■ Alex Cass / HUSD
Teachers interact with hundreds of students throughout their careers, touching many students’ lives without knowing the impact they made. If they are lucky, a few former students may reach out to them later in life to tell them. Luckily that was not the case for retired theater teacher and current Hemet Unified Board Member Stacey West Bailey.
West Valley High School, the school Bailey used to teach at, honored her for the impact she had by naming the school’s theatre after her. On Feb. 15, former students, coworkers and family joined Bailey to thank her for everything she did for West Valley’s Performing Arts Program.
Attendees gathered to offer their thanks and congratulations in what will now be known as the Stacey West Bailey Theatre. The school’s choir started the ceremony by singing the “Star Spangled Banner,” the Dance Team performed “Wizards,” Superintendent Christi Barrett, West Valley Principal Dr. Janice Jones, Director of Secondary Education Dr. Alex Ballard, Ceramic Teacher and Arts Department Head Joe Hameister, and Band Director Thomas Hepburn all spoke about Bailey’s contributions that helped shape the Performing Arts Department. The Advanced Theatre Class performed a scene from “Peter Pan,” West Valley’s Theatre officers thanked her for the impact she had on their lives, and Mallory Miller, a student, presented the audience with a compilation video of Bailey over the years.
As Bailey walked on stage to a round of applause, her gratitude was evident. She thanked everyone for their kind words. She thanked her family for coming, her brother flying in from Arkansas, and relived the emotion she felt when she told her brother West Valley was naming the theatre after her.
Hemet High School’s baseball field is named after Bailey’s father, Norman West. When talking to her brother, they discussed the school naming the field after their father and he said the unfortunate part of life is people tell you how much they love you after you’re gone. At this point Stacey told her brother the wonderful news that this would not be the case for her because West Valley was naming the theatre after her.
Congratulations Stacey West Bailey on your tremendous contributions to the West Valley High School Performing Arts Program. We are glad you were able to experience the impact you made on so many people.