Jim Bailey grew up in Southern California and his mother was a school secretary for 20 years. "I don't think she could be any prouder of my choice of profession even I were a doctor or a lawyer." Jim joined Ojai Unified School District in 2001. He teaches science to Matilija Jr. High students and, through the support of the Ojai Education Foundation, he has been able to teach science in local elementary schools. He loves working with the students, putting emphasis on the "learn by doing" approach, nurturing that philosophy with entertaining and instructive projects. "Of course, teaching in this community is far more than I could have ever imagined. The students are curious and well-prepared, the families care about education, and the support in the community is always there. Ojai Educational Foundation, the Ojai Rotary Club, Food for Thought, and individual families have supported our programs very generously over the years." This has resulted in a recent boost to its science scores in standardized test performance by students since fostering collaboration between elementary teachers, Mr. Bailey and local organizations.