Bailey gets the grade

New principal Brian Bailey fits right in


Riley Young

Principal Brian Bailey speaks to students at the Welcome Back Assembly. For some students the assembly was the first time they had seen the new principal.

By James Favot, Copy Editor

     The student body didn’t just meet a new building at the start of the month—they also met a new principal. New principal Brian Bailey has many years of school administrative work under his belt and is hoping to employ this knowledge to better the Tigard community.


     “I thought about teaching a lot when I was younger,” Bailey said, noting that his health teacher and baseball coach was one of his most inspirational figures in high school. “I always thought I wanted to do something like him.” After doing teaching work for some time, though, he realized his dream was more oriented toward administrative work in schools.


     “I knew that [as a teacher] my influence was limited by the four walls of my classroom,” Bailey said. “As an administrator, I get to help the whole school.” Before coming to Tigard, he worked in the Sherwood School District for eight years. Prior to that, he most notably worked for five years as a Dean of Students at West Linn. Suffice to say, Tigard’s administrators felt Bailey was an apt candidate to fill the shoes of former principal Andy Van Fleet.


     Associate Principal Angelita Miller was one member of the interview committee to find a new principal. She says she was impressed not only with Bailey’s extensive experience in schools but also with the confidence he displays in his work.


    “I think he really wants to make Tigard High the best high school in the state,” Miller said. “He’s really confident in making a decision[…] if he needs to make it.” In the past few weeks, Miller says she has appreciated Bailey’s collaborative attitude and willingness to reach group consensus on big decisions.


     In fact, Bailey has lived in Tigard for the past 20 years and was always looking for the opportunity to work at Tigard High. Before Van Fleet assumed the role here, Bailey was considering the position but ultimately decided against it.


     “I was thinking about it, but I really loved what I was doing at Sherwood,” Bailey said. Once Van Fleet announced his leave and the spot opened up once more, Bailey finally seized the opportunity.


     Bailey himself had a busy first couple of weeks adjusting to the new school, especially with the construction making things somewhat hectic for staff and students alike. However, after getting to know the lay of the land, Bailey feels he has been able to adapt rather quickly to Tigard’s welcoming environment.


     “Everybody that I’ve interacted with so far has been excited to be here, had positive attitudes, and was willing to help each other,” Bailey said. “Our focus as a school needs to be relationships, getting to know each other, so that we can do more.” He’s determined to maintain that positive climate and ensure everyone feels appreciated coming here


     The other administrative heads of the school agree that Bailey is a perfect fit within the Tigard community.


     “It’s been a smooth transition,” Associate Principal Tyler Davila said about the shift from working with Van Fleet to Bailey. “I’d say there’s actually a lot of similarities; [both have] big personalities and are willing to take things on.” Davila, like Miller, admires Bailey’s team approach to making administrative decisions that can benefit the student body.


     “So much of what we do is around systems and policies and looking at data, but being aligned philosophically around what education should be makes things so much easier,” Davila said. Bailey has already been making a few executive decisions around the school in an effort to help staff and students. One notable example includes his choice to open up the new commons as a lunch area this year.


     “I think that was a decision kids really noticed,” Miller said. According to her, the commons wasn’t expected to be used for lunch this year as one of the main walls is temporary and set to be torn down later in the year. However, she agrees that everyone can appreciate Bailey’s decision to keep students from flooding into the halls this year to eat.


     Above all, Bailey is excited to build connections with each and every student. “I want every single person who walks into this building to know that there are students and adults in this building who care about them and will help them,” Bailey said. He says he can’t wait to get involved with student-run activities and demonstrate to the students of Tigard that there’s more to being an administrator than sitting in an office all day. It’s also about representing the heart and spirit of the school community.