Coweta County School Superintendent Steve Barker has been selected as one of four finalists for 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year.
School system spokesman Dean Jackson said Barker is among four finalists selected for the honor by the Georgia State Superintendent’s Association (GSSA). The other three finalists include Samantha Fuhrey of Newton County Schools, Michael Duncan of Pike County Schools, and Wes Taylor of Lowndes County Schools.
Above, Coweta Schools Superintendent Steve Barker. Photo/Submitted.
The finalists were “singled out for their leadership abilities and their excellent skills in working with their boards, staff and local communities,” said GSSA Executive Director John Zauner. “They all face challenges and do so with high integrity and dynamic and supportive leadership styles. They all strive to create a kinetic and innovative educational environment for their students to be successful.
Commenting on the selection, Coweta County Board of Education Vice-Chair Amy Sees said, “Dr. Barker is very deserving of this recognition. Many parents are unaware of the hours he spends advocating for the students here in Coweta County. As a parent, he is genuinely concerned for the success of this district, and as its leader he strives for greatness.”
Barker has served as the Superintendent of the Coweta County School System since 2011. He began his career in the school system in 1990 at Evans Middle School, and served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal at Coweta County elementary, middle and high schools during the 20 years before he became Superintendent, said Jackson.
“Coweta County is fortunate to have Dr. Barker serve as our Superintendent of the Coweta County School System,” said school board Chairman Larry Robertson. “He is totally committed to the success of each and every student within our school system, and that success is the end goal in everything he does.”
Barker earned his B.A. in Education with an emphasis on Social Studies from Shorter College, his Master’s from the State University of West Georgia and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Barker was nominated by the seven members of the Coweta County Board of Education for GSSA Superintendent of the Year. In their nomination, board members said that Barker “has maintained an incredible level of respect from our educators and has continued to bring fresh and innovative ideas into our district” as Superintendent.
“For the past seven years, Dr. Barker’s main goal is student achievement. He strives to see our students succeed,” board members said, noting Barker’s academic support for schools, his steady leadership in managing Coweta County’s academic program and accountability, and his support of community involvement and innovative practices to raise student achievement. Board members also cited Barker’s open communication with stakeholders, wide community involvement, strong management style, and conservative financial stewardship in support of his nomination.
All four Superintendent of the Year finalists will be recognized at GSSA’s fall conference, held in Athens in October. GSSA will choose a single state Superintendent of the Year from among the finalists by Nov. 1. The state honoree will compete through the national School Superintendent’s Association to represent the nation as the 2018 Superintendent of the Year.