Helena Magazine

Schools Q&A: Sasha Baker – Principal at Helena Intermediate School

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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We are headed into a new school year, how excited are you that the students will be back walking the halls? 

The return of students to school is an exciting time for teachers, administrators, and many students themselves.  It represents the beginning of a new academic year, opportunities for growth and learning, and the chance to reconnect with friends and classmates.  The school environment plays an important role and I hope that students have a productive and enjoyable school year ahead.

What are you looking to most about this upcoming year? 

There are a number of things to look forward to in the upcoming year including new opportunities for enhanced learning, student growth, new additions to our faculty and staff, improvements to our outside play areas, but especially moving into our new addition of eight classrooms. For the first time in many years, our school family will all be under the same roof and we look forward to how this will improve the school day for students and allow us additional learning spaces. 

You are going into your third full year as the principal at Helena Intermediate School, what is it that has made HIS so special in your time there? 

As a former teacher at HIS, I can honestly say that what makes our school so special are the people that fill it.  It is a privilege to serve in a community where parents actively support and participate in their children’s education; where teachers are committed and willing to be innovative; and where the community is deeply connected to our school.

What makes Helena as a community such a special place, especially to be in education?

When asked this question, my answer is always the same.  Our school is what it is because of the Helena Community.  We all feel the support not only of our families, but from the city as a whole.  It is evident the Helena Community values the children who live here and have made education a priority.  Helena has partnered with us and invested in our school by providing grants, resources, and continued support over the years.

When you look at your time as the school’s principal, how proud are you of what has been accomplished, especially starting during an interesting time with COVID? 

Although we have had to navigate challenges presented by COVID, we have had continuous improvement and student growth.  I think I am always most proud of a child who feels success and overcomes obstacles.  

Being in education, what is it that inspires you on a daily basis to do the job you do as principal?

I am inspired by the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of students.  Seeing students succeed, grow, and achieve their potential is a powerful motivation for me. It’s all about relationships.  The teachers, students, and families I work with motivate me to work to create a place where students feel they belong and can grow.

What would you say is the most fun aspect of your job? 

The kids.  I smile on a daily basis because of the joy they bring! 

In your position as a school admin and leader, what do you think is the most important aspect of your job? 

The most important part of my job is to create an environment that promotes student learning, growth, and success.  This means creating a safe place for children and adults where all feel valued and know their purpose.