Mark Baker to run for MCSD Board of Directors
Retired teacher to start new candidacy
LEWISTOWN — Retired teacher Mark Baker has announced his candidacy for a seat on the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors.
Baker, a Republican and lifelong resident of Mifflin County, is a 1978 graduate of Lewistown Area High School as well as the Juniata-Mifflin Area Vocational Technical School, and graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983.
Baker worked at J.M. Young and Sons in Belleville as a roofer before starting a teaching career. On June 30, 2020 he retired from teaching building trades at the Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology after 35 years of service.
He has three sons (JB, Mike and Andy Baker) who were all educated in the Mifflin County School District and after completing college have come back to Mifflin County to live and work.
“I feel that my experiences as a student, parent, teacher, and taxpayer will be very helpful when making decisions as a board member,” Baker said.
“We as a school district need to keep looking for ways to provide our students with the tools and opportunities to receive a quality education in order for them to achieve their goals, to become successful in life, and be productive members of their community, hopefully here in Mifflin County, or wherever that may be, while at the same time maintaining fiscal responsibility,” Baker continued. “In my mind a board member needs to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars without cuts in programs or services. In these trying times that is a difficult task, however, I think you have to be willing to think outside of the box when things are tough. I am willing to do that. I believe that it is vital to support and promote initiatives that will enhance career/technical education and academics in our school district. Both go hand in hand. I also feel that there needs to be support for extracurricular activities in order for our students to possibly gain new and varied experiences. “
Baker said he proposes the board and administrators be available for monthly public town halls to answer questions, provide feedback and inform the public about what is going on in the district. He also said there needs to be better communication with the district’s teachers, as they are on the “front lines” every day in the classroom.
“Board members should get out and see the good things that are going on,” Baker said. “They need to ask teachers for input as well and what they may need to help aid them in their job without feeling like someone is checking up on their performance. Teacher evaluation is a responsibility of their administrator. When it comes to public education everyone is a stakeholder and has a right to be heard.”
The primary election is May 18.