"Let's Remember Who We Are": The Bailey Story

Episode 1: “Let’s Remember Who We Are”: The Bailey Story

Show Notes


This first episode of Chasing Bailey sketches the four-year story of an effort to transform a “failing” public school in Nashville, TN, only to have success turn sour when the district office determined that the underserved students at the school -- mostly poor and mostly Black -- had to be moved out of the place that had become their educational home.   Host Barb Stengel introduces us to several central players and to the important infrastructure elements – teaming, teacher leadership, residents, relationships, race, culture, curriculum, collective responsibility, and equity – that made a difference at Bailey, and that will be explored in depth in monthly episodes to come.


00:00  Introduction:  What is a good school?

03:28   Why tell the Chasing Bailey Story?  Resident Julia Konrad

06:11   “Every single day, remember who we are.”   Principal Christian Sawyer and Teacher Leader Karen Dorris Wolfson

10:41   Last on the list and “persistently dangerous”:  Bailey in 2012.   Sawyer and Dorris

13:55   Mental health and emotional needs at Bailey.  Counselor April Roberts

15:54   Prioritizing teacher talent:  Recruitment, development, retention.  Sawyer and Dorris

19:25   Getting started: Good intentions but not much else.  Sawyer and Dorris

21:05   External constraints.  Metro Nashville Public Schools IZone Director Alan Coverstone

23:56   Making plans.   Sawyer and Host Barb Stengel

25:00   Teaming.  Exceptional Educator and Teacher Leader LeKeisha Harding

28:13   Teacher residents. Dorris and Stengel

29:43   Unpacking race at Bailey.   Sawyer, Dorris, and Teacher Leader Whitney Bradley Weathers

35:50   Measuring success.  Sawyer

37:03   Chief of Culture.   Dr. Claire Jasper

40:51   Closing Bailey and moving the students, despite success.  Sawyer and Dorris

42:48   Why “Chasing Bailey?” Sawyer and Dorris

44:47   What was Bailey missing at the start?   Sawyer and Dorris

48:35   Relationships!   Student Damisha Hanserd


Our Host is Barb Stengel, a retired professor of educational practice at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She is a self-described fan of the Bailey experiment.

Between 2012 and 2016, Barb spent one day a week at Bailey, coordinating the school’s collaboration with Peabody, and serving as an informal cheerleader while also learning from this remarkable effort. She knew early on it was a story worth telling. So over the past year, Barb has spent time with dozens of staff, students, parents, and district administrators who were eager to talk about their experiences.


Chasing Bailey is hosted and narrated by Dr. Barbara Stengel, Vanderbilt University.


This episode was edited and co-produced by Brenna Fallon.   The executive producer is Dr. Lowery Woodall, Millersville University of Pennsylvania.


Our theme music is Midnight Blues by lemonmusicstudio.  Occasional music includes Blues Vibes by Michael Kobrin, Soul Food by Chris Haugen, and Lazy Bluesy by astrofreq. 



New episodes will drop on the last day of the month.  You can find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor.


If you appreciate what you hear, please subscribe to Chasing Bailey, leave us a review, share with your friends by word of mouth, and post on social media.   Follow us on

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/chasing_bailey/

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/chasing_bailey

Tiktok:        https://www.tiktok.com/@chasing_bailey

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/Chasing-Bailey-107279178665337/


More information will be available at www.chasingbaileypod.com/home. We look forward to your comments and questions at Chasingbaileypod@gmail.com.