Pauline Bailey to Retire After Distinguished Career at Punahou

Pauline Lo ’71 Bailey, Punahou’s Senior Director of Human Resources and Chief People Officer, will retire this summer, after 23 years of service to the School.

Bailey began her career at Punahou in 1998, after working in leadership roles for various companies, universities and nonprofits in Texas, California, Washington D.C. and Australia. She also danced professionally – a passion that began while she was a student at Punahou. (A personal highlight during her tenure at the School was having the chance to dance with her daughter , Lindsey Bailey ’08, and other Punahou alumni in Punahou’s 175th Anniversary celebration.)

“My career at Punahou, in many ways, represents my hopes and dreams for the future,” Bailey said. “It has been the means by which I could strive for excellence in my profession, while also allowing me to care for my family. Being engaged and present in the life of the School meant that I was also engaged and present in the School’s aspirations for its students, and their engagement and presence would, in turn, benefit the community at large. Punahou has given me the opportunity to create meaningful relationships, learn new things, live my passions and solve complex problems that can impact the lives of the entire community.”

While at Punahou, Bailey built a modern human resources function from the ground up, implemented an integrated total health and wellness program, and most recently, made fundamental contributions to improve student safety and security, said Sunny Donenfeld, Punahou’s vice president of finance and operations.

For 20 years, Bailey also led the School’s co-curricular programs, a responsibility she considered a highlight of her career. She loved having the opportunity to directly impact Punahou’s mission through education and programs. As Director of Co-curricular Programs, she supported and enhanced Punahou’s curricular offerings, strengthened alumni support and affiliation, and created projects to highlight student and community learning. Many of the individual program directors appreciated her mentorship, and admired her passion for the arts.

“I am grateful that I have played a role, both small and large, in every employee that has been hired at Punahou since I started work at the School,” Bailey said. “I am grateful that I had the opportunity to influence the vision of what the human resources function at both Punahou and at schools nationally can be. And I am proud of how disparate programs that are now considered extended learning, came together, forged a strong K – 12 culture and identity, and thrived to create meaningful, memorable and magical opportunities for students at Punahou School and beyond. Mostly, I am grateful to have played a part in the trials, tribulations and triumphs of all of my colleagues and fellow employees.”

Donenfeld said since arriving at Punahou last summer, he has come to rely on Bailey’s expertise, judgment and principled leadership. “One of the popular adages in HR is, ‘no one is irreplaceable.’ I must acknowledge that Pauline challenges the entire basis of this saying,” he said.

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