A new face in the Auto Department: Spotlight on Mr. Baker 


Walking through the squeaky door of the Regional’s Automotive Technology Department, an unfamiliar face can be found amidst the smell of motor oil and gasoline. 

Dan Baker, the Regional’s newest automotive technology teacher, began his position just before the district’s fourth quarter. 

Baker said he had been employed at different trade companies before his arrival at the Regional. 

“I worked as a fleet mechanic and for a pest control company,” said Baker. “I also worked as the lead mechanic for the Mendon Highway Department. I’ve been in the auto industry for over nine years.”

Senior Eric Huard said that Baker’s arrival has been nothing but positive.

“Mr. Baker has been a great addition,” said Huard. “The changes have been great, and everyone gets respected. There’s a change in how people are treated here. It’s nice.”

Senior Knowles Bourgeois said that Baker has specific strengths in the classroom due to his past automotive experience.

“He’s eager to make an impact here at Wachusett,” said Bourgeois. “This is his first time being a teacher, but the fact that he did automotive maintenance definitely helps him a lot as a teacher.”

Technology teacher Greg Chandonnet, who took part in the interviewing process for a new automotive teacher, said that Baker has adapted to his position with ease.

“He inherently understands how to teach,” said Chandonnet. “He seems like a natural teacher and knows how to connect with the kids.”

Assistant Principal Michael Pratt agreed that Baker knows how to cater to the personalities of the average teenager. 

“Mr. Baker has found a way to earn students’ respect in a different fashion,” said Pratt. “He finds something that the students are passionate about and holds them accountable.”

Pratt said that the diverse classes that the Regional offers is valuable.

“It’s a nice opportunity that we can offer a variety of different courses, whether it’s vocational or academic,” said Pratt.

Bourgeois said that Baker wants his students to leave the classroom understanding the basics of automotive technology.

“He wants us to be motivated to learn more about auto and not have it be a gray area,” said Bourgeois. 

Sophomore Malique Anglin said that Baker is teaching him skills that he will use throughout his life.

“It’s helpful that I know how to do an oil change and fix my car,” said Anglin. “He wants us to be the best mechanics we can be.”

Bourgeois agreed.

“I definitely have skills I’ve learned in the class that I can use in the future,” said Bourgeois. 

Junior Cameron Howe said that Baker’s passion for his pupils’ success in the course has been apparent.

“He definitely has goals for us,” said Howe. “He wants everyone to succeed and get what they want out of the class. Mr. Baker sees our potential.”

Howe said he could not recall a time when things had been miscalculated in the auto shop.

“He prevents mistakes and teaches before things go wrong,” said Howe. “We haven’t had a mistake in here since he started.”

Pervier said that the transition from Ken Baer to Baker has been smooth and unproblematic.

“The transition was great between Mr. Baer and Mr. Baker,” said Pervier. “Mr. Baker has been a great role model.”

Pratt believes that Baker has been a successful addition to the Automotive Technology Department.

“Mr. Baker has been a great asset,” said Pratt. “He’s building trust in the auto department.”

Chandonnet agreed.

“In the few weeks I’ve known [Baker], he’s connected with the students already,” said Chandonnet. “He brings a new life to the shop.”