TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation honors longtime champion of education Amon Baker, of Tahlequah, with the title of board member emeritus for his nearly 40 years of service to Sequoyah High School.

Baker, 94, served Sequoyah High School and the Cherokee Nation for more than six decades in various capacities including an educator, superintendent, school board member and a public servant.  

For his many years of leadership, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signed a proclamation this month recognizing Baker as emeritus, a lifetime advisory school board member to Sequoyah High School.

“Sequoyah High School has been very fortunate to have Mr. Baker serve on the school board for the past 40 years sharing his wisdom,” Chief Hoskin said. “Baker’s leadership has been a fundamental part of the success of Sequoyah High School and his lifetime of dedication to education and Cherokee and Native students is something to truly commend and respect. That’s why I am honored to recognize Mr. Baker with this emeritus status.”

Baker graduated from what was known as Sequoyah Vocational School in 1948 after returning home from World War II, where he served in the U.S. Navy until 1946. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts as well as a master’s degree in education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. 

He began his career at Sequoyah in 1956 as a vocational teacher. He then became a facilities manager, and in 1973 he became superintendent. After serving as superintendent for more than a decade, Baker joined the Sequoyah High school board where he served from 1981 until December 2020. 

During his tenure, Baker contributed to the growth of Sequoyah, including designing and building the Sequoyah Golf Course and the Tommy Thompson Football Field. 

In addition to his service in the school system, Baker also served as a member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation from 1979 to 1991. While on the council, he played an important role in countless pieces of legislation that improved the lives of Cherokee citizens including expanding afterschool programs, making child care more accessible and offering support to working families. 

“It is such an honor that Sequoyah, a place my dad has loved and served for more than 70 years, honors him with board member emeritus,” said Tribal Councilor Mary Baker Shaw, daughter of Amon Baker. “Our dad is one of the everyday heroes, a real dad who has led by example. He taught my sisters and me the importance of hard work, service to the Cherokee Nation, and to do things to our fullest capabilities.” 

Chief Hoskin has nominated Lyndon Emberton to succeed Baker. A committee of the Council of the Cherokee Nation is scheduled to consider Emberton on January 28 with potential full council approval in February.

Cherokee Nation citizen Emberton, 64, of Muldrow, has 27 years of experience as an educator including at Belfonte Public School, Muldrow Public School and Carl Albert State College. 

“I am very humbled to have the opportunity to be considered to serve the Cherokee Nation, parents and students of Sequoyah High School. I have spent 27 years as an educator in various positions and understand the importance of administrative, faculty, and support staff and especially offering a quality education to the students,” Emberton said. “Sequoyah High School is well known in all parts of the reservation and state, as having quality programs across the educational spectrum and my goal will be to continue that recognition. I know that quality people serve on the Board of Education now, and I will be replacing an excellent one.”

Download additional photos