Kyle Bayer selected as Wakefield High School 2022 Teacher of the Year


Staff Photo by Emily Dudash

Kyle Bayer chats with his students in his first period class before going into his lesson on supply and demand. Bayer is in his eighth year of teaching.

Emily Dudash, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When Wakefield High School, WHS, announced their selection for the 2022 Teacher of the Year Award on Nov. 18 during fourth period, Kyle Bayer was initially caught off guard. Bayer who has been teaching social studies at WHS since 2014 admits that he wasn’t “fully expecting” the award. However, despite Bayer’s own doubts, his students had a different reaction.

“My fourth-period class was hyped,” Bayer said. “They were all screaming and they celebrated more than I did. That was a cool moment.”

For Bayer, becoming a teacher, in some way, was his destiny. After originally studying communications in college with the intent of pursuing a career in sports broadcasting, he made the shift to teaching following a job at a local summer camp. It was there that Bayer realized his true passions were in the classroom. 

“There was always something calling me to teach. Even when I was a student in school, I always wondered how I would teach [a particular subject] or how I would decorate a classroom,” Bayer said. “It was something I was familiar with, [and so] I thought it would be a good fit.”

Whether you watch him coach the volleyball team, talk with students in the hallway, present at faculty meetings or teach in his classroom, he is the same endearing Mr. Bayer.

— Holcomb

Throughout his eight years as a teacher, all of which he has spent at WHS, Bayer has had an extreme lasting impact on his students. He prioritizes creating a comfortable learning environment, and in turn, has allowed for all of his students to be motivated and passionate when it comes to their work. Sophie Hanna, a junior and student of Bayer’s law and justice course, can attest to this.

“He cares about the relationship with his students. [Whether] he’s helping you outside of school, or asking you about your [extracurriculars], you can tell he cares,” Hanna said. “It’s always refreshing when you walk into his classroom [because] you know he loves his students and you know he loves what he does.”

This outlook on teaching goes hand in hand with creating a positive learning environment. James Povio, now a senior, has been a student of Bayer’s since his freshman year. Povio credits Bayer with boosting his confidence as a student by adapting to his learning needs. 

“He tries to understand what [each student’s] learning process is and accommodate that,” Povio said. “Throughout my course as a high school student, he [continues] to reinforce [the idea] that what I do is good.”

Povio has found that Bayer’s reassurance has helped him with navigating college admissions this fall. Along with writing Povio a letter of recommendation, Bayer has continued to motivate and guide Povio.

“Mr. Bayer inspires me to be the best me I can possibly be. He’s always supported me,” Povio said. “He genuinely cares about what I’m doing.”

As Bayer navigates the Wake County Teacher of the Year finals this spring, Povio is showing his gratitude for his teacher by directing his application video. As Bayer prepares for the Wake County finals, Wakefield sends him well wishes and reflects on his impact at the school.

“He shows the staff that it is ok to be ‘real’ in this job. Whether you watch him coach the volleyball team, talk with students in the hallway, present at faculty meetings or teach in his classroom, he is the same endearing Mr. Bayer,” social studies colleague Stephen Holcomb said. “He is genuine with both the staff and the students and that shows through with the level of admiration people have for him.”