Distinguished Alumna Award

Established in 2009, the St. Teresa’s Academy Distinguished Alumna Award formally recognizes an alumna who has positively and substantially influenced her profession(s), her community(s) or issues affecting society at large. For more information, contact Paula Holmquist, alumnae director, at 816.501.0022 or pholmquist@stteresasacademy.org.



Tracie (Davidson, '00) Baker
2021 Recipient

Turning tragedy into loss, Tracie (Davidson, ‘00) Baker exemplifies the spirit of hope, giving and faith.

Tracie and her husband Kevin were blessed with a son, Logan, in 2011. Logan -- a beautiful boy with his mother’s blue eyes -- was welcomed into the world with loving arms and an abundance of joy. Within a few hours of his birth, however, he developed alarming symptoms related to his movements and breathing, and was subsequently diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD). He lived a brief but love-filled 17 months.

CMD is the name for a group of muscular dystrophies that share an unfortunate commonality -- muscle weakness that begins in infancy or very early childhood. Although children with CMD can have different symptoms, rates of progression and degrees of severity, most exhibit progressive muscle weakness primarily affecting voluntary muscles. There currently is no cure for CMD.

Friends and family members immediately came to the Bakers’ sides to support them through this challenging time, only to find Logan’s parents providing guidance through their own grace. “Tracie has always been a source of positive energy,” says Tracie’s friend Bridget (Glynn, ‘00) Krieger, “but to watch her transform into a mother and champion who effused endless love and determination to give Logan the best possible life was nothing short of inspirational.” Logan’s short life was filled with activities -- swimming, listening to music, going on stroller rides, creating artwork, traveling to the beach, and being part of many family outings and celebrations.

Logan’s loss spurred Tracie and Kevin to ensure his legacy would live on. Their first action was to save others’ lives through organ donation. On Valentine’s Day 2013, a three-year-old girl received Logan’s heart. She is thriving to this day. Tracie continues to advocate for organ donation, serving as advisory board chair at Midwest Transplant Network.

Tracie and her husband started the Logan Baker Foundation in 2013 to honor their son and help children in the Kansas City area with special needs. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $200,000 to provide adaptive equipment, therapy training, inclusive playgrounds and to support Cure CMD, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and MDA and Cure SMA (spinal muscular atrophy, formerly named Families of SMA).

“I’m honored to be recognized with STA’s Distinguished Alumna Award,” says Tracie. “It’s another way of honoring Logan, and the love and life he brought as a result of his brief time here.”

Tracie lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, with her husband Kevin and their two living children, Levi, 6, and Lyla, 4. She is a design manager at Russell Stover Chocolates, where she has worked for the last 17 years.


Previous Winners:

2020
Suzanne (Hoag, '70) Johnson
 
2019
Aileen (Altman, '62) Richmond
 
2018
Dana (Tippin, '82) Cutler
 
2017
Susie Haake ('67)
 
2016
Peggy (Gramlich, '57) Baker
 
2015
Teresa (Orpin, '78) Hamilton
 
2014
Marylyn (Geraghty, '54) DeFeo
 
2013
Kelly (Crawford, '88) Friendly
 
2012
Martha (Leahy, '62) Staker
 
2011
Rosemary O’Leary ('73)
 
2010
Patrice (Jo Ann) Coolick, CSJ ('58)
 
2009
Martha (Meagher, '61) Downey