Teachers can have a profound impact on the lives of young people, and the best teachers are those who care deeply and work hard to truly engage students. Tracey Bailey, who graduated from Florida Tech with a bachelor of science in 1988 and a master of science in science education in 1995, has spent years striving to improve public education. He also served as board member for the Florida Tech Alumni Association in 1994.
For Tracey, improving public education requires accountability and a drive for higher student achievement. In 1993, he was recognized as the National Teacher of the Year for the entire United States because of his dedication to improving education for both students and educators. He was selected for this honor out of 2.7 million teachers nationwide.
As a teacher at Satellite High School, Bailey won national recognition for his highly innovative science education programs. He developed and expanded Satellite High’s advanced placement (AP) science programs and introduced high-level science research, including molecular biology and DNA fingerprinting, into the classroom. Within three years, the school’s science research program was among the best in Florida, winning many state, national, and international awards. He was also a developer and co-author of Florida’s state guidelines for instructional technology.
“Education should be stimulating, engaging and involve real hands-on projects. That’s what I experienced at Florida Tech. This led me to develop lessons, labs, and science demonstrations that immerse students in the joy and excitement of learning,” he said.
Tracey now serves as the executive director for the Virginia Professional Educators and helps guide and assist over 10,000 educators. Previously, he was the first director of the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space Center, later becoming the state coordinator for education reform programs in the Florida Department of Education. He is a member of the Florida Educators’ Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, Bailey has worked with education leaders nationwide to promote substantive education reform and an increased professionalism among teachers. He has spoken to Congress on several occasions and is often invited to the White House to represent teachers on educational reform issues.
Bailey was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.