After seven years, Lou Bailey, principal at West Linn High School, says goodbye to Oregon and hello to South Korea

The news spread quickly when it was announced Lou Bailey would not continue as principal at West Linn High School next year. Bailey accepted a position as a principal in South Korea and will move there this summer.

“This community is special. West Linn brings people together through all of our after hour activities,” Bailey said. “I will always remember the first basketball state championship game, 30 seconds left on the clock but all I could stare at is the student body wrapped around the Moda Center. I will always remember that moment and how proud I was.”

Bailey is a familiar face to students. In the library or at sporting events, Bailey always made the effort to connect with kids and their interests outside of school.

“The best part of my day is getting out of my office, going to Mock Trial or choir concerts,” he said. Seeing kids passions outside of the classroom is what shows me how much I love this community.”

With what he describes as the bittersweet decision to take this job, Bailey spent three weeks over winter break thinking about the pending offer in Seoul, Korea.

“I have never lived outside of the United States, but after weeks of discussing the position, it came to my attention that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Bailey said.

Kevin Mills, Vice Principal will replace Bailey. With seven years under his belt, Bailey is excited to pass his job over to Mills.

“My advice to Mr. Mills is for him to be open to surprises. Nothing you learn in a classroom can prepare you for what it is like,” Bailey said.

At graduation on June 1st, Bailey finally felt what it will be like to leave West Linn High School. “I’ve watched seven classes graduate and last night was the last one for me.” he said. “It was special to say the least.”

Following his speech, an announcement was made that lion mascot will be named Lou.

“You never know your impact until you leave, and now is my time to go,” Bailey said.