Today, we honor a woman who wore many hats. Whether she was teaching, tutoring, serving on the Board of Education, helping create retirement plans or file taxes, cooking for the community, or planning events, Connie Baker was a woman who believed in and inspired progress. She also wore many hats.
On Friday, Aug. 31, dozens of her friends, family members, former students, and Elizabethton City Schools supervisors and Board members gathered to celebrate her legacy and to dedicate a new training center in her honor.
Connie Baker Training Center
For years, Baker offered after-school tutoring at ECS Central Office, formerly the Douglas School. In honor of her commitment to student growth, ECS converted this tutoring room into a training center and community technology lab complete with 22 computers and presentation space. Following the dedication, family and friends cut the ribbon on the new Connie Baker Training Center.
Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour shared Baker’s story with faculty and staff Friday morning, and spoke about her legacy at the dedication. “We have to celebrate people that want to help others, and she was a person that whether she was doing retirement plans for teachers or tutoring or serving on the school board, her goal was to help other people,” said Dr. Gardenhour.
Following this, Board member and retired teacher Susan Peters spoke about Baker’s sense of perseverance, attention to detail, and her belief in the power of literacy to empower youth and adults. She closed saying, “I’m so honored to have called Connie my friend and again want to express my gratitude for her knowledge, her humor, her integrity, her class, and most wonderful hats.”
Then Gardenhour opened the floor for attendees to speak. Baker’s former pastor James Redding said, “One of the fascinating things that I got to know about her is she believed in being something better than she started as. She was consistent in her effort to improve what she started out to do.”
Baker’s daughter Georgetta thanked Dr. Gardenhour for helping coordinate the dedication ceremony and thanked everyone in attendance. She said the numbers in attendance speak to the legacy her mother left. “It’s up to us to keep it going, to keep it moving, and to see it on through.”
More photos available on Facebook or by emailing Bekah Price.