Assistant principal introduces new student-focused projects

Anishi Patel, Staff Writer

This year, Lake Park welcomes Ebony Baker into the new position of assistant principal of student development. 

Her main focus will be program initiatives for college and career planning and social-emotional supports for students. This includes teaching coping strategies for stress and helping students overcome the challenges they face both in school and out of it.

Ebony Baker’s main goal is to market to students. The Pupil Personnel Services office has many resources to offer, but most students don’t know what they are. After 20 years of counseling, Ebony Baker knows that everyone has a different post-secondary plan and she wants to make sure each student has access to the resources that will best help them plan their future. 

“I enjoy hearing everyone’s story,” she said. “I would like all of our students to feel supported, safe, and prepared for becoming a Lancer and life after Lancer.”
The first marketing strategy is to increase the amount of SSPs. She believes they have been well received by the freshman class and she plans to add more to smooth the transition from middle school to high school. She has been working with various Lake Park staff, including Dominic Manola, Lake Park’s principal.

We are working on several projects, including an 8-week Tip Thursday series for our freshmen,” says Manola.

This series of presentations will span from Labor Day until mid-October and will include an introduction to the freshman team, information on activities and how to get involved, and an introduction to Lake Park’s social media pages. 

While Ebony Baker believes SSPs are less necessary for seniors, she intends to set up college awareness days to encourage students to continue working on applications and seeking out resources. She is also planning a career week in which Lake Park Alumni will return and give presentations about their jobs and career plans.

Some of the primary items Ms. Baker and I are collaborating on are increasing student and family engagement for the college and career opportunities and programs that already exist at Lake Park, continuing to update and add programs to address student needs, and increasing the career exploration opportunities for students,” comments Joseph Ziemba, college guidance counselor at Lake Park.

Ebony Baker’s advice for students creating their post-secondary plan is to pay attention to Lake Park resources. Not only does the school provide step-by-step instructions for college applications (how to order and send a transcript, how to ask for a recommendation letter, etc.) but Lake Park also has weekly college visits during which students can talk with representatives from colleges. These representatives have information about admissions, essays, transcripts, and more.

 “Her warmth, energy, and passion are contagious and she brings such amazing ideas to Lake Park. I am so happy she decided to become part of the Lake Park community!” says Dominic Manola.