"I have been passionate about education all my life," he said. "I believe the reason I am in the position I am today is my public education. I want to give back to the community."
Bailey's position as manager of business analytics at Google, and his background in math and education, are especially important now as the board faces almost $3 million in cuts under next year's proposed state budget, board president Fiona Walter said.
Bailey, who has a third grader at Bubb Elementary School, received his BS in mathematics from Michigan State and his MBA and MA in education from Stanford University. He had previously been involved in the school district, assisting with lessons and test administration in the second grade.
"We will need his analytical skills. He is a great math guru," Walter said. "Even with the complexity of a public school budget, I expect him to dive in."
The trustees held a public meeting last week to interview eight candidates about their involvement with the schools and their experience working in a collaborative environment. After ranking their top four candidates, each of the four trustees discussed their choices during the open session. Walter, who is the board's spokesperson, said she was impressed with Bailey's energy and educational background.
"Although we didn't agree on our number one, Ed was on three of our four lists," Walter said. "It seemed he had a good understanding of what being on the board meant."
Trustees made their final decision between Bailey, an African American, and another candidate who speaks fluent Spanish and could represent the more than 40 percent of Spanish-speaking students in the district. Sias Roquero was the only Spanish speaker on the board.
"We would like our board to reflect our community," Walter said. "At the same time, we need the highest qualified board member."
Bailey begins his term Feb. 28 and will spend the rest of the year addressing the budget and other important issues, including a local parcel tax which will be on the June ballot.
District board members, who receive a monthly stipend of just over $200, meet twice a month, serve on additional committees and participate in school events.
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