Educator and mother Kimberly Baker recently announced she is stepping into her first electoral run with a bid for the Rockdale County Board of Education Post 2 seat.
Baker, 39, currently works as a program manager for Junior Achievement of Georgia where she works with schools in the south Fulton area to partner businesses with the schools and provide opportunities for students.
“I have always been an advocate to make sure students are prepared not only for academic success but for career readiness,” she said. “I make students understand four-year college may not be for everyone, but I want to help a student identify their passion. Then we can direct them to the correct pathway… so students can feel connected not only to the industry but they have a purpose. ‘I can accomplish a goal regardless of my socioeconomic background, regardless of my home.’”
She said it was this passion for working with students that motivated her to run for the school board.
She said her current job and her previous experience teaching in a private school and a public charter school in Lithonia has made her aware of what’s needed inside and outside the classroom.
“Teachers need a lot of support,” she said. “Not only from the administrative team and the school board, but also from parents. It truly does take a community to raise and mold our children. We have to keep in mind our children are going to become future leaders.”
The Vicksburg, Miss. native came to Atlanta about 10 years ago for a career change and has lived in Rockdale for the last five years. She serves on the PTSA at Rockdale County High School, where her daughter is a sophomore and plays on the volleyball team, and on the PTO for Peachtree Academy West, where her son attends pre-kindergarten.
She’s also attended Superintendent’s community roundtables at Rockdale Career Academy. “I have very much enjoyed listening and speaking with the board. I love the fact they’re opening themselves to the community and the parents. I’m excited to be involved in the overall successes of our students in the county.”
Baker attended the University of Memphis in Tennessee where she received a bachelor’s in communications, and attended the American Intercontinental University for Educational Leadership.
Five of the seven non-partisan at-large school board seats are up for election in July 2012. Baker would be facing off for the Post 2 seat with incumbent Brad Smith, who has already announced he is running for re-election.
Board chairman Wales Barksdale also announced last month that he is running for re-election as did board member Jean Yontz. Don McKinney said he is undecided and Darlene Hotchkiss has not said whether she is running again.
Challenger Tony Dowdy announced his bid for the Post 5 school board seat in September, currently occupied by incumbent Don McKinney.