Dr. Matt Baker

Superintendent Update #1:

First and foremost, I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July celebrations.  In addition, I want everyone to know that I am extremely honored and humbled to be serving as your new Superintendent.  I would like to publicly thank the Board of Education for selecting me for this position.  I know that selecting a superintendent is never an easy process, and I will do my very best to continue your well-established tradition of excellence.  When I applied for this position, I was very aware that Walton-Verona Independent is one of the top school districts in Kentucky.  After having the opportunity to meet with staff, students, and many community members and parents, I now feel that I am beginning to gain a better understanding of why Walton-Verona is such a special place. 

Above all, there is a tradition of academic excellence in place at Walton-Verona.  This tradition has been well-documented over the years with numerous awards and accolades for the students, staff, schools, and district.  Even more important, our tradition of strong academic achievement has been well demonstrated through what our students have accomplished in their lives after they have graduated from this wonderful district.  Second, we possess a nationally award-winning arts program.  I firmly believe that one the things that separates great districts from good districts is that great districts actively support and promote the arts.  Third, we have a championship athletics program.  Over the years, our athletic teams have competed and won at the state level in multiple sports.  However, I believe the most important aspect of what makes Walton-Verona such a special place for kids and adults is our culture.

Culture is defined as the shared attitudes, beliefs, values, goals, and practices of an organization or group.  So our culture is defined by what we believe about our work, and how we go about doing our work.  There are things that we do here at Walton-Verona that are unique and set us apart from other districts, and make this such a special place.  There are multiple initiatives and practices such as the Quest Program where several of our students travel extensively to conduct in-depth research into individual topics of interest.  This type of in-depth learning experience simply does not exist in many districts.  In addition, we make sure no students “slip through the cracks.”  Each year, senior district leadership meets with every student in the 11th and 12th grades to ensure that every student has a goal for life after graduation and a plan in place to pursue that goal. 

We also have multiple community partners that provide extensive support for our teachers and students.  Walton and Verona Excel (WAVE) offers support for teachers through grants that provide additional resources to increase effectiveness in the classroom.  In addition, The Larry’s Kids Foundation provides support and resources for students who may be experiencing challenges at home.  The Walton-Verona Alumni Association offers multiple scholarships to graduating seniors each year.  So our district not only provides exceptional services to students in a traditional classroom setting, we also provide additional support and resources to students in conjunction with wonderful community partners to ensure that every student is successful in life after graduation.

In the past few months, I have been able to learn more about our district, and why it is a “district of choice” in Northern Kentucky.  However, I know that I still have much to learn and will be working diligently over the next several months to gain as much knowledge and insight as possible.  Attached to this webpage, you will find the Entry Plan that I shared with the Board of Education following my interview.  Over the next several months I will be working to complete the activities outlined in this Entry Plan, and will be updating the Board regularly on my findings.  In the spirit of transparency, I will also post a summary of those activities and findings to this webpage.

I am grateful to those parents and community members who were able to attend the “Meet and Greet” the district hosted on May 11th and 12th.  I will be extremely visible at upcoming school events, and will be attending PTA/PTSA meetings to continue to gather input from stakeholders as well as to further improve my knowledge about this fantastic district and community.  I look forward to meeting as many community members and parents as possible while we work together to continue the tradition of excellence at Walton-Verona.

In closing, I would like to add a special thank you to Dr. Robert Storer.  Immediately after accepting this position, multiple individuals pointed out to me that I was going to replace “a legend.”  Dr. Storer was incredibly gracious and generous and our time together was absolutely invaluable to me.  While I am the new Superintendent of Walton-Verona, I’ve come to learn that no one could ever replace “Doc.”  One of the most sincere, genuine people I’ve ever met in my life, Doc made a lasting impression on me, and his love for this school district, its community and people knows no bounds.

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