May 2019 Winners

Meet the Random Acts of Pieness™ recipients

We launched the Bakers Square Random Acts of Pieness™ program during Teacher Appreciation Week, but extended it through May. And, thanks to you, we received more than 500 nominations in those 31 days!

It was a difficult decision to pick just five, but here are all of our picks. Congratulations to the winners!

Julie Szwedo

Teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Chicago, IL

Winning nomination by Jenna Kriz:
“I am nominating Ms. Julie Szwedo from Immaculate Conception School because she is an amazing teacher. She teaches English and is great at it. However, I’m nominating her because she started our school’s Drama Dept. 20 yrs ago! She began the Drama Club because she saw how many kids felt defeated after trying out for a Sports Team, but they were not good enough to make the team. She felt that starting a drama program would allow kids to be a part of something and show their individual talents! She inspired kids to achieve success and flourish in a unique artistic way. By allowing kids to join a club and participate by perhaps acting, helping create a set, or navigating the lights and audio parts of a play, she helped build each kid’s self-confidence. We need more teachers in schools like her to promote not just learning, but the students self esteem. I can’t tell you how many kids have benefited from her willingness to give all kids a chance to be good at something, but I know that over 20 years it must be a lot! Please recognize Ms. Szwedo for this award because she truly deserves it and I know she loves Bakers Square Pies!! Thank you :)”

Kaitlyn Toweson

Teacher at Westchester Intermediate School in Chesterton, IN

Winning nomination by Bradley Sweet:
“Miss Toweson is a 5th-grade teacher at Westchester Intermediate School in Chesterton, Indiana. She teaches 5th Grade Math and Science. She also coaches basketball two days a week after school. In addition, she started a VEX IQ Robotics club after school in 2017-2018. The robotics club is a volunteer job. That year one team went to the Indiana VEX IQ Robotics State Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium, which was a huge accomplishment for the first year. She continued the club in 2018-2019. The six teams of about six each were composed of probably 40% female and 60% male students. Four teams went to the Indiana VEX IQ Robotics State Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. One team advanced to 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship in Kentucky! Massive leaps for a second-year team! She dedicates herself to the students in her classrooms, to basketball and to robotics. All the while she is pursuing a Master’s degree in what little spare time she has left!”

Christina Ward

Teacher at Alan Shepard School in Bourbonnais, IL

Winning nomination by A. R.:
“My son was entering preschool from early intervention services and Mrs. Ward was to be his teacher. I’m a single mother and utilizing some services from a domestic violence program in rehabilitation for the abuse my son and I suffered. They only had an afternoon spot open, but I work nights and cannot switch to days to provide transportation, and I didn’t feel comfortable with my son taking the bus due to his speech delay. Christina fought for him to get a morning spot, so that I didn’t lose my job and could continue in our families’ rehabilitation program. This also enabled him to get the speech therapy he needed. Totally above and beyond for any teacher to care about a student they just met in that way!”

Sandra “Sandy” Safranek

Teacher at Evergreen Park Community High School, IL

Winning nomination by Mary Robak:
“Mrs. Sandra Safranek has been an art teacher for many years. This past winter, as the faculty in charge of the Evergreen Park Community High School student art club, she brought a potential project to them. It was to create warm ‘knit’ hats for homeless people. Her project of kindness was embraced by her students, and word spread among other groups of faculty, staff and students, including football players, who participated. The school bookkeeper, Kyle Nine, knew of a need for winter hats at a homeless shelter where she and her husband volunteered, and the hats were donated. ALL 85 of them. This was covered in the newspaper (go here to read the article).”

Corie Woodruff

Teacher at Westchester Christian School, IL

Winning nomination by Susan Dronski:
“My daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Woodruff, is one of the kindest people I have ever met. My daughter first started at this school in 8th grade. It is a small school, affiliated with our church, only around 40 students, from kindergarten thru 12th grade. Two weeks after school started, and my daughter’s first year here, we lost everything in a house fire. Mrs. Woodruff not only helped us with cleaning out our home, she organized the students and teachers and church members to help us and donations of towels and furniture and clothing came pouring in. In the last four years. She has been there for my daughter and my family more times than I can count. She is an amazing teacher. She is the only one that gets my daughter through algebra, lol. She has shown us so many acts of kindness, she deserves a random act of pieness!!”


Know someone who deserves a Random Act of Pieness? Nominate them here.