Melanie Bailey is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Hawaii. She is the Human Resources Manager for TS Restaurants Hawaii and a busy, single mom. Her local group of moms got involved in advocacy when their beloved school playground was torn down without notice. A bulldozer showed up the first Friday of the school year and the playground was gone by the end of the weekend. Enraged, they mobilized to raise over $200,000 (in the recession) and built a new playground in six months! Along the way, they formed lifelong friendships.
When “Furlough Fridays” were announced for Hawaii’s public school children, giving them the shortest school year in the nation, they mobilized again and put on a rally at the Capitol. Initially, Melanie called one elementary school and high school in all 50 states to see what their school days/years comprised. She then researched instructional time, legislation and contracts around the nation to prepare to testify at the Capitol. They passed a law in one session so that negotiating with their children’s educational time could never happen again. Since then, Melanie has been testifying at the Capitol on various education issues.
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Walking Yoga: Incorporate Yoga Principles into Dynamic Walking Routines for Physical Health, Mental Peace, and Spiritual Enrichment by Ila Sarley.
One thing that is going great in education in your state: Many people are concerned, frustrated, and working on solutions.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: Better collaboration with the teachers union.
Your favorite teacher (and why): Mr. Jamison in 5th grade history. His love of the subject made everyone want to listen.
Secret indulgence: It’s no secret! Coffee, chocolate and wine.
Your hero: Hillary Clinton, she just keeps on trucking!
Favorite school lunch as a child: Ice cream sandwich.
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): Most rewarding: Having a child with such a positive attitude who is succeeding, despite his many challenges. Most challenging: Having to humble myself to others so that I can get the best for my child.
Minivan or SUV: Honda Civic, it’s all about the cost of gas!
Favorite family tradition: Loco-Moco for Christmas Day breakfast. (Loco-Moco is a Hawaii favorite: rice with a hamburger patty, gravy, and a fried egg on top).
Favorite weeknight family dinner: Breakfast dinner.