Candidate profile: Jennifer Bailey
Jennifer Bailey is running for a two-year seat on School Committee this spring with a goal to improve social and emotional offerings for Wareham’s students.
A speech and language pathologist for more than 14 years, Bailey currently works for Old Rochester Regional in Mattapoisett. She previously worked at Decas Elementary.
Bailey has lived in town for ten years, and said she got to know many of the town’s teachers and parents through her work with the schools, which sparked her interest in the committee’s opening.
Bailey said her husband recently stepped down from his position on the town’s Finance Committee, which she felt provided her with an opportunity to “step up.”
“I think we’re going in a positive direction with our schools and I want to keep that going,” Bailey said. “Our teachers are great, and I think Wareham has a lot to offer.”
Bailey received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and went on to do a graduate program at the University of New Hampshire. She has one son who is currently attending Sacred Heart in Kingston.
Bailey’s son has been enrolled in Catholic schools since kindergarten, a choice she said she and her husband made partly due to concerns about behavior and class size. Bailey said she would not make the same decision today.
“People never leave the district because the teachers aren’t good,” Bailey said. “I’ve never heard that as a reason, and it certainly wasn’t my reasoning. However, bullying always seems to be a big fear.”
With a large population of foster kids and children being raised by grandparents, Bailey says Wareham students are often subject to social and emotional situations that others are not which can lead to behavioral issues.
Bailey wants to empower teachers with social and emotional resources to handle these issues.
If elected to the School Committee, Bailey said she would be most interested in helping students and teachers find creative ways to combat these behavioral issues that can often interfere with education.
“I want to find things that we can do in everyday classrooms,” Bailey said. “Solutions that come at no extra burden to teachers or taxpayers.”
Similarly, Bailey said she was interested in finding ways to help Wareham students get vocational educations without having to go to Upper Cape Tech.
“I don’t want to just complain,” she said. “I want to take action to actually try to help and make a difference.”
Bailey added that she wanted to be as efficient as possible in the new position if elected and was interested in receiving feedback from all of Wareham’s residents, whether they have students in the schools or not.
“I think something that sets me apart is that I know I have a learning curve,” Bailey said. “I’m excited to get the information I need to do that learning.”