A Miami-Dade high school student has made history as the first student to skip two grades at the secondary level. Janiya Baker finished her freshman year at Homestead Senior High School in the spring and began her senior year in August.
Congratulations to our very own Janiya Baker on being recognized for being the first student in MDCPS HISTORY to jump from 9th grade to 12th grade. Congratulations Janiya! You are going to do great things 🙌🎉 @suptdotres @mdcpssouth #broncopride #exit1 pic.twitter.com/lXnffCI69l
— Homestead Senior High School (@HomesteadSHS) August 22, 2023
The school district spokeswoman, Gabby Acosta, said Miami-Dade is the third-largest school district in the nation, according to the Miami Herald.
Baker’s mother, Jasmine Gary, said the history-making news did not excite her daughter. The proud mother learned of her 16-year-old advancement after a visit to the school. After looking at her school credits, her parents and principal agreed on her graduating early.
“She’s so humble,” Gary said. “She’s like that. She’s quiet. She never tells us when she gets awards. She’s just focused on accomplishing her goals.”
Shaundrea Dixon, a three-year college adviser at Homestead Senior High School, said she believes Baker will succeed in college.
“Her work ethic speaks volumes. My biggest concern would be time management, but she’s already mastered that, so I have no doubt in my mind that she’ll do great in college. She’s already taking advanced classes and getting As,” Dixon said. “She’s constantly impressing me.”
Baker started her academic advancement in seventh grade. At the time, she would finish her classwork and homework during school hours. After school, she would spend time studying for tests but often found herself with too much time on her hands.
In seventh grade, Barker took her first high school science class — physical science. In eighth grade, she took two more upperclassmen courses, biology and geometry. After that, she took more during ninth grade at Florida Virtual School.
“I think the skipping grades just happened,” Baker said. “At one point, I thought I could skip a grade, but I didn’t realize I could be a senior so fast.”
Her plans are to own a plus-size fashion line. She will major in business at Florida International University after graduating.
“I’ve had that dream for a long time,” she said. “I first thought of it in elementary school.”