Sidney Baker

Sarah Smith Elementary is changing principals.

Sidney Baker, the current school principal, anticipates that the Atlanta Board of Education will promote him to  Principal Mentor at its Aug. 13 meeting.

In a letter to parents posted on the Sarah Smith Facebook page, Baker said the board plans to name Meredith Kaltman, assistant principal at Sutton Middle School, as interim principal.

Here is Baker’s full statement to Sarah Smith parents:

Dear Parents,

Please know that I am searching for the right words while writing this message to you. I know this may come as a shock to some, but I wanted to let you know before the word got out on its own.

Pending the approval of the APS School Board Monday night, I will be named as a Principal Mentor for new principals for Atlanta Pub

lic Schools. This is a new position which will help support principals new to the profession. I must say that the 12+ years of experiences gained at Sarah Smith deserve to be shared. This opportunity is one that came my way, quite unexpected, and I am honored to have it. As hard as it is to leave the place I love so much, I am excited about the possibilities of assisting principals and schools in reaching their highest potential.

I hope you know, I always tried to give 100% in my performance as the principal of Sarah Smith. I am fortunate indeed to have been associated with the students, faculty, staff, and families of the best school in Georgia. The kind of love and respect I received from you makes me feel overwhelmed. When I see these 12 years with this school, I feel Sarah Smith became my second home and all of you my family members.

Also pending Board approval Monday night, Meredith Kaltman, assistant principal of Sutton Middle School, will be named interim principal of Sarah Smith. She has experience as an elementary school principal and will bring much knowledge and leadership to the school. I will remain at Sarah Smith for several days to ensure a seamless transition. Freda Hamilton, Jessica Harron, and Eddie McPherson are committed to continuing their strong leadership and are valuable resources for Mrs. Kaltman. Please embrace her and show her how lucky she is to be a part of the Sarah Smith community.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for loving this special place and for all you do for it. I will miss you all very much. But, I will be around….

Sidney Baker

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of