Meet Mr. Baker, Our New English Teacher
Every year, there are new teachers beginning their teaching journeys for the first time at Apex High School. One of those new teachers is Mr. Baker, an Apex High alum who is returning to the Peak for his first year of teaching. Read on to learn more about one of Apex High’s newest English teachers.
Mr. Baker grew up in the Cary/Apex area and even attended Apex High School. He went on to attend Queens University of Charlotte where he majored in literature and minored in secondary education. He graduated college in the spring of 2022 and began his teaching career a few months later in August of this year.
Mr. Baker knew he wanted to be a teacher since he was in elementary school since his father was a teacher as well. Nevertheless, it took him until high school to figure out exactly what he wanted to teach. Mr. Baker chose to teach English, despite not being the most avid reader.
He felt that “you could learn a lot about the language and communication and how society really functions off of the sharing of language and connecting over things…”.
Mr. Baker was deeply inspired by Mr. Ferguson, English teacher and coach at Apex High School. Mr. Ferguson is also currently his mentor.
From his experiences in Mr. Ferguon’s class, Mr. Baker, “ [saw] that you could enjoy aspects of English while not…reading a hundred books a day.”
During his time as an Apex High School student, Mr. Baker was hard working and was even part of AOIT but was quite introverted during his freshman and sophomore years.
However, “Once I got to junior [and] senior year, I got to know a lot of people through sports…” Mr. Baker felt supported by his teachers during his time as a student here and even now as a teacher.
Mr. Baker started his freshman year of high school at the original Apex High School and graduated in 2018. As for his thoughts on the new, remodeled building, he feels that “it’s definitely a lot different as far as the building. It’s definitely a different vibe.” He appreciates how it “feels more new and modern.” But he also feels, on a more practical note, that “at times I miss the old school feel and the spirit that I felt in the building when I was there…It’s nice to have much nicer buildings where things work…”
This semester, Mr. Baker teaches two periods of English I Honors and one period of English II. Next semester, he will be teaching English III Honors. He believes that so far, his students like and appreciate him.
“I can tell that some students relate to me really well, being the young guy, they feel comfortable talking to me…”
However, he does add that, “The work is starting to ramp up so their opinion may change as I start to give them more work.”
When asked who inspires him, Mr. Baker reiterated that Mr. Ferguson was a big inspiration in becoming a teacher. In his personal life, Mr. Baker feels that his uncle, Gene Daniels, was a big inspiration.
“He was big in Wake County. People knew him all around. He helped coach here at some points…and at Salem Middle, and he was just an inspiration in how he treated people and creating family where[ever] he went and that is something that I try to create in my classroom.”
Mr. Baker has a variety of interests outside of the classroom. His favorite book is 1984; he loves dystopia and utopia novels. He also likes to play golf and has worked at Knight’s Play, a local golf course, in the past. In regards to movies, Mr. Baker is a fan of the movie Knives Out. In his free time, he likes to watch YouTube and relax. He even has a dog, Casey, a 14-year-old Bichon Frisé.
Thank you Mr. Baker, for being part of this article. Have a great first year of teaching!