Baker School District takes lead in ‘Promise’ efforts

The Baker School District and Baker High School have embraced “The Promise of Oregon” campaign in a big way.

Two weeks after the campaign’s official launch, Baker High is already featuring a local student on its high school web page at Senior Tanya O’Neal describes herself as “The Promise of Baker” because “I want to earn a master’s degree in elementary education.”

Benjamin Merrill, the school’s principal, said local Board Members Andrew Bryan and Kevin Cassidy encouraged him to integrate the district’s social media and website communications with the statewide “Promise” campaign. The result has been a new “The Promise of Baker” effort locally that Merrill is co-branding with the broader statewide effort.

Besides placing links to the statewide campaign on the district website and high school web page, Merrill has given the co-branded campaigns prominence on the Baker Bulldogs’ Facebook page at

Over the last year, Merrill said the high school has widened its Facebook reach to nearly 10 percent of the city’s population. He said he is excited to share unique and powerful stories of the area’s students with the local community.

Next steps in Baker include plans for a video featuring local students, using Instagram and Twitter as “Promise” feeds, and extending the campaign’s local reach beyond the high school to other Baker schools.

“It is my hope that as a culture we begin to realize that unless we invest in our students, and fulfill our promise to them, they will be unable to fulfill their promise to us,” Merrill said.