Ritenour High School Junior Becomes First Student Representative on Board of Education
Kayla Anne Baker, a junior at Ritenour High School, made history Jan. 9, 2020 as she became the first student representative to be sworn in as an advisory member of the Ritenour Board of Education.
Although Baker is a non-voting member, she will be a voice for students by sharing their perspectives and opinions at Ritenour board meetings and by also sharing board information with peers. Her term will expire in April 2021.
Baker was selected unanimously by the current seven-member board in December 2019. Nine RHS students applied for the position by submitting essays on why they wanted to serve on the board.
The board will select an additional student representative in April who is a current RHS sophomore. The sophomore will serve on the board until April 2022. By having two students on the board, the elected board hopes to bridge the gap between the board and students by advocating for students and communicating board decisions. Moving forward, the board will continue selecting RHS students so there always will be two representatives.
Baker said she hopes to make a positive impact by serving on the board.
“I’ve always been the type of person to reach out where I know change is needed,” said Baker. “Students matter, and teachers matter. Working on ways to help students relieve stress, and planning ways to incorporate programs that will help our students, can do so much for our district, including ways to create a more positive environment.
“A classroom with happy students means a classroom with a happy teacher, which means better teaching and learning habits. Happy students with high test scores mean great improvement for Ritenour, with only a few adjustments. It’s important to identify what works and what doesn’t.”
In addition to being a Husky honor roll student, she is dual enrolled at St. Louis Community College. As an ambassador for the St. Louis Regional Health Commission’s Alive & Well initiative at RHS, Kayla has been a strong advocate for creating calming rooms in the school that allow students to de-stress in a safe and nurturing environment.
Baker also is passionate about theatre and musical theater, and has starred in several RHS productions: as Olive in the RHS production of “The Odd Couple,” Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” Chip in “Beauty and the Beast” and Ms. Fezziwig in “A Christmas Carol.” She also writes for the Pepper Box.
Outside of school, Baker does acting and modeling through the Images Agency St. Louis.
Baker attended several elementary schools as a child, including Iveland and Wyland, before attending Ritenour Middle School and Ritenour High School.