Power Couples

10 of 417-land's most influential, powerful and best-matched pairs. Find out why they're great and what makes them tick.

(page 2 of 11)

Jennifer’s clothing provided by Harem & Company

The Tag-Team Community Educators

Paul & Dr. Jennifer Baker

Paul makes Jennifer laugh. Over and over again, while Jennifer gives straight answers to questions about the couple’s marriage and careers, he interjects jokes and clever one-liners. And Jennifer cracks up.

This dynamic seems to explain how the two work together. Paul is the principal of Springfield Lutheran School, and Jennifer is an associate professor and the director for the Center for Professional Solutions and Operation Us at Forest Institute. The two have always worked in education, in one way or another, in their separate careers. But their interests merged in youth ministry and, now, in their shared passion for adult education. They teach classes at Redeemer Lutheran called “The Me I Want to Be.” And they work together to lead weekly “Hitched and Happy” classes through Operation Us, a project that provides marriage and relationship education to southwest Missourians. It’s during those classes that the couple plays their respective roles: Paul says that he’s the joker and she’s the brains. But after more than 20 years of teaching about marriage together, there are certainly both the brains.

Jennifer is a member of the Healthy Community Collaborative, focusing on the area of postpartum/new-mom support, which is part of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. There she serves on a subcommittee devoted to postpartum depression that is putting together resources for patients. Paul has also been a member of the Lutheran Education Association, helping Lutheran Schools gain accreditation and conducting principal training.

When they aren’t helping the region’s married and married-to-be couples fine-tune healthy and happy relationships, they love to hike or work on flower gardening at home. “We are hot into gardening,” Paul says. He’s taken his green thumb to work as well. Springfield Lutheran School worked to turn a vacant lot into an area with 12 raised gardening beds, one per classroom at the school, where kids can raise plants and learn about gardening.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Articles Like This

Salon Service Group

Salon Service Group’s 57,000-square-foot headquarters pairs the best of modern design with an industrial edge.

Hannibal Missouri

Take a bookish weekend getaway, and visit Hannibal. This Mississippi River town is steeped in Mark Twain history, and many of its best-loved tourist destinations have a decidedly Twain theme. Visit with the kids for some literary nostalgia and lots of family-friendly fun. The town is four hours away, so treat yourself to a B&B stay and make a weekend of it.

Cutest Baby Winner 2015

The votes are in! Meet Bennett Morgan, winner of 417 Magazine’s second annual Cutest Baby Contest.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Sign up for our newsletters Follow us on Instagram

Edit ModuleShow Tags

  1. Ettie's Eats: Banana Cake
    This banana cake will shock you with its deliciousness, which makes it the perfect sweet treat to...
  2. Ettie's Eats: Vegan Chocolate Pudding
    This vegan chocolate pudding uses rich Dutch cocoa powder to really kick up that delicious...
  3. Ettie's Eats: Roasted Chicken with Rosemary
    After becoming pros at trussing a chicken, we learn there is a much easier way to make the...
  4. Ettie's Eats: Sour Cream Cheesecake
    Wow your guests this Memorial Day weekend with this light and fluffy cheesecake.
Edit Module
Edit Module