Lindsay Bachman ’11: Young Alumna Award citation & response

Lindsay Bachman ’11, you are being honored today with a Young Alumni Achievement Award, an honor reserved for young Cornellians who are blossoming into productive, community-focused leaders of their generation.

Lindsay Bachman ’11You came to the Hilltop from a large high school in Colorado, searching for what you describe as a “new start” at a smaller place, a place where you could get to know your classmates and where you could express yourself. You immediately found your niche as a music student, joining the Concert Choir, the Chamber Singers, and taking voice lessons. You participated in every production you could while also pursuing your myriad academic interests. It was at Cornell that you learned about musicology from Professor James Martin, a subject unknown to you but which became your life’s passion.

After leaving the Hilltop, you moved to Denver to pursue your musicology studies, immersing yourself in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. During your graduate work, you became a teaching assistant which made you realize you had a gift for teaching. You grew to love making your lessons plans but you also took on a second job, working with a special needs student, helping him prepare for school and for life in general. You joined Teach for America, during which time you saw up close the lack of resources for special needs students. That experience focused your career interests even further. You earned your teaching certificate and became an advocate for special needs students, and especially for those with autism.

On a visit to your mother in South Carolina, she took you to the Hope Academy, the school founded by the Project Hope Foundation. During your visit there, you saw students with special needs being the focus of the entire faculty and staff. You realized the way they were taught was as important as what they were taught, and how crucial it was for educators and parents to work together for the good of the student. You took a job at the Academy and your husband and you were off to South Carolina. Last year, you were promoted to education coordinator at Hope Academy. In that position, you are responsible for curriculum creation and implementation, teacher development, and determining program direction across all three campuses where your education program operates.

When you received your diploma in 2011, you could never have guessed that within a decade you’s be teaching at a prestigious school in South Carolina. And yet, your journey is still in its infancy. The award you receive today honors the early years of what we are convinced will be a fruitful, rewarding, and important career. Congratulations on being named a 2020 Cornell Young Alumni Achievement Award winner.