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Steven Bailey named Superintendent of the Year
AOS 93 Superintendent Steven Bailey has been named Maine Superintendent of the Year for his commitment to helping all students achieve and his work through the state’s superintendent association to provide effective and relevant professional development to his colleagues.
Bailey was selected by a committee of his peers, including former Superintendent of the Year recipients, Maine School Superintendents Association (MSSA) officers and presidents of Maine’s superintendent regions.
He said what motivates him in his work is the opportunity to provide a positive influence in the lives of students, families and staff.
“I want to improve the learning situation and opportunities for all students and raise the awareness and urgency for change so that our public schools are the schools of choice,” Bailey said.
Bailey started his career in education as a teacher and then went on to be a principal in South Portland, earning recognition as a National Distinguished Principal. He was director of curriculum and then assistant superintendent in South Portland before taking over as superintendent in AOS 93, serving central Lincoln County.
Bailey believes the greatest issue facing public education today is lack of consensus at the local, state and federal level around the tenet that all students deserve a quality education regardless of their background.
“Privilege begets privilege, while not enough people consistently support the notion that all students, regardless of socio-economic status should be provided equal opportunity,” he said.
MSSA Past President David Murphy who nominated Bailey for the honor praised his dedication to excellence.
“Steve Bailey has developed a reputation among his peers in Maine as a visionary educational leader and strong advocate for 21st Century learning. His commitment to both his school district and our state association is without comparison,” Murphy said.
In his district Bailey has worked hard to close the achievement gap among students, particularly those under special individual education plans (IEPs) and is getting results. Students identified as needing help based on test scores and teacher observation are given clearly communicated goals and help to meet those goals.
“The strategy employed is not new. It is not earth-shattering. It is the application of data informed decision-making to help make learning deliberate, intentional, and purposeful,” he said.
Bailey said his role is to focus the work being done by teachers and principals by emphasizing the data; continuing the development of appropriate strategies for each learner; and debriefing with principals regarding the success their teachers are having.
Asked what advice he would give to those considering public school administration as a career, Bailey had this to say.
“Be a learner – the landscape is constantly changing; be a reader; be willing to be a model; observe, observe, observe; and, listen, listen, listen,” he said.
“I once thought you could be apolitical as an administrator. How quickly that idea faded away. Being a ‘principle-centered leader’ took center stage, with all decisions being based on what is in the best interest of the student,” he said.