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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR DR. JOHN FRANK BAKER, AND TO COMMEND HIM FOR FORTY YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP TO THE EDUCATION OF THE YOUTH OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
Whereas, the members of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina are pleased to learn that Dr. John Frank Baker has devoted forty years to the education of students in Sumter School District Two; and
Whereas, John Frank Baker earned a bachelor's degree in history and social sciences in 1971 from the University of South Carolina and began teaching psychology and social sciences at Hillcrest High School where he was three times chosen Teacher of the Year and the district Teacher of the Year in 1979; and
Whereas, he received a master's degree in secondary guidance counseling from his alma mater in 1979 while also serving as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina Sumter (USC Sumter), beginning in 1977; then in 1980, he became Hillcrest High School's guidance counselor; and
Whereas, from 1984 to 1990, he served the district in various administrative roles, including director of guidance services and curriculum development and director for Academic Center, a program supplying USC Sumter courses to qualified seniors from Furman, Hillcrest, and Mayewood high schools; and
Whereas, he earned a doctorate in educational administration in 1989 from South Carolina State University, and in 1990, he began two years as the director of personnel for the district, and served briefly in 1992 as interim superintendent before becoming superintendent of Sumter School District Two, where he has given outstanding leadership for the last nineteen years; and
Whereas, in a district with almost eight and a half thousand students, a budget of more than fifty million dollars, over twelve hundred staff members, and fifteen schools, a Career Center, and one alternative program, he successfully secured well over three million dollars in grants for the district from various sources; and
Whereas, among his many accomplishments, he organized the first successful passage ever of a bond referendum in Sumter that acquired twenty-eight million dollars for new schools and improvements in the district in 1993; he directed all components of the 1996 consolidation of three high schools into two; and he initiated the Superintendent's Award of Excellence, awarded to one employee chosen by the superintendent annually; and
Whereas, in 1994, he was named Educator of the Year by the Hillcrest Foundation and Humanitarian of the Year by the Sumter NAACP in 2007, and he was selected Superintendent of the Year in 2008 by the South Carolina Adult Education Association and in 2009 by the American Cancer Society for Life Division; and
Whereas, he has served his community as a deacon, church clerk, and former Sunday school superintendent of Pisgah Baptist Church and as a former board member of Sumter County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Sumter County Mental Health Association, and Sumter County First Steps; and
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are grateful for the long and faithful service that Dr. John Frank Baker has devoted to education and for the standard of excellence he has set for students in the Palmetto State. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, recognize and honor Dr. John Frank Baker, and commend him for forty years of dedicated service and leadership to the education of the youth of South Carolina.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Dr. John Frank Baker.
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