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Students and Staff Clap Out Retiring Walter Johnson Principal "Mama Wildcat"

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Dozens of students lined up along the grassy green lockers in the Walter Johnson High School hallways prepared to clap with anticipation. Their principal rounded the corner donning a big smile, sparkling tiara and an “I’m retired” sash with gold letters. In her hands were a bundle of roses that grew by the second from the students. Their claps echoed throughout the building as she strolled down the long corridor.

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Faculty and students at the high school gave retiring principal Jennifer Baker a clap out at the end of her last day with the district.

The 12 year principal’s retirement plans include visiting family and friends, traveling to European and South American countries, taking a cooking class and finding an exciting part time opportunity. 

“I just want to live life,” said Baker, “just getting in some good R&R.”

Baker is happy she started and ended her career at her favorite school in the county.  She started her career at Walter Johnson teaching math classes from 1995 to 2000. She then returned as the principal in 2011.

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“I’m just so appreciative of my staff and my students. It’s a really amazing place,” said Baker. “We work really hard to make this a place where people want to be, want to teach, want to learn.”

Baker hopes that after her departure students and staff continue to show generosity to further create an inclusive community. 

"We have 3,000 students, 300 staff members, 6,000 parents, it’s like a small town and it can really ripple out,” said Baker. “You can really make a difference by just practicing gratitude and kindness.”

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