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Baker's Staff

Baker's friendly and diversified staff will make your stay a rewarding and pleasant learning experience.

Donna Highers

Donna holds the title as our Chief Instructor and has taught full-time with our school since 1988.  She came to us with five years prior experience teaching A&P mechanics for another school. She teaches our A&P Courses and our Inspection Authorization Course.  Donna also holds an Advanced Instrument Ground Instructor's rating and has taught many flight ground school courses in the past. She is famous for her dynamic and detailed, (but “keep it simple”) teaching methods. Donna's long tenure, coupled with her personal quest of ensuring that all her students pass the first time, has earned her a very well-known and popular reputation among the aviation community all around the world.  All the thank you letters and cards that she has received from past students over the years would probably wallpaper our entire school!


During her off time she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her young granddaughters.



Tommy Simpson

    Tommy was born in Gallatin, Tennessee, and attended Portland High school prior to enlisting in the Tennessee Air National Guard at Berry Field ANGB in 1984. He was initially assigned as C-130 Crew Chief until selected as a C-130 Flight Engineer in 1995. While a traditional Guardsman, he was employed as FAA certified A & P technician for Corporate Flight Management.  In 2001, he became a full-time Guardsman.  During his tenure, he served as Standards and Evaluations Evaluator and the Formal Training Unit (FTU) Flight Engineer Course Manager, instructing students from all over the world in flight engineer operations and aircraft systems.  As the Operations Group transitioned from the C-130 to the MQ-9 Reaper, he cross-trained to sensor operator while establishing the foundation and developing personnel for Reaper Operations.


   Tommy retired after thirty five years from the military and joined the Bakers team in April of 2019.


     Tommy has degrees in Aviation Operations, Instructor of Technology and Military Science, and Air and Space Operations.



Brenna Shockney

Brenna came on board in October of 2021. Though she was new to aviation, it was obvious she was not new to running or managing an office. 


Brenna delightful sense of humor and love of people makes her someone the students warm to very quickly and someone they know they can count on for any help they may need.  Brenna was born and raised in West Virginia, she moved to Tennessee in May 2018. She comes to Baker’s with a background in customer service and early childhood education. Prior to joining the Baker’s team, she was working as a Student Records Specialist at Lipscomb University in the Registrar’s office.


When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading, exploring new places, watching WVU football, naps, and spending time with her friends and family.  




Kim Boner

Kim was hired in December of 2020.  She quickly caught on to the hustle and bustle of our busy office.  Along with the other 500 tasks it takes, she helps answer the phones, processes enrollments, is a proctor for testing the students, takes care of the aviation store inventory, and helps the Director with tasks as assigned.

Kim was raised in Mount Juliet, TN.  Her background is Accounting.  Her experience in prior jobs includes Office Manager, HR Manager and Accounting Manager and is a great asset for us.

Kim’s constant smile, easy going personality and willingness to help her co-workers and our students with any task has certainly made her well liked by everyone who meets her.



Peggy Hamlet

After moving into our new building in Lebanon, TN, we knew we needed to enlarge our administration team.  We were fortunate to find Peggy who lived close by and was looking for another position that would allow her to spend more time with her son.


She studied at Tennessee Technology Center and received an Associates Degree in Business. Peggy brought quite a bit of experience with her after spending 15 years as an Administrative Assistant and then 2 years as an Assistant Manager with a local finance company.  She has proven to be a great asset and stays busy answering the school phones, processing enrollments, and administering FAA exams to our students.  She always has a smile on her face and enjoys assisting the students with their local accommodations and transportation needs during their stay with us.

During her off time, Peggy takes delight in spending outdoor activities with her family by camping, boating, kayaking, hunting and fishing.   

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BILL Prince

Bill is a Tennessee native and has been an instructor at Baker's since 2018.  Bill's aviation career started in 1993 when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and trained as a C-130 Crew Chief.  He was stationed in Germany at both Rhein Main and Ramstein Air Bases where he worked as a flight line crew chief.  During his time in Germany, Bill deployed for various contingencies including Operation Provide Promise.  In 1996, Bill PCS'd to Dyess Air Force base in West Texas where he worked in the Isochronal Inspection docks on C-130H's.  After the war started in 2001, Bill stopped turning wrenches and began his flying career by cross-training as a Flight Engineer.  After flying with a slick unit at Dyass, he successfully tried out for Air Force Special Operations and began flying on the MC-130H Combat Talon II.  Bill retired in 2013 as a Weapons School instructor in AFSOC.  After retirement, he worked in the non-aviation civilian sector until 2017 when he obtained his A&P certificate after attending Bakers School of Aeronautics.  He worked as an A&P technician at Embraer in Nashville until 2018 when he returned to Baker's as an instructor.


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Dillan Baker

From the day before he was born, Dillan was destined to be in aviation. His dad took his mom flying in a Cherokee 6, induced her into labor, and he was born the next day with a 3/8” wrench in his hand.


Dillan is an A&P and an IA and has worked on all types of general aviation aircraft, from fabric Piper Colts to turboprop Fairchild Merlin's. Whether he is doing sheet metal repairs, avionics installs, inspections, or engine overhauls, Dillan loves anything and everything about aircraft maintenance. He owns his own aircraft maintenance facility with his dad and brother at Beech River Regional Airport.


Dillan grew up in West Tennessee and graduated from Lexington High School in 2012 and went on to the University of Alabama to receive a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2017 and then a Master of Science in Operations Management in 2019. He has been with Baker’s since 2019 and enjoys helping people achieve their dreams of becoming certificated aircraft mechanics. He met the love of his life, Haley, in 2015 and recently married her in 2020.

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Reba Evans

Reba began her career in aviation maintenance while she served with the Tennesse Air National Guard.  After training and working on C-130's, she knew she was hooked and decided she wanted to spend her career in aviation maintenance.  After gaining the required field experience, Reba attended Baker's School and received her A&P certification.  She worked as an on-call mechanic at the BNA airport and has experience with Cessna 152's up to Boeing 767's certified in various categories.

When Reba began working for the school, it didn't take long for everyone to see that she was a natural teacher.  She is currently teaching our Airframe and Powerplant writtens and Oral and Practical courses.  She is devoted to her students and takes pride in ensuing that each one is ready before encouraging them to take the FAA exam.  She often will work with students one on one, if she feels that they need additional training on a particular subject or area.  Her compassion and encouraging words are certainly appreciated by all of her students.  She enjoys making the students feel at home while they are in class and is always ready to help them.

Besides her natural teaching skills, Reba will tell you that she feels her greatest accomplishment is her young daughter, who has also discovered a love for aviation, like her Mom.

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer is the school owner.  She began her career at the school in 1978, when the school was known as King’s. Being new to aviation, she quickly fell in love with the entire aviation world, especially the world of the aircraft mechanic. She became a partner with the owner and took over the operation of the school. Jennifer taught A&P and IA Courses for 16 years, before buying out her partner and changing the name to Baker’s School of Aeronautics in 1994. She is a strong advocate for the aircraft mechanic and has served on several committees over the years to help promote the professional status and appeal of an aviation maintenance career.


She served many years on the FAA AMT Award’s Committee and helped in rewriting Advisory Circulars pertaining to the AMT Awards Program. She is currently working on the Tennessee Mid-South Aviation Maintenance Committee and is on the Advisory Committee for Tennessee Technology School of Science.  In 2010 she was instrumental in helping NASA space technicians be recognized by the FAA for having enough experience to obtain their FAA Airframe ratings.  She was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in November of 2009. 


One of her personal quest is to help broaden the awareness of Charles E. Taylor, the first aircraft mechanic. Jennifer was a strong supporter of having May 24th recognized as AMT Day by the State of Tennessee and helped achieve that goal in 2003.  In 2005 she began hosting an annual AMT Picnic at the school around Charles Taylor’s birthday to help keep the awareness alive.


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