After 35 years of teaching and coaching at KO, Middle School science teacher Judy Bailey has decided to take a step back from teaching. Mrs. Bailey has been a dedicated member of the KO faculty since 1987, and during the few years that she wasn’t teaching, she still made time to coach. During Mrs. Bailey’s time at KO, she has contributed in a multitude of ways to the KO community and she will most definitely be missed.
KO has always been a part of Mrs. Bailey’s life, and she acknowledged that although it will be difficult to leave, she believes she’s ready. Her father started teaching at KO when she was four years old, and she graduated from KO in 1982. Both of her two daughters, senior Lindsay Bailey, and Maitland ’18, attended KO since Upper Prep. Mrs. Bailey has had the pleasure of coaching both of her daughters at some point during their KO athletic careers.
Even though Mrs. Bailey will be retiring from teaching after the 2021-2022 school year, she will continue to coach.
Although Mrs. Bailey will continue to coach after she retires from teaching, her time coaching has been a definite standout when reflecting on her years at KO. “I really have enjoyed having the chance to coach,” she said. Mrs. Bailey is currently the head coach of girls varsity lacrosse and will stay in that role. In addition, she is also an assistant coach of girls varsity basketball and the head coach of girls Middle School A basketball. She has also coached field hockey, as well as multiple different levels of basketball and lacrosse. Mrs. Bailey strives to be a positive role model for young girls in sports, “I think it is so important for our girls to have a female role model as their coaches in sports,” Mrs. Bailey said. “I love sharing the passion for the sports I love with my athletes.” Her passion for sports and her goal to be a positive role model for athletes contributed to her decision to continue coaching.
In middle school, Mrs. Bailey has taught multiple different science classes, including sixth-grade life science, seventh-grade earth science, and eighth introduction to physical science. Mrs. Bailey explained that over the years the content of these three classes has changed, but she always continued to enjoy teaching the new topics as they came. When asked about her favorite class to teach, she quickly mentioned sixth-grade life sciences, “I have always loved the sixth-grade science class,” Mrs. Bailey said. “I was a biology major and this class is based on the type of science I am most passionate about, it always felt like my niche was the life sciences.” In addition to teaching all three grade levels of science in the middle school, Mrs. Bailey has also dabbled in teaching upper prep art and drawing.
Not only is Mrs. Bailey a science teacher, but she is also an advisor for the middle school, most recently working as an upper prep advisor. When looking back on her time as an advisor, Mrs. Bailey remarked that although sometimes it can be challenging, the relationships she has grown with her advisees are rewarding, “The relationships you establish with your advisees, and their families are always special,” she said, “I have some really close connections with my past advisees.”
When she retires, Mrs. Bailey is looking forward to spending more time on her art and having more family time. Although Mrs. Bailey doesn’t have anything major she plans on undertaking, she is excited to have more time for herself, “I am sure there is something else I am going to end up doing, I just don’t know what it is yet,” she said.
Mrs. Bailey’s impact on both the academic and athletic community at KO has been immense, and her mark will continue to be felt for years to come. We wish her the very best with whatever comes next and we cannot thank her enough for her dedication to KO for 35 years! We look forward to seeing her continue to coach as well!