NRHS Principal, Mark Bailey, retires

As a student and an educator, New Richmond Exempted Village School District has been an integral part of NRHS Principal Mark Bailey’s life.

After 33 years as an educator in the district, the NRHS Class of 1982 alumnus is retiring. The decision was not an easy one, Mr. Bailey recently shared in a letter to parents and staff. After several months of deliberating, he ultimately decided it was the right decision at the right time.

“The reason I have decided to retire is that my mother’s health has been in decline, and with the uncertainty the 2020-2021 school year brings due to COVID-19, I feel I must place myself in a position to be there for her,” he said in his heartfelt letter. “We never truly have enough time to adequately pay back our parents for all of the support and sacrifices they made for us.  I am reminded of the lyrics written by John Lennon, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’  It pains me to think that I will no longer play a role in the continued successes of New Richmond High School, but I feel that it would be best for me and my family to move on.”

A self-described “music nerd” at heart, Mr. Bailey knew by his seventh-grade year at New Richmond Middle School that he wanted to pursue a career as a band director. He also knew that he wanted to teach music at New Richmond. 

To help make his dream come true, he spent study halls during his high school senior year practicing for auditions. The practice paid off earning him a full, four-year scholarship to Northern Kentucky University. He graduated from NKU in 1986 with bachelor’s degrees in both music education and arts and music. 

Mr. Bailey completed his student teaching in 1986 at Anderson High School in the Forest Hills School District.

In 1994 he earned his master’s in administration and supervision from Xavier University. Mr. Bailey holds multiple certifications including elementary and secondary principal as well as superintendent and assistant superintendent. 

He landed his dream job as band director at New Richmond High School in his first full year as a teacher.

As a band director, Mr. Bailey excelled and inspired. During his 12 years as director, the band grew from 35 members to 101. Under his leadership, the band also earned its first-ever Superior rating at state competition and went on to earn seven more. In fact, during his 12 years as director, the NRHS band accumulated more Superior ratings at state than any other band in the region, he said. 

His ability to grow and improve programs went with him when he was named principal of Monroe Elementary School in 2000. The school was the lowest-performing in Clermont County based on state testing.

“By the time I left, we were the top-performing school in the district based on state test results,” he said.

After a dozen years at Monroe Elementary School, Mr. Bailey was named principal of NRHS. During his years there, he said he enjoyed watching the athletic teams bring home numerous SBAAC championships and All Sports Awards.

His passion for the arts continued and during his tenure, the music programs thrived earning top marks at countless competitions.

And, like at Monroe Elementary, Mr. Bailey focused energy and time on improved academic performance. Under his leadership, NRHS improved its standing on the state report card and consistently ranked in the top three high schools for Clermont County.

His expertise was requested in 2015 when he was invited to give a presentation at Shanghai Normal University in China about best practices for preparing students for college and work.

“That was a great experience and great honor,” he said.

While leaving his career behind is difficult, Mr. Bailey is looking forward to spending more time with his mother, sister, nieces, and brother-in-law. He’s also looking forward to taking up hobbies that he set aside during his years as a high school principal including competitive trap shooting.

Mr. Bailey also has a soft spot for Golden Retrievers. He said he may do some upland bird hunting, and possibly get a couple more Goldens. 

He plans to remain in the community, he said.

“I think it’s a really special place,” he said. “I think New Richmond is the best-kept secret in Southwest Ohio. There’s not a lot of businesses in town. The schools are pretty much what the community revolves around.”

The district has advertised the NRHS principal opening and plans to hire someone before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

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