“High school can be a time when students want to party or sit around and be lazy, yet Coach Hunt wasn’t afraid to be frank and let me and others know what we should be doing,” Baker said. “He told me that the key to success is putting in hard work while everyone else is resting. The level of commitment he asked of me fueled my competitive attitude and my work ethic. He taught me that competition is just as much a struggle with yourself as it is with the people around you. Not only does he preach these values to his students, he embodies them himself each and every day. It makes me proud to have him as a mentor because when I compete I not only want to do my best for myself, but I want to do my best for him.”
Hunt, who has worked at Darlington since 2007, also coaches varsity football and teaches P.E. at the Upper School.
An AP Scholar with Distinction, Baker has taken 21 Honors and AP classes during the past four years and ranks first in his class academically. He is a member of the Cum Laude Society, National Honor Society, Gamma Chi Epsilon, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and has received E.L. Wright Awards for the highest course average in Spanish 3 Honors, Ancient World History Honors, English 1 Honors, Spanish 4 Honors, AP World History, Pre-Calculus Honors, Physics B, English 3 and Calculus AB.
In his four years at the Upper School, Baker has received numerous awards and honors, including the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award, the Harvard Book Club Award, the John Rood Cunningham Award, the Everett E. Porter Award, and the Class Scholarship Award for the highest average in his grade for three consecutive years. He is also a Commended Students in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Most recently, he placed first of over 350 students at the Alabama High School Physics Contest for the second consecutive year. Additionally, as a freshman he received the Daniel P. Hanks for highest overall average in the Upper School.
Baker has run track and cross country for seven years. This year, he took third at state in the 1600 and fifth in the 3200 after winning both at the region meet. He was also a part of the 4x400 team and was named the boys’ varsity team’s Most Valuable Runner. He has also been selected to represent Darlington in the 2012 Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority's John Pinson Outstanding Student Athlete Award competition.
The son of Patty and Phil Baker of Rome, he has already been accepted to Georgia Tech. He is still waiting to hear from Duke University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.
The STAR Student is the senior who scores highest on the SAT during a single-day attempt and is also in the Top 10 percent of their class based on grade point average. The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, in its 54th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 21,000 students and teachers.
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