Staff introductions were made. School board members by Dr. Dana Carpenter, board president. Baker High School by Principal Traci Morgan. Baker Middle School by Principal Dave Carter. Park Ridge Academic Magnet School by Principal Tammy Armand-Golden. Bakerfield Elementary by Principal Darla Lawson. Baker Heights Elementary by Principal Lakesha Reese.
Coordinator Jan Ballard introduced the transportation staff and Henry Belin, the food service staff. Belin and Michelle Tureau, professional development resource specialist, have created The Biggest Loser and continue building teams to walk and lose weight. For details contact Tureau at 223-3147.
Interim Superintendent Ulysses Joseph and Special Education supervisor Alfred Douglas introduced the central office staff, pupil appraisal staff and maintenance staff.
The focus for the school year is test scores, test scores, test scores, Joseph said.
The state Education Department set the minimum score at 75 this year and by 2014 it must reach 120. We’re behind a little bit so we’ve got to run twice as fast this year, Joseph said.
Guest speaker, Robert Jackson of Indianapolis, discussed why school is such a challenge for students, teachers and parents.
Students have parents with no parenting skills, absent fathers, low self-esteem, no motivation, peer pressure, uncaring teachers and racism.
Their role models are thugs, drug dealers and entertainment figures who demean women and spew hate. Black males begin to decline in the fourth grade, often because they cannot read.
Teachers must encourage participation, communicate, listen, develop rewards, use visuals, be fair and consistent, set high expectations, hold students accountable, motivate, develop after-school activities, among others.
Jackson said his triumphs include being a national speaker, author, college graduate, former pro athlete, business owner, mentor, community activist, husband, father and Christian believer.