Sandra Baker was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from the University of Portland in 1978 with a Bachelor of Music Education and earned her Master of Music Education the summer of 1986 from Lewis and Clark College. Sandy began her teaching career at Orient Grade School where she taught K-8 choral and general music from 1978-1984. She met and married John Baker, taking a 7 year break from teaching to focus on family. Then, in 1993, she returned to teaching at McLoughlin Middle School, later becoming Alder Creek Middle School, where she taught for 18 years. During the same time, she and John began the North Clackamas Children’s Choir, a community choir open to all students in grades K-9 who liked to sing! Under their direction, the NCC Choir performed in Disneyland on 9 occasions, with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony twice, and in many other special events in the Portland area. They continued to co-direct the NCCC Concert and Prep Choirs and Ensemble until ending the program in 2010.
As a choral director, Sandy places a high priority on teaching sight reading and theory to singers in order to develop musicians. She believes in encouraging and developing the individual singing voice as key to a strong choral team. This approach produced a strength and confidence in the middle school choirs that showed in the joy they expressed during concerts. The McLoughlin and Alder Creek Choirs performed at district festivals, Best of NW and for the state legislature several times. In 2005, Sandy was chosen to receive the Teacher of the Year award for the state of Oregon. Since retirement in 2011, she has judged several festivals in middle and high school throughout the state, presented literature at music conferences and continues to consult with other leading teachers in her field.
Sandy and John have been married since 1985. They have three “music loving” children.