Daniel Bailey, student council adviser at Pine Ridge Middle School in West Columbia, SC, has been named the 2016 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the year by the National Association of Student Councils.
Framing his approach to student council at the middle level, Bailey cites two characteristics he consistently nurtures in his student leaders: a love of service and a need for commitment. He feels it is important for the council to have a strong presence in both the school and community. While serving the school and student body, it is important for student leaders to also be active in helping to make the community a better place to live. Also important is teaching middle level leaders about commitment and giving them opportunities to understand that success is found through numerous hours of work. As Bailey says, “As their adviser, I encourage my students to be dedicated to a cause because those who are fully committed pour every ounce of their best into projects; those around them and their community.”
During his tenure as adviser at Pine Ridge, Bailey has fostered his young students’ development as leaders by guiding them through the processes to plan and run a variety of events and activities in areas that serve to improve the school and interact with the community. An example is the An-“tie” Bullying Campaign started by the student council with help from the student senate. The schoolwide campaign raised awareness of the negative effects of bullying by encouraging everyone to wear neckties on Tuesdays. As part of the campaign, the council members shared information about how to deal with bullying situations and helped their peers learn to tie their ties. “All council and senate members look forward to this event every week,” Bailey said. “They swap ties and pass along tips for positive media and building everyone up in our school. We have seen a huge drop in discipline referrals for bullying and negative social media, as our students are spreading the word every week.”
Bailey’s leadership and success in developing middle level leaders has not gone unnoticed at the state level. For the past two years, he has served as the middle level coordinator and a workshop presenter at the South Carolina Association of Student Councils summer leadership camp. Bailey has also created and helped to plan other middle level workshops that were presented throughout South Carolina at the association’s district events. Recognizing his excellent work, the SCASC named Bailey its 2015-2016 Middle Level Adviser of the Year.
Brad Coleman, principal of Pine Ridge Middle School, lauds Bailey for his organizational skills and attention to detail to bring tasks to completion: “His compassion for and dedication to the student leaders creates a culture where all opportunities or challenges are always met with a positive attitude and a willingness to serve others,” Coleman said. Bailey’s professional achievements as an educator were highlighted when in 2014 he was selected as the school’s teacher of the year.
One of Bailey’s strategies for building capacity in his council leaders is described by Kallie Richbourg, a Pine Ridge Middle and SCASC student officer: “Whatever the council wants to do, Mr. Bailey walks us through the process, helping us to develop as leaders to understand everything we need to do to make our projects a success. We go from the idea to the planning to the implementing of the project, and to the evaluation of it.” Kallie also says her adviser is an encouraging person who gets behind his student leaders, as he did when she ran for a state officer position.
For his efforts to develop emerging leaders and create a service-centered ideal for the student council, NASC congratulates Daniel Bailey on being named the 2016 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the Year.
Bailey was presented with the award during the NASC National Conference held in Portland, OR, in June. The annual award is named for Warren E. Shull, the founder of NASC and recognizes student council advisers of exemplary character, leadership, and commitment to young people and who foster their development as student leaders.