Wilson County resident Angela Bailey has come full circle from her first teaching job at McGavock in 1992 to becoming the new principal of Tennessee’s second-largest high school – McGavock High School.
She was principal of Stanford Montessori School in Donelson for the past three years.
Bailey, who lives on Benders Ferry Road near Mt. Juliet, served Metro Nashville schools since beginning her career as a teacher at McGavock High School. Metro Nashville Director of Schools Andrienne Battle announced Bailey’s new position last week.
“I’ve had the experience of working closely with Angela Bailey and know her to be a passionate educator and leader who always puts the best interests of her students first,” Battle said. “Mrs. Bailey inspires those around her and will expand upon an already great culture and climate at McGavock High to ensure a high-quality teaching and learning environment.”
Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and master’s degree from Cumberland University. She earned her school leadership and administration license from Trevecca Nazarene College.
She has served in a variety of roles in her more than 20-year career with Metro Schools, including as a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, a curriculum principal, an academy principal, as well as a professional development leader and trainer for the district.
Just a few weeks ago, she talked with her predecessor former McGavock High School principal Robbin Wall in his office. She said it was a surreal experience.
“I was sitting in the same chair as I was when I was hired there as a teacher,” Bailey said.
She said both Howard Baltimore and Charles Hailey hired her way back when in the same office. She said she admires Wall and worked for him for three years leading up to this point. Wall helped Bailey transition into the position.
“He’s a great gentleman,” said Bailey. “I have learned a lot from him. I value what he’s brought to this community and how he has helped make it a strong community.”
Bailey is a dear friend to the Donelson community. She was born and raised in the Old Hickory and Hermitage community.
“I am a third generation DuPont High School graduate,” she said. “We all came from parents hired at the DuPont Plant. I was in the last graduating class of DuPont.”
She and her husband were high school sweethearts there. Now they have sons Derek, 27, a Nashville firefighter, and Logan, 25, who is in law school. Her husband is also a firefighter.
“I have to mention my daughter-in-law [Derek’s wife] Chelsea,” said Bailey.
She will be a first-time grandma in July.
During her career, Bailey was a teacher at Andrew Jackson Elementary School, where she was also a student back in the day.
“I’ve always been about this community, and now I am back,” she said.
As new leader of Tennessee’s second-largest high school, Bailey said it could be overwhelming. However, she ready as ever for the task.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I get to lead former classmates’ children and grandchildren. I’ve watched them grow up, and now I am here.”
During her education tenure, she was part of developing McGavock’s academy structure where students are put into individual schools within the school with certain focuses.
“I love the academy approach,” said Bailey. “It’s really what brought me back to McGavock. This approach has helped change graduation rates.”
Moving forward, Bailey’s philosophy centers on making family relationships with both her faculty and students.
“I love this dynamic,” she said. “We grow in strength through helping each other. I treat people and students as if they are my own.”
Bailey’s top priorities are continuing the growth of the McGavock community; strengthening academics; and improving student empowerment.
Bailey will officially become principal July 1.