Dr. Mark Baker, assistant superintendent for business for the Carthage School District since 2002, was named the district's new superintendent at the R-9 Board of Education's regular meeting on Monday.

Dr. Mark Baker, assistant superintendent for business for the Carthage School District since 2002, was named the district's new superintendent at the R-9 Board of Education's regular meeting on Monday.

Carthage School Board President Tony Diggs said Baker, who has been acting superintendent since July when Dr. Sean Smith resigned, will continue in his dual role through the end of the 2017-18 school year.

At that time, the district will begin a search for a new assistant superintendent to take office at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Diggs said the Board decided it didn't need to conduct a search to find its new superintendent.

“We decided Mr. Baker is our guy,” Diggs said. “Dr. Baker is a proven commodity, he's been with the district for 15 years. He loves the district, he knows the district and it was a natural fit.”

Baker began his educational career at Carthage Junior High School in 1993 where he taught American History. He also served as an assistant principal and assistant superintendent in the Carl Junction School District before returning to Carthage R-9 as the assistant superintendent for business in 2002.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead the Tiger family,” stated Baker. “It is truly a blessing to be able to serve our students and families in this new capacity.”

Diggs said he has “great respect for Dr. Baker and the work he has performed for the district in the past 15 years.”

“He has a proven track record of excellence, is committed to meeting the needs of our students and staff, and is highly qualified to lead this district,” Diggs said.

Dr. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Missouri Southern State University, a master’s degree in administration from Missouri State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from St. Louis University.

Baker and his wife, Stacie, have two children, Emilee, a first year student at MSSU, and Alex, a freshman at Carl Junction High School.