Golden Apple: Jonay Bailey


Jonay Bailey makes sure her K-3 students get the most out of the Early Intervention Program so they can improve their reading skills.

“We’re working on phonemic awareness,” Bailey says. “Which is letter naming and letter sound. We were going over books that focused on certain letters. I let the children choose which letter they’d like to present and we practiced the sound of each letter using either hand clap or foot stomp.”

Her family has a rich background in education. Dad is the athletic director for the Richmond County School System. Mom is a retired teacher, and one of her brothers is a teacher.

“I think being the oldest of 3, I’ve always felt I was the boss.  I’ve had my 2 brothers as younger siblings, and I was always doing something related to school.  I loved school as a child. I’ve never had a bad school experience growing up. My parents instilled in me that education was important and I understand that. I wanted to use that in my career as I became a teacher myself.”

And when she’s not busy in here, Ms. Bailey leads the Jenkins-White dance team.

“Our children are so used to secular music on the radio, and some of the dances that they do are not appropriate. So I wanted to gear their attention to other styles of dancing like African, jazz, liturgical. And just teach them poise and grace and we don’t always have to be heard, we can be seen as well.”

This is so much more than just a job for Jonay Bailey. It’s a way for her to shape young lives and make a real connection with the kids.  The rewards are endless.

“Their smiles and their hugs that I get every day,” she says. “Children following me-I see them in the grocery store, you’d think I was a celebrity.  They think we don’t go anywhere besides the school, so seeing them outside the school is even better.  Just seeing them happy about being in my class and learning, and wanting to come to school, is something I admire.”

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