First in Print: Donaldsonville High’s own recognized nationally

Allison B. Hudson

Air Force JROTC Major Donald Bailey of Donaldsonville High School was recently recognized as Outstanding Instructor.

The process begins with the Principals submitting their JROTC Instructors for the Outstanding Instructor Award. There is an instructor evaluation that must accompany the nomination. The instructor evaluation includes Instructor appearance in uniform, classroom management, finance, working relationships, presentation of curriculum, adherence to school policy and procedures, height and weight check, Impact on cadets, school and community.

Major Bailey speaks more about the process, “upon receipt of awards from the 900 plus AFJROTC schools in the United States and around the world, a selection committee made up of Headquarters AFJROTC Personnel at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama select the outstanding instructors.

This past year, the committee selected a little over 300 Outstanding Instructors from over 2,000 instructors.  

“In the past, that was the end of the process and we were notified of the results,” says Bailey. “But this year was different.”

Starting in 2010, Headquarters decided to take it a step further and out of the 300 instructors chosen as Outstanding Instructors, they set up a second selection committee to select one officer and one non- commissioned officer (enlisted) as the overall Outstanding Instructors.  

Major Bailey was selected as the outstanding officer JROTC Instructor for 2010.

“Along with the award comes a few goodies like a gold JROTC Instructors badge to designate me as the Outstanding Instructor for 2010. I will also receive money to take the cadets on a Curriculum –In-Action (CIA) trip, better know as a field trip,” Bailey adds.

This award was presented to Bailey at the Ascension Parish School Board meeting in December. Col. Wolfgang Gesch presented the award to Major Bailey.

Major Bailey is not new to winning awards, with his great personality and caring demeanor; he has several top titles on his walls.

Bailey won the 2010 Louisiana High School Teacher of the year.

“I take great pride in the fact that I and the award represents my cadets, Donaldsonville High school, Ascension Parish and the State of Louisiana,” says Bailey.  “I look at this award as the results of all the hard work the cadets themselves put in both at school and in the community. My award and the selection criteria used by Headquarters AFJROTC for the award reflects more on my cadets’ efforts than mine.”

Bailey gives credit to his outstanding cadets and TSgt Cynthia Jones for the great things they accomplished. “They makes me look good,” says Bailey with a smile.

“I am here to provide leadership, mentoring, and support my cadets in their endeavors and when they do well - I do well. I learned a long time ago that when you surround yourself with good people, mentor and train them to excel in work and life, one of the byproducts is that their efforts (good or bad) reflect on me. You can delegate authority but you can’t delegate responsibility and my cadets know that I don’t just “Talk the Talk but I Walk the Walk,” he said.

In his own words

As I reflect back on my “I Love Me Wall” with the many awards that I’ve won, I reflect on the many young men and women whom I’ve had the pleasure and honor to serve with during the past 37 years. It is the updates on their many successes in life that bring me the greatest satisfaction. I attempt to foster critical thinking, facilitate life-long learning skills, and prepare students to function effectively in the world outside the classroom.   I motivate students to take responsibility for their education, become independent learners, and understand that success is ultimately up to them.  The greatest reward is seeing students develop new skills, stretch to higher levels of performance, and gain an appreciation of knowledge and learning that will impact the rest of their lives.  My cadets learn and display respect, discipline, and honor for themselves and for their community.  I’ve come to realize that I have a dramatic impact on the directions and decisions my students make in their future. I read the letters from former airmen and students as they relay the impact of my setting high standards and the positive influence I’ve had on their lives. That is the singular award I cherish most of all.    

 If I had one message to my cadets, parents, faculty and staff at Donaldsonville High School, the Donaldsonville Community, Ascension Parish, and all the other Air Force Junior ROTC Units around the world is that if you want to be the BEST then come on down to Donaldsonville High School and take lessons from the cadets at DHS.

As the old saying goes, “Dynamic Does Come In Small Packages.”

During the past nine years, our cadets have proven that even though they may be a smaller unit and school, they can and do out perform much larger units.  As far as I’m concerned, my cadet corps at Donaldsonville High is the  “Best of the Best.”

“I have served my country in the United States Air Force for over 23 years, and now it’s my honor and privilege to serve my country’s children and the cadets at Donaldsonville High School.”