Michelle Baker, principal of Eastfield Global Magnet, has been selected by her fellow principals as the 2019 Principal of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Baker was humbled by the news: “I am truly humbled to be selected as Principal of the Year by my colleagues. They have all inspired me and are most deserving of this recognition.”
Baker began her career in education in Charleston County, SC in 1992 as an elementary grades teacher. She spent the next 14 years as an elementary teacher in Beaufort County, SC, Craven County, NC, and Escambia County, Florida. She was named her school’s Teacher of the Year in 1994-95 (Charleston SC), 1999-2000 (Beaufort SC), and 2005-06 (Escambia, FL). During this time she was also certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
In July 2006, Ms. Baker was hired as a 5th Grade teacher at Eastfield Global Magnet School and served in that role until 2011. In October 2011 she was reassigned as an instructional coach for the district and served in that role until 2013. In June 2013, Ms. Baker was promoted to her current position as principal at Eastfield Global Magnet.
Baker earned her BA degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina in May of 1991. She earned a Masters degree in Special Education-Learning Disabilities from the University of Charleston in May of 1995. She completed her Education Specialist degree at Appalachian State in 2013.
Superintendent Mark Garrett had strong words of praise for Baker, stating “Michelle has served the students of McDowell County for 12 of her 26 years as an educator. Her passion for the students and staff of Eastfield is readily evident. Her attention to the success of each student is always clear. We are very proud of her as our representative in this year’s Principal of the Year process.”
Baker stated that there is “not one accomplishment I can take credit for as the principal, everything we do is about the support and unity of our team.” She will compete against 20 other principals in Region 7 for a chance to be the Regional Principal of the Year in December. The eight regional principals of the year will then be considered for the honor of State Principal of the Year later in the spring. Nebo principal Desarae Kirkpatrick was honored as the Principal of the Year for the Northwest Region last spring and will serve in that capacity for the remainder of the school year.
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