Teacher Awarded Doctorate
July 1, 2020
At the beginning of the school year in 2018-19, Greensboro Elementary School had something to happily bark about with certified therapy dog Molly, owned by the Baury family, working in Tamra Baurys’ second grade classroom. Molly’s job was to create a positive experience for the students every Tuesday when she arrived with a wagging tail.
Baurys, was recognized at the May Board of Education meeting for receiving an Educational Doctorate Degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University.
Baurys, who joined the meeting virtually, thanked Superintendent Dr. Patty Saelens for permission to conduct the research for her dissertation, which was on therapy dog use in the classroom. She also thanked the Board for being supportive of continuing education for staff through tuition reimbursement.
Molly proved to be an asset to the children she worked with and the GES staff. She is a patient and gentle soul who is content to accommodate anyone in need of a hug. When asked where Molly likes to be petted, Baurys’ response is, “Anywhere! Molly does not ask for much. She loves human touch and is happy to help out any child or teacher in need.”
Therapy dogs must undergo training and in some areas, pass the Canine Good Citizen test and certification test. The training includes a basic manners/obedience class which exposes the dog to a variety of people and situations.
According to Baurys, research has shown that therapy dogs are able to provide physical, social and emotional benefits, and serve as family in place of, or in addition to “our human pack.” GES tracked specific data the school year to gauge whether the presence of a therapy dog provides a benefit to the school.