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Governor praises Vail School District and its superintendent

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 20:22:55-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — High praise from Governor Doug Ducey for the Vail School District during his State of the State in Tucson. Ducey called Vail "one of the most impressive and results-oriented school districts in the nation.”

The Vail School District has grown a lot over the last 30 years and superintendent Calvin Baker has been at the helm the whole time. The people we talked to say consistent leadership allowed for creativity and innovation and they chose a medical assisting program at Andrada High School as an example of that.

Checking vitals and prepping patients. The Medical Assisting Program at Andrada High School is award winning.

“We do some sterile wound dressing as well, we do vitals, height and weight, we do blood pressures and we do blood draws as well,” said Senior Juliana Sullivan.

Governor Doug Ducey called the vail school district one of the most impressive districts in the nation.

He credited Superintendent Calvin Baker, but Baker modestly says he was just in the right place at the right time.

“When I came, the school district consisted of one k-8 school with 400 students and now we are building our twenty third,” said Baker.

Under Baker's leadership the district went to an extended year schedule, certifies its own teachers and has no boundary restrictions for high schools.

“Parents choose which one best fits their child,” said Baker.

Andrada's Principal says steady leadership over 30 years is a big reason why her school and the whole district has been able to innovate and succeed.

“I think what’s amazing about the district is the stability, and having Mr. Baker for so long really created the culture and that really trickles down from him to our leadership team,” said Principal Julia Kaiser.

Baker who retires later this month credits those around him.

“Staff that are just outstanding people, and I have been so fortunate to have a community and a school board that have supported us,” said Baker.

Baker will be handing off his superintendent role to another person with deep roots in the Vail School District-- Associate Superintendent John Carruth who has worked there the last 24 years.