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UNITED BOARD OF EDUCATION Death of member shocks, saddens many



Published: Fri, February 22, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The retired Beaver educator was elected to the United school board in November.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- "We are all just in shock and in mourning here," an emotional Janet Christen, Beaver High School principal, said Thursday.

William Baker, a newly elected United Board of Education member and a longtime Beaver Schools educator and administrator, was found dead at his Guilford Lake home. He was 66.

Christen said there was concern among friends and colleagues Wednesday when he did not attend Wednesday's career center meeting.

Columbiana County Sheriff Dave Smith said deputies responded to the home. "The general consensus is he died of a heart attack," Smith said.

Background: Baker was principal and assistant principal at Beaver High for 26 years and was a teacher in the district for 10 years, having taught middle school and high school social studies. He retired last year.

Baker was elected to the United Board of Education in November and appointed by the board as its representative to the Columbiana County Career Center board.

"He was my teacher, a father figure, my mentor and my friend," Christen said of Baker. "He was very professional, and an old-fashioned gentleman.

"We have been deluged with phone calls," she said. "He spent his whole career here -- 30 years as a principal and assistant -- and he touched a lot of lives in all those years. & quot;

Christen said she was assistant principal for 11/2 years while Baker, who retired last year, was high school principal.

"We were going to get together next week for lunch," she said. "It's just such a shock."




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