By ADELE UPHAUS–CONNER THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Spotsylvania County Superintendent Scott Baker is leaving the school system after nearly a decade in the job.
The Spotsylvania School Board voted 4-3 on Monday to approve a separation agreement with Baker, with members Kirk Twigg, Lisa Phelps and Rabih Abuismail voting against.
Baker will step down at the end of the school year and will receive a salary until December 2022.
The deal was reached in a closed meeting on Monday evening, ahead of the regular council meeting.
In an email to division staff sent Monday evening, Baker said the settlement was “mutual and amicable.”
“I believe this agreement is in the best interests of my family and the school division,” he wrote. “This will allow the school board to begin a process of transitioning to new leadership and allow me to consider and pursue other professional opportunities in the future.”
“At this time, I am unable to succinctly describe what an honor and joy it has been to serve SCPS in this role over the past decade,” the email continued. “While I hope my contributions have had a positive and lasting impact on the quality of education here, I am certain that the students, staff, families and community have enriched my experience and my life immeasurably. .”
People also read…
Baker was hired as Superintendent of Spotsylvania in 2012 after serving as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.
During the public comment section of Monday’s meeting, several speakers — parents, division employees and students — thanked Baker for his service and expressed their distress at the thought of his departure.
“On behalf of the study body, you have been an incredible leader and we will miss you,” said Dante Braden, a senior at Massaponax High School.
Nicole Cole, who will take office as the Battlefield District representative to the school board in January, thanked Baker for “making sure the schools are the best they can be under the most difficult of circumstances.”
“As a parent, I will say to the parents of this county who defend public schools that we are extremely grateful for your years of service,” she said, adding that “threats, attacks, abuse and the harassment you have been subjected to by certain members of the school board has never been justified and certainly never supported.”
Several division employees who spoke predicted that many staff would follow Baker and leave the county.
“Good luck filling all of the upcoming mass exodus positions at the end of this school year,” said Dawn Napper, a county teacher.
*This story has been updated.
Adele Uphaus-Conner: 540/735-1973