Ms. Bailey is the Dean of Students for the Early Learning Program at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She started her career in the classroom with Teach for America and received her master’s degree in education with distinction from Hunter College.
Ms. Bailey was drawn to BASIS Independent Brooklyn because of the culture and community she observed in her visits. “I want to work in a supportive, autonomous, and family-oriented environment, where I can use my past experiences as a Dean of Students to help BASIS Independent Brooklyn students and families feel successful in the BASIS Curriculum,” said Ms. Bailey.
Joining our Early Learning Program is particularly exciting for Ms. Bailey, who is a new parent with a one-year-old son. “The Early Learning Program is the first step in getting students acclimated to school and to set students up for future success. At this age, it’s crucial that we are instilling a love of learning in our students, and I’m so honored to be a part of that process.”
Ms. Bailey wanted to share with families more information about herself and what drew her to BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
I was born on the island of Jamaica, West Indies. At a very young age, my father stressed the importance of education, letting me know that it was through education that I would attain my goals.
At the tender age of ten, I migrated to New York with my mom and brother. I knew that we were coming here to build a better life for ourselves. Adjusting to a new culture wasn't always an easy feat, but, again, I knew why we were here—for better opportunities.
With the support of some amazing people from Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), I attended a college-preparatory high school, and from there I attended Le Moyne College in Syracuse. While studying at Le Moyne, I had the opportunity to study in South Africa for six months. While there, I saw the educational inequality while working for a program called SHAWCO tutoring underprivileged students who at times had no shoes but were eager to learn. I always had a passion for teaching, people also told me that I should teach but I wanted to pursue human rights law. After getting into education, I realized that not having an excellent quality education was an issue in itself.
After graduating from college, I placed law school on hold to pursue a volunteer program in Jamaica to work with students in education. Returning to my home country was a great opportunity to give back and it was such a cathartic experience. Once I was back in New York, I started working with the Harlem Children’s Zone as a student advocate for middle and high school students. Most of the students on my caseloads were very unhappy with their schools and performing low academically and behaviorally. I kept wondering what was happening in the classrooms, so I decided to step in and teach.
I taught at KIPP for six years because this was the place that developed me into the young woman I’m today. I had supportive and caring staff members who pushed me to be my best self even in the face of challenges. Through teaching at KIPP, I was able to instill a love of reading with my students. I developed meaningful relationships with students, staff, and parents.
I always had a strong classroom culture, and I decided to leave the classroom and become a dean in Brownsville because I wanted to ensure that every child was feeling supported in and outside of the classroom. As a dean, I developed systems that fostered a positive and caring culture where everyone felt supported. After spending time in the dean role, I went back into the classroom as a primary teacher because I missed it. However, I wanted more: I needed a home to continue expanding my skill set. I also wanted a supportive, caring autonomous, rigorous environment where we were holding high academic and behavioral standards for our students. I wanted a place where my own son can eventually attend, henceforth, I found BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
As a mom working in education, I know the importance of our children receiving a high quality education where they are also learning to be their best selves.
I’m so honored to join the BASIS Independent Brooklyn family. I’m here as a support to help guide our scholars. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.
Please join us in welcoming Ms. Bailey to BASIS Independent Brooklyn! She is a wonderful addition to our Student Affairs Team.
Photo above: Faculty and staff showing their BASIS Independent Brooklyn BEARS spirit while attending the 2018 Summer Institute in Phoenix, AZ.