August 15, 2003 at 11:04 a.m.
Baker is no stranger to child development, having four college-aged sons of her own. And, she’s no stranger to school administration coming from an 11-year post at Braham Schools where she was principal of 500 youngsters in a pre-kindergarten through sixth grade facility.
Prior to that she was a curriculum supervisor. Principal Baker has master’s and specialist degrees in administration, doing graduate study at St. Thomas. She entered the education field out of Mankato State where she earned a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Baker reports the Primary School’s estimated student population for this coming year is 625.
One of her first administrative duties was hiring an additional kindergarten instructor in order to meet that growing grade level with two additional sections (a.m. and p.m.).
Baker said staff and Principal Bean, “...left the school in good shape for me.”
To illustrate one way her transition has been helped along, she showed a laminated school floor plan produced by office staff, with face photos of each teacher attached where their classroom is located. Baker can hang it up or even carry it with her to get acquainted with the building.
Baker said a ventilation and air quality improvement project was well along toward completion when she arrived, and things are getting put back-together in plenty of time for start of school September 2.
On the effort by the Parent Teacher Organization to improve the Primary School playground, Baker is waiting to meet with the PTO and learn more about the plan. It doesn’t appear there’ll be any play apparatus installed before school starts, though, which had been a goal of the PTO.
Baker said she will rely on her maiden weeks at the school for figuring out how things work and getting up to speed on what’s in-process.
One idea she would like to implement is to highlight students with regular photos and maybe a slide presentation. The kids, parents and visitors could enjoy the day-in-a-life accomplishments happening at the school. So few adults get to participate in a school day, she explained. At conference time or during lunch periods even-- it would be a positive thing to present students achieving everyday goals.
Principal Baker said she is looking forward to being at Primary School, which is a K-through- third grade institution. She’ll have less of a grade span here than she oversaw at Braham, but more youngsters.
“The Primary years are so, so pivotal to a child,” she explained. “I am very pleased and very excited to be here.”