Faces of 501: Terri Bailey
A proud alumna of Topeka Public Schools, Terri Bailey now serves at the Burnett Center as executive assistant to the assistant superintendent. She also serves in additional roles for the district, including coordinating Family Fun Fitness Night. Her love for Topeka Public Schools and her passion for education shows through her dedication to supporting students, parents and staff across the district.
Terri Bailey serves at the Burnett Administrative Center as the executive assistant to the assistant superintendent, Billie Wallace. She also serves in several different roles for the Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF), as well as helping to coordinate district events such as Family Fun Fitness Night and Share Fest.
Bailey began her journey at Topeka Public Schools (TPS) at a young age when she attended Sumner Elementary School.
"We loved Sumner," Bailey recalled. "We walked to school every day."
She continued her education at TPS all the way through high school, graduating from Highland Park High School, where her two daughters later graduated also.
When Bailey began working for TPS in 2010, she served as a substitute secretary for principal Vic Williams at McEachron Elementary. One of her favorite memories of working at the school happened during the Major Saver Campaign, hosted by the TPSF. As a reward for students, TPSF provides a limo to take them to get pizza for lunch, and Bailey got to accompany Williams and the students on one of the trips.
"It was a blast," she said. "Afterward we took pictures together in front of the school and the McEachron sign. This was before all of the renovations to the school took place."
Following her role at McEachron, she she began working as the first magnet school secretary to the magnet school director, Dr. Betty Horton.
"Many of the requisitions for equipping the schools were prepared on a typewriter here in this building (Burnett)," Bailey said.
While she has worked in several different roles throughout the district, Bailey says that working at the Burnett Center holds a special significance for her.
"I love the interaction with other departments in the Burnett Center and the camaraderie we share. We are truly helpers of one another," she explained.
As part of her role, she covers the front desk each day while the full-time front desk secretary takes her lunch break. Bailey says that she enjoys the many different faces she encounters during that time.
"Had I not been working at the front desk, I wouldn't have been able to meet them all," she said.
Supporting teachers and staff is another reason Bailey enjoys working at the district level for TPS.
"It truly takes a village," she said, "teachers cannot do it all. Having a heart for children and the challenges they face is key. Many times our presence will reassure educators that we are all in this together."
She believes that every role within the district is important, and working at the Burnett Center gives her the opportunity to support teachers and staff outside of the classroom.
Even outside of work, Bailey says she loves interacting and working with kids.
"I love music and working with children," she said, "I teach a second and third grade Sunday school class, and my students are TPS students. I love the look on their faces when I ask what school they attend and I am able to tell them I know their principal!"
Bailey's dedication and passion for students and educators is felt by each person she works with.
"Working in education is an opportunity to pour back into the lives of our young people," she said, "It's paying it forward."
Whether it is working in a school or at the district level, Bailey's belief in supporting staff and students exemplifies the Topeka Public Schools motto of "Students First - working as a team for continuous improvement."
Is there someone within the TPS family you'd like to see featured in Faces of 501? Leave us a comment or email Marissa Meis at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the individual and why you think they'd be a great person to be featured!