Dr. Baker began her professional teaching career in her home state of California. She continued that work as a teacher, dean, principal, and academic and innovation officer in New York, Louisiana, and Michigan, respectively. Dr. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in English education and a teaching credential in English from California State University, Long Beach. Her master's degree in English is from Howard University, and her central office administrator certification and doctorate in educational leadership were earned at the University of Michigan—Dearborn. Dr. Baker is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance at Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School and holds a Missouri superintendent's certificate.
Dr. Baker has served as the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Deputy Superintendent of Education Services and as Michigan’s State School Reform Officer where she led aspects of the state’s legislated accountability system impacting over 100,000 students across 72 school districts in 186 public schools. In that role, Dr. Baker developed and managed performance information systems, budgets, legal services, and legislative reports. She has professional experience with legislative processes and policy development through her work with Michigan’s governor’s office and state agencies including the Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan’s Department of Education, and the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.
As Hazelwood School District’s Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Baker assisted the superintendent with supervising the district of 2,200 staff and nearly 18,000 students who are representative of over 60 countries and nearly 40 languages. Dr. Baker was responsible for serving as a cabinet-level executive team member who provided administrative leadership by planning, organizing, implementing, directing, maintaining, and supporting assigned activities across the district under the direction of the Superintendent. Dr. Baker was the leader responsible for overseeing and aligning critical district administrative functions, processes, and special projects that engaged multiple divisions. She supervised assistant superintendents, facilitated the opening of the student-based health center and the development of the Hazelwood NOW Strategic Plan. She organized community outreach efforts by connecting with 50,000 residents to garner over 3,000 respondents. Dr. Baker also designed and facilitated summer learnings for leaders districtwide while monitoring quarterly departmental progress in the areas of human resources, finance, educational programming, data and assessment, technology, facilities, and communications.
Today, Dr. Baker is the superintendent of Banning Unified School District where the mission statement identifies the district as a diverse community that collaborates to develop responsible, respectful, prepared students to achieve their full potential.