The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

Profile: Interim Principal Tara Baker

Baker poses outside the door to her office, wrapped in a welcoming decorative sign.
Baker poses outside the door to her office, wrapped in a welcoming decorative sign.

In Jan. 2024, Tara Baker was promoted from associate principal to interim principal. Her journey as an educator began after graduating high school when she initially attended Oklahoma State University before transferring to Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where she excelled in college basketball while attaining degrees in health and fitness management and psychology. Upon completing her certification, Baker was a physical education and math teacher in Oklahoma for six years. During this time,  she also earned a master’s degree in educational administration. The summer before the 2017 statewide teacher walkout, Baker “saw the writing on the wall,” prompting her to pursue a teaching career in Texas. After spending three years at Travis High School, initially as a department head and ultimately as an assistant principal, David Yaffie hired Baker as associate principal in 2021.  

Upon furthering her role and impact on campus, Baker reflected on her own high school experience. She attended a small school with a graduating class of only 86 students, and during her high school career, was a student-athlete and active participant in softball, track, and basketball. Carrying this love of sports into adulthood, Baker values incorporating sports and personal fitness into her free time. However, her greatest joy outside of work is spending time with her fiancé and their blended family of five children, ranging in age from seven to fourteen. Beyond transitioning into her role as interim principal, she will also be transitioning into her role as a Clements parent, as her fourteen-year-old son will become a Ranger this August. 

Baker pays homage to her years as a student-athlete in front of Clements’ athletic department mural.

Q & A With Principal Baker:

Q: How do you feel your responsibilities have changed when transitioning from associate principal to interim principal? 

A: As an associate principal, Baker relied on a task-oriented schedule,  where she checked off boxes and worked through consistent to-do lists. On the other hand, as a principal, she has to have a grasp on everything. While she is passionate about sports, she also chooses to prioritize the well-being of fine arts students and programs. She enjoys learning about and supporting all the activities her students are passionate about. Her responsibility, she feels, is to “have a pulse of the campus climate and culture.” 

Q: Besides academic prowess, what other goals do you hope to see Rangers strive for? 

A: She hopes to see Rangers have some relief from pressure, as she wants them to enjoy their high school years. This is particularly important to her because her son will be attending Clements next year. However, she values the reputation of academic excellence of this campus, and while she pledges to be committed to this, she also hopes to encourage self-care. Although some of this stress is intrinsic, she hopes to support students, faculty, and parents in reframing their state of mind. 

Q: What advice do you have for CHS students, from freshmen still adjusting to life at Clements to seniors preparing to start the next chapter of their lives? 

A: Ms. Baker believes there is very different advice to give to her youngest students versus those closest to graduation- for the freshmen, she recommends they prioritize their studies, but still remember to enjoy their years of high school. As any upperclassman will tell you, the years “just fly by.” For the seniors, she wishes for a balance of planning ahead for the future and understanding that it is okay not to know everything right now. Additionally,  she urges any high schooler to consider, “Will it matter tomorrow, in a week,  in a month, [or] in a year?” before stressing about something. 

Q: What is the most challenging and exciting aspect of your job? 

A: “THE UNKNOWN”- While Ms. Baker was an associate principal for three years and knew the role she was stepping into very well, there is no substitute for experiencing the real responsibilities of the job. As Baker said herself, “You don’t know fully what to expect until you’re in it.” She feels the most exciting aspect is building relationships with a diverse group of students and staff, while vicariously reexperiencing the beauty of high school every four years through each new class of students. 

Baker shows off her office setup, ready to tackle the day.


Favorite color? Purple.

Favorite cuisine? Seafood.

Favorite genre? Country. 

Favorite show/movie? 9-1-1. 

Favorite sport? Basketball.

Favorite holiday? Christmas. 

Favorite day of the week? Saturday. 

Contact: [email protected] 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Natalia Camelo
Natalia Camelo, Reporter
¡Hola! My name is Natalia Camelo and I am a junior. Spanish is my first language, and I enjoy learning and practicing Portuguese and Chinese. I am involved in Clements Chamber Strings Orchestra and Fort Bend ISD Student VOICES. I am also in the photojournalism class here at CHS. In my free time, I love to play my violin, sing, dance, read, and of course, write and practice photography! This is my first year in Quill and Scroll, and I am so excited to use writing as a tool to change the world :)

Comments (0)

All The RoundUp Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *