. Bauman is a kind and thoughtful human who takes great joy in serving and caring for others. My 5 year old grandson loves him and loves knowing he taught his mommy and his aunt.

Leave a Comment