EVART – Evart Elementary School hired a new principal who plans to promote student safety and achievement.

Sarah Bailey relocated to Evart to serve as principal. She lived in Manistee for 17 years and worked for a charter school in various positions.

“I started out as the family-life educator there, and became assistant director, and then principal and then director,” she said. “When I left there, I worked for Michigan State University.”

Bailey said she helped schools raise achievement levels of low-scoring students in northwest Michigan.

“I really loved that work and thought it would go on, but Michigan State University lost the grant,” she said.

Afterwards, she began looking for principal positions in Evart’s area.

“One of the things that attracted me to the Evart area is the multitude of lakes,” Bailey said. “It seems like such a pretty, pretty area. There are a lot of commonalities when you move from one community to another in northern Michigan.”

She was trained in the Responsible Thinking Process several years ago in Evart.

“When I saw Evart was looking, I thought it was a great opportunity to use experience I already have,” Bailey said.

Bailey added her primary plan as principal is to understand the needs of the community and the school.

“School tradition is a very important thing,” Bailey said. “I don’t really want to make changes just for the sake of making changes. I want to be purposeful and deliberate.”

Bailey said her top priorities as principal are to provide safety for students and to ensure the achievement of every child.

“I want to stay focused on those two things and really do them well,” she said.

Outside of work, Bailey said she enjoys spending time with her family. She has eight grown children and has been married for 33 years.

Carol Phelps formerly served as Evart Elementary School’s principal for 12 years. Phelps also was a former teacher in the district. She left the principal position to pursue other career opportunities.