UPDATE: Bainbridge High principal to take reins of California school

Contributed photo “This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I've had to make in my professional career,” says Jake Haley, who could officially become Costa Mesa High School's new principal on Tuesday.
Contributed photo
“This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in my professional career,” says Jake Haley, who could officially become Costa Mesa High School’s new principal on Tuesday.

***Story updated 11 p.m. May 13 to reflect Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Board of Education voting 7-0 on Tuesday night for Jake Haley to be Costa Mesa High School’s new principal.

 

Being closer to family who live in California will likely take Bainbridge High School Principal Jake Haley back to the Golden State, where he worked from 2005 to 2010.

Haley was named officially the new principal of Costa Mesa High School after the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Board of Education voted 7-0 for his hiring at Tuesday’s meeting. Haley will start July 1.

Haley would replace Phil D’Agostino, who left in March to become the district’s director of student services, the Daily Pilot website reported.

“His background is in educational leadership, mathematics, special education and athletics,” the Newport-Mesa Unified School District news release stated of Haley. “He expresses a passion and commitment to instructional leadership, a desire to meet the individual needs of students and staff, and, exhibits the ability to build relationships balanced with a sense of humor.”

Costa Mesa High School ranked 131st in California and 650th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s best high school rankings in its recently released 8th annual list of more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Costa Mesa, a seventh through 12th grade school, has a total enrollment of 1,693 students.

Haley’s roots run deep on Bainbridge Island. He entered Wilkes Elementary as a kindergartener and attended BISD schools until he graduated from high school in 1993. He was Bainbridge High’s student body vice president his junior year and student body president the following year.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Whitworth University, Haley was hired as a BHS math teacher in 1997, a position he kept through the 2005 school year. During those years, he also served as the Spartans’ assistant football and assistant boys basketball coach.

“This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in my professional career,” said Haley, who will continue to work as the BHS principal through the end of the school year. “For 28 years, Bainbridge has been my home as I’ve evolved as a student, teacher, coach and principal. I will deeply miss the students and staff of Bainbridge High School who have enriched my life in countless ways.”

Haley left Bainbridge in 2005 to become the head football coach for El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif. He guided the Chargers to a pair of 5-6 records his first two seasons, a 6-6 mark in 2007 and a 2-8 campaign in 2008, according to MaxPreps.com.

He then was hired as an associate principal for Laguna Hills High School in Orange County, where he worked during the 2009-10 school year. Haley returned to Bainbridge in 2010 when he was hired as Bainbridge High’s associate principal. Last July, he was named the school’s new principal.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Bainbridge the sixth best high school in Washington and 276th best nationally. Last year, BHS was ranked seventh in the state and 274th nationally.

“Jake is an outstanding educator who has made significant contributions to our district as a student leader, teacher and administrator,” Bainbridge Superintendent Faith Chapel said. “He will be greatly missed by everyone who has worked with him.”

Chapel said the Bainbridge Island School District will start making decisions on replacing Haley in the next few days and will announce those plans through the district’s Listserv email service.

About Ethan Fowler

Ethan Fowler has more than 20 years of journalism experience with 19 years of daily and weekly newspaper experience covering news, features and sports, as well as being an editor for 14 of those years. He has won several writing awards over the years in Washington state, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, including award-winning investigative journalism. Fowler was paid by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2009 to co-author a book, "Brushed Back: The Story of Trevor Bullock," with his wife. The book details the real life of a top minor league pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and his Christian faith. "Brushed Back" has sold more than 2,000 copies since its release.