An 18-year veteran of Lexington Public Schools, Andrew Baker was named the interim principal of Lexington High School for the 2023-2024 school year.
Baker started his teaching career in Lexington as an English language arts teacher. In his 10 years in that role, he worked with various grade levels and taught different electives.
After playing an active role in contract negotiations, Baker was encouraged to run for a leadership role in the Lexington Education Association, and was elected as the organization’s president, a role he held for three years.
Following his term as president he became associate principal at LHS, and has been in that role since. He was motivated to take on an administrative role to help make the school a more joyous place “on behalf of students and also staff.”
The interim position opened due to the departure of Dr. Andrew Stephensl. The original plan was to find a permanent principal, but that search was pushed back to next year due to a small applicant pool, opening up the spot for an interim.
In an email sent on June 16th, Superintendent Julie Hackett informed the community that Baker would become the interim principal starting July 1st. “I appreciate many things about him, but what I appreciate most is his teacher’s heart,” she wrote.
Baker will use the lessons he gathered as a teacher in his role as principal, though he recognizes that since he stopped teaching eight years ago, the many skills a teacher requires have only grown.
Baker did not initially apply for the permanent principal position, but when the interim role was announced Baker says he “got a few more nudges from people” encouraging him to take a serious look at the interim role.
“That’s one of the toughest jobs you can take in education,” Baker said when asked about the possibility of applying for the permanent role next year. “I have a lot to prove and a lot to learn between now and then, and I think I have an interesting perspective.”
Baker says that next year and moving forward, a key part of his role will be continuing to shape the school in the wake of the pandemic, and helping the city begin the school-building process.
He recognizes that with the new building still a few years away, the current overcrowding issue is still something to be monitored and addressed if needed.
Baker feels the new school building gives the LHS community and stakeholders a chance “to align our fiscal values with our values in terms of what we want to be as a school.”