The charismatic first-ever leader of Corner Canyon High has been named the state’s top high school principal.
Mary Bailey, who has guided the successful growth of Canyons District’s newest high school since its inception, was named the Utah High School Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. The prestigious honor was given to Bailey during a Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 ceremony in Salt Lake City.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, who has worked with Bailey since 1988, lauded Bailey for her savvy as a public-education administrator. “She’s been professional her entire career. Her standards are through the ceiling,” Dowdle said. He added that Bailey has a notable ability to build and maintain relationships. “Everyone is affected by her love of people,” he said.
In Bailey’s nomination, a Corner Canyon staff member described Bailey as “the heart” of the high school. “She’s the motivator, the mentor, and the supporter of everyone in our school. She is revered by the entire community.”
Bailey began her career as a teacher in the Jordan District and the Cassia County District in Idaho before returning to Utah where she worked in the Jordan central office and as principal of Copper Hills High. In 2009, she joined Canyons as the executive director of K-16 student achievement for the district’s high schools. In 2011, she was tapped to oversee the launch of Corner Canyon High, a new-school construction project that was made possible by a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010.
At Corner Canyon, which became an athletic and academic powerhouse the day it opened, Bailey is credited with initiating a Principal’s Roundtable to give students a voice in school matters; a Freshman Academy to help students make the transition from middle to high school; and a partnership with Microsoft that brings in company engineers to teach computer science courses.
Bailey was one of three educators honored during the morning ceremony at the Crystal Inn, 250 W. 500 West. Mountain Ridge Junior High Principal Mark Whitaker also was honored as a secondary principal of the year. Lava Ridge Intermediate School Assistant Principal Greg Bozarth received the Assistant Principal of the Year award.