Sam Baker AWARD 2021


Good evening friends and grads,

A few years ago, The Leo Baeck class of 2014 created The Sam Baker Award For Achievement in the Arts to commemorate Sam’s life and his passion, awarded to a student who demonstrated consistent and outstanding contributions to the arts -both visual and performing, during their time as a student at Leo Baeck.

When establishing this award, Sam’s classmates confirmed what we all knew, that he was a reliable and compassionate classmate, outstanding actor, and loyal friend. He provided an upbeat and creative energy to our school. Sam was deeply passionate about the performing arts, taking part in all of the Leo Baeck plays. He always knew how to make the best out of any situation, and he could always find a way to incorporate a sense of playfulness and joy into everything he did. Sam was also the kind of person who would speak up for what he thought was right, even if it meant stirring up a debate at lunchtime or going against the norm. He would never let anyone get away with causing harm or insulting others. He could handle any situation with patience and empathy; he lived authentically and with integrity.

Sam had a lifelong struggle with anxiety and, in October of 2018, Sam tragically took his own life. We miss him dearly. This award is established in honour of his legacy and memory.

I am honoured to announce this year’s recipient of the Sam Baker Memorial Award for Achievement in the Arts- both Visual and Performing, This is a student who profoundly understands that the arts uniquely represent a subject area that nourishes the soul as well as the mind. In addition to making beautiful and meaningful artwork and his commitment to thoughtful and resonant performances, he is able to reflect deeply on the greater personal and global implications that the Arts provides. He possesses not only the skills needed, but also humility, perseverance and dedication to the artistic process, producing consistently outstanding work in both the Visual and Performing Arts. We are honoured to present the Sam Baker Memorial Award for Achievement in the Arts to Lior Markus.