Baker ready for new role as HIS principal

Published 11:06 am Monday, December 21, 2020

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By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — Helena Intermediate School Assistant Principal Sasha Baker was approved to take over as the new principal by the Shelby County Board of Education on Dec. 15 as current principal Kathy Paiml retires.

Baker has been in the education field for more than 17 years and has been the assistant principal at HIS for the last year and a half.

Baker credited the city and school systems incredible sense of community and support as the draw for her to be in the school administration.

“I have a heart for this community, there is a great sense of belonging here,” Baker explained. “That is what I want for every child, members of the faculty and staff and the parents as well. I want them to have that same sense of belonging, because when people feel that way, we really get the best out of them.”

Baker will officially assume the role when school’s return for the next semester in January, and she hopes to move through the challenging education landscape that we are currently in by setting high expectations and working toward common goals.

“We are in a situation where there are a lot of challenges. Considering current academic expectations that are placed on schools, there are going to be tough times ahead, but it is my job as the leader to make a way for people,” Baker said. “Through high expectations and working toward common goals, we can achieve great things for these kids.”

Baker gives a lot of credit to her predecessor, recalling how working under Paiml prepared her to take on this administrative role.

“One of her mottos is ‘be the difference’ and she definitely has for everyone,” Baker explained. “It means a lot to me to be able to work for someone that I respect so much. I have been able to see her behind the scenes when she is making tough decisions through her dedication, commitment, work ethic and heart for this job.”

Baker has a bachelor of science degree in biology from Judson College, a master’s degree in elementary education from Alabama A&M University and a master’s degree and education specialist degree in instructional leadership from the University of Montevallo.

Looking forward to the future, Baker said she is putting a focus on the things that matter the most to get the best out of everyone through her new position.

“It is about building relationships with the school community. I want to build and support teachers success, increase student achievement, set high expectations for myself and students and staff and clear a path for positive outcomes,” she said. “I want to build a positive culture of learning.