SHARPSVILLE – Those who knew her remembered Anne-Marie Bailey as a fighter and a giver who made the birthdays of other employees at Tri-Central Community Schools more special.
Though she’d spent the past few weeks in the hospital fighting leukemia, the death of assistant principal Bailey shocked staff and students at Tri-Central.
“As much of a fighter as she was, we expected her to get better and get back here,” said middle school secretary Elaine Ponder, who had worked with Bailey since 2007.
Bailey, 47, died Wednesday night from complications related to her first round of chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which she was diagnosed with Feb. 14 — just seven months after her breast cancer went into remission.
Middle and high school staff and students held convocation Thursday morning in Bailey’s honor. Most of the students had already learned of her death through social media, said Principal Dave Driggs. Students were silent as Driggs made the announcement and then senior Brogan Terry said a prayer.
“Anne-Marie is a strong individual,” Driggs said. “She’s a fighter, and the kids knew her as that. Even though she’d been ill, the death was sudden.”
Bailey is survived by her husband, Kevin; three stepchildren, Bret Bailey, Brooke Rosselot and Brian Bailey; parents; siblings and extended family. Bailey spent 25 years at Tri-Central schools, starting as a teacher and then acting as assistant middle/high school principal and special education director since 2002. She graduated from Kokomo High School before earning a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and a master’s degree from Butler University.
Birthdays will be different for Tri-Central staff now without the customary personalized gifts from Bailey — one example of the compassion she was known for among her co-workers and students. Bailey had staff fill out surveys about their interests and hobbies so she could get to know them better and find gifts they would appreciate.