WHITTIER – Whittier High School teacher Kathleen Bailey is constantly surrounded by computers, cameras, video monitors and love from her students.
Excelling as the lead teacher of the school’s esteemed Cardinal Computer Academy since 2007, Bailey has breathed new life into the program, exposing her students to technology careers, workplace skills and community connections that have helped them develop into 21st century pros.
“I see the Cardinal Computer Academy as the best of both worlds: students who struggle and students who thrive mixing together in an atmosphere of innovation and intervention,” Bailey said. “Through the Academy, students truly develop confidence in their futures.”
Always fascinated by technology and willing to share her knowledge with others, Bailey, who has been teaching at Whittier High since 2001, is recognized for successfully bolstering the college- and career-readiness program.
As such, she has been named the Whittier Union High School District Teacher of the Year for 2015-16.
“For over a decade, Kathleen has done everything possible for her students, caring for their well-being, working with them every day and developing personal relationships to ensure their success,” said Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. “She also has a wonderful rapport with colleagues and is always there to support them. I want to commend this wonderful teacher for her commitment and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.”
The announcement was made during Whittier Union’s Day One event on Aug. 10, 2015, an annual tradition in which district staff members gather to hear an inspirational message from the superintendent, see firsthand how their teamwork and collaboration has contributed to students’ success and kick off the beginning of the new school year.
“Kathleen is truly committed to her students every day, always making sure they have a good work ethic and foundation in order to be marketable,” Whittier High School Principal Lori Eshilian said. “She unequivocally changes children’s lives and they leave Whittier High ready to thrive in the field of technology.”
The Cardinal Computer Academy is a California Partnership Academy that provides students in grades 10 to 12 with rigorous academics and career technical education, a committed team of teachers and active business and post-secondary partnerships. Students develop marketable workplace skills in the technological field and have the opportunity to earn Microsoft Office certification as they explore careers.
The Academy itself has been at Whittier High for 25 years and under Bailey’s tutelage, has flourished.
“I think the most rewarding part of teaching at Whittier High is when students return and share their success stories of going on to wonderful universities and accomplishing their goals,” said Bailey, who added that the program has become popular among families of former students. “When families trust the program enough to enroll siblings and relatives in it, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment.”