John has led a life devoted to family, education, and community. He grew up in East Rochester, one of John A. and Claire Baynes’s ten children. His father taught and coached at ERHS. John attended St. Jerome School and graduated from East Rochester High School in 1971. He met Patricia at the University of Toronto, they married in May, 1973, and John transferred to the University of Rochester [B.A. English – 1975]. John and Patricia raised their three children – Katie, Andrew, and Sheila – in Palmyra where John served as Palmyra Village Justice from 1982 – 1992. Patricia continues to serve Palmyra in her 30th year as Director of the Palmyra Community Library.
John began his career as an English teacher at Aquinas Institute in 1976 while he finished his Masters degree at SUNY Geneseo [M.Ed. – 1981]. In 1978 he moved to Fairport High School where he taught for 39 years. His deep relationship with the students, staff, and families in the Fairport schools has been and will continue to be the greatest point of pride in his life outside of his family. After a cancer diagnosis and treatment, John reluctantly retired from FHS but found a new home at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women where he continues to work with young people, sharing the joy of writing, reading, speaking. He is currently enjoying his 45th year as an English teacher.
During his Fairport years, John served as a leader of the Fairport teachers for 30 years, serving as their President for 23 terms. His strong leadership – with partners from the ranks of teachers, staff, administration, and community – shaped the outstanding Fairport schools our community enjoys today. John is particularly proud to have built with many other leaders the sense of community and caring that serves as the badge and brand of the Fairport schools. John founded and guided the unique public school charitable giving program called Friends of Fairport, which acted as a pass through of over $450,000 in contributions from employees of the Fairport schools to community groups, including the three fire departments which serve the school district, Perinton Ambulance, Advent House Hospice, Meals on Wheels, Partners in Community Development, and others. John is a proud member of the Fairport Rotary and a lifetime member of the Church of St. Jerome.
After their three children finished their undergraduate degrees and started their families, John and Patricia moved home to East Rochester in 2008. Their home is in the Town of Perinton and the garage John built in their backyard is in the Town/Village of East Rochester!