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Alexandria School Board member Willie Bailey resigns

City Council members (on left) and School Board candidate Willie Bailey (on right) at Friday Night Lights at ACHS on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (Via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.)

Alexandria School Board member Willie Bailey has resigned, effective Nov. 30.

The announcement came a month after Bailey abruptly left a School Board meeting during a restructuring discussion.

Bailey was elected to the School Board in November 2021 and previously served on the City Council from 2016 to 2019.

“I was honored to be chosen by the voters for the opportunity to serve on the Alexandria City School Board, and I thank the community for your trust and confidence,” said Bailey. “I wish the School Board and superintendent much success in achieving the goals of the 2025 strategic plan and supporting students to be successful in life, college and career.”

Bailey is also a deputy fire chief with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department, as well as a founder of Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue, a non-profit organization that supplies thousands of children in Northern Virginia every year with backpacks, school supplies, new coats and gifts during the holiday season.

“On behalf of all members of the Alexandria City School Board, I want to thank Willie Bailey for his service on the Board and for his deep commitment to the children and families in the City of Alexandria,” said Board Chair Michelle Rief. “There is a reason that Mr. Bailey has received Alexandria’s Living Legends award, given his long-standing dedication to ensuring our students have the community supports they need to learn and thrive.”

Bailey’s sudden departure will leave a vacancy on the School Board. According to the release:

Following Mr. Bailey’s resignation from the School Board on November 30, 2023, the School Board will petition the Circuit Court to order a special election to fill the vacant seat as required by the Alexandria City Charter. This special election is expected to take place in early 2024.

The departure won’t help the Alexandria School Board’s high turnover rate: the November 2021 election saw six new members joining three incumbents. Alexandria City Public Schools has also had six superintendents over the last 20 years. Education experts have previously noted that high turnover is generally a bad thing for a public school system.

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