Michelle Baker, principal of Eastfield Global Magnet School and current McDowell County Principal of the Year, has been named the 2019 Northwest Region Principal of the Year. Baker was notified today during a school-wide surprise celebration that included all students and staff at Eastfield, Board Chair Terry Frank and Board member Brian Piercy, Superintendent Mark Garrett and other district staff, NW Region representative Dr. Monica Shepherd, and 2018 NW Region Principal of the Year Desarae Kirkpatrick (of Nebo Elementary). Of note, the MCS Principal of the Year has been named the NW Region winner in back to back years. Students and staff filled the gym and took turns congratulating their principal. Baker was overcome with tears by the news as she addressed her students and staff: “I am so proud to be your principal, and this honor belongs to each and every one of you. I love watching you learn!”
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 School.
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: “we are not surprised that Michelle has been selected as the NW Region Principal of the Year. Her passion for her students and staff is obvious to anyone who has enjoyed the opportunity to work with her. In each of her assignments in MCS her students and colleagues have demonstrated academic and professional growth. We are very proud of her as our representative for McDowell County, and now also as she follows Desarae as the winner for the NW Region.”
Baker will compete against principals from each of the 8 regions for the honor of 2019 State Principal of the Year later in the school year.
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