Staff Feature: Mary Pat Bailey

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From jogging outside in daily cardio, participating in several workouts, and teaching countless fitness and nutrition classes, Coach Mary Pat Bailey shows a profound commitment to Kerr Fitness. Her fit and healthy lifestyle did not begin at Kerr, though.

“I taught for around 8 or 9 years at Hastings” said Bailey. “And when I got pregnant, I knew I had to get out of coaching because it took so much time. I’d have to stay before-school and after-school and I simply couldn’t do that. So I did a transfer to Mata intermediate and I taught there for one year.”

After Bailey’s transfer to Mata Intermediate, she was up for another switch.

“And then at the end of the year I got a call from Kerr High School” said Bailey. “I came over here to get an interview from Miss Hoover, who was the principal at the time, and she sat me down basically telling me that the job was mine. She simply said ‘let me show you around the building and at the end of this if you want the job it’s yours’. And I thought that was the easiest interview I’ve ever had. I got to tour the building and she explained how things ran over here. It was very different from when I was coming from Hastings and I told her that I would take the job. “

After taking the job, Bailey had no idea as to what to expect at this new school.

“So I started the next year and it was a whole other ball game” said Bailey. “There was a testing center in which I never experienced that. The whole idea of being self-paced and the PAKS was surprising. It was completely different from what I knew I sat back and thought how does this work. It was really neat to see students grow and develop from their freshman to senior year. These kids were on their own.”

Bailey’s transition into Kerr took time, effort, and adaptation. She ultimately feels the change of shifting schools and the way things work.

“Developing our program and embracing the system is a really cool thing” said Bailey. “It’s come to the point where I can sit in here and do an interview and my class is out there doing what they need to do. The way I feel about today is that I couldn’t work anywhere else at this point because this is the way education should be. It’s completely self-motivated; it’s kids taking control of their lives and their own learning.”

Looking back at her entire experience at Kerr, Bailey truly appreciates this school.

“I love it, a lot, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world” said Bailey. “Kerr is just an amazing place to be; they have an amazing staff and administration. I just think this place is awesome.”

Bailey’s passion for being fit and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just live within the walls of Kerr, but in her everyday life.

“Outside of Kerr I love teaching nutrition” said Bailey. “I have lots of adult classes that I’ve been doing. It’s actually something that I want to go into for my retirement: teaching adults about nutrition and healthy kind of lifestyles. My hobby is constantly cooking, learning and watching lectures, or reading books about cancer studying and diseases. I want to learn about all that goes down in the body and how food plays a role; if it’s either protective or harmful. That’s really my passion”