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Newton BOE’s Henderson-Baker named GSBA Board of Directors president-elect
Shakila Henderson-Baker
Shakila Henderson-Baker, who represents District 3 on the Newton County Schools Board of Education, has been appointed president-elect of the Georgia School Board Association Board of Directors. (Special to The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. — Shakila Henderson-Baker, who represents District 3 on the Newton County Schools Board of Education, has been appointed president-elect of the Georgia School Board Association Board of Directors, the school system announced Thursday.

According to the GSBA, Henderson-Baker will assume the president’s position next year. She would perform the duties of president of the board in the absence of the president, and preside over meetings of the Delegate Assembly, the executive committee and the board of directors. 

“To be able to serve in the role of president-elect is an honor,” Henderson-Baker said. “Over the last few years in past roles as a district director and vice-president of GSBA, I have taken the time to get to understand the many districts across our state that serve Georgia's public education students, as well as get to know other board members who serve in their communities. Just like the demographics and resources vary across the state of Georgia that same concept applies to school districts, as we have rural districts, urban districts, mixed districts, small, medium, large districts and that makes our state unique as there is not a district or community that is exactly alike. As a public servant, I have worked really hard to understand public education, educational policy, governance, and stay informed on legislation that will impact our schools.

“I try to stay connected with the people I serve so that I fully understand and advocate on their behalf,” she continued. “Public service is not easy, however, as a product of Georgia's public education system I know how public education saved me, and for that reason I'm forever grateful and fully vested in making sure it saves others. In my role as President-Elect, I get to do what I love, which is advocate for those who work hard for public education, advocate for those who believe in public education, and advocate for the children we serve in our public schools. Again, I'm honored to serve as the Georgia School Board Association President-Elect.”

Henderson-Baker and other officers of the GSBA Board of Directors have numerous responsibilities, including governing the affairs of the association, adopting policies for the governing of the association, transacting the business of the association, employing the executive director and adopting standing legislative policies and position statements. 

Henderson-Baker is a native of Covington, and she began her first term on the Newton County Board of Education in January 2011. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Fort Valley State University and holds a Master of Science Degree in Psychology and Counseling from Troy University. 

Henderson-Baker is currently finishing courses at Piedmont College in Athens to obtain her certification in Early Childhood Education. She currently works as a mental health clinician and Behavioral Specialist. In addition, she is an active volunteer in the community as an after-school tutor and one of the coordinators for The Young Legends teen-mentoring group. She is also a charter and current member of the Chi Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which serves both Newton and Rockdale Counties.

“We congratulate Mrs. Henderson-Baker on this exciting opportunity,” Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said. “Mrs. Henderson-Baker has been a trusted leader and member of the Newton County Board of Education for many years now. She has always placed the needs of students first, and I know she will do the same at the state level as president-elect of the Georgia School Board Association’s Board of Directors. With this appointment, she will serve as a voice for not only Newton County School System students but also students from across the state of Georgia. We are proud to have her represent our school system and community at the state level in such a prominent and important role.”