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Spotsylvania's next school superintendent expected to provide a seamless transition for the division
Redinger has taken a superintendent post in Washington state, but
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By PAMELA GOULD
Scott Baker has excellent resources at his disposal as he steps into his first superintendency next month in Spotsylvania County.
He has his father, who served as a superintendent in Virginia school divisions for nearly two decades.
Outgoing Superintendent Shelley K. Redinger has offered her support.
And he will have a mentor during his first year provided by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
But Spotsylvania School Board members said they have no concerns about Baker's abilities to lead the division after serving as Spotsylvania's assistant superintendent for instruction for the past year.
"There's just really no negative to Dr. Baker being our superintendent," said Amanda Blalock, who co-chaired the superintendent search committee. "He really had proved himself at all levels to our board and we felt extremely blessed to have him."
In Baker, the board has someone its members have been able to watch work, which search committee co-chair Linda Wieland said was an important factor in the decision.
"We've been able to see him in action," she said. "That's not an advantage you normally have."
Redinger hired Baker last July, but the lifelong Virginia resident didn't arrive as a newcomer to the community. Baker spent three years with the division from 1997 to 2000. Two of those years, he worked at Spotsylvania High School. where board member Ray Lora was then teaching.
Lora fondly remembers both Baker and his wife, Dawn, who taught music at other county schools.
"I've had the opportunity to watch him grow professionally," said 68-year-old Lora, likening the experience to a father seeing a son develop through his career.
Lora admitted that when he first heard in April that Redinger might be leaving, he was disappointed and not eager to start another superintendent search.
But when the reality set in, he recognized what was before him.
"Immediately, on my own, I said the right person for this is Dr. Baker, but I didn't share that with anyone," Lora said. "When [the board] got to serious mode, I realized other board members had the same thought.
"In that sense, it was easy. We all, independently, came to the same conclusion."
'A KIND SOUL'
Baker, 43, comes across as quiet and gentle, but board members and his current boss say there's far more to him than that.