Brightest and Best

Kayla Janelle Bailey

Hometown: Carey, Idaho

High School: Carey High 2009, Class Valedictorian

Class Year: Senior

Major: Elementary education with an emphasis in mathematics

Accomplishments: Kayla was elected during the National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC as the 2011 / 2012 Post-Secondary National Secretary/Treasurer of Business Professionals of America. BPA is a national student organization that promotes 21st Century Skills in the classroom through leadership, scholarship and curriculum.

Interests/Hobbies: When she is not busy traveling representing BPA or planning the National Conference to be held in Chicago, IL in 2012, Kayla enjoys playing intramural volleyball and flag football, and participating in a variety of events that takes place on ISU campus. Yet, her favorite activities include spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling.

Career goal: Kayla is preparing to teach 6th grade following graduation from ISU (after 3 years). "From personal experience the transition to 6th grade is often a difficult one. "Kayla has always worked with young kids from leading 4-H groups in her home town to starting a leadership camp for kids when she was still in High School. "I feel I can make it easier for kids as they try to cope with the many changes and challenges that await them."

Why ISU? Originally, I was seriously considering the University of Arizona. But, the closer I looked at all ISU had to offer it was clear that the things most important to me-class size; affordability; academic offerings, reputation and being close, but not too close to home-were right there. I was fortunate to receive an academic scholarship, and that coupled with high school friends who decided to come to ISU with me made my choice easier. The other important part for me was leaving a small town and going to a friendly, warm small city."

ISU Experience: In a word, my ISU experience has been perfect. I was able to get quickly immersed in my degree program, which is why I'll be able to graduate in 3 years. As I look forward to a career in elementary education, I know ISU has prepared me well for future success through the education I received and the resources and modeling I've been able to take advantage of. Dr. Brenda Jacobsen, my BPA advisor, is a major influence and provides excellent advice and opportunities, which I have clearly taken advantage of. If I had to give one piece of advice, I would say be proactive as a freshman! When an advisor, teacher or professor asks you to stop by their office, or consider joining an organization, look into it and get to know them. They want to see you succeed.

Nationally the amount of student debt following graduation continues to increase. For information on how you can help educate the next generation of great Idaho State University scholars contact the ISU Foundation or call (208) 282-3470.