Annette Barber

Annette Barber

Annette Barber, principal at Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School in Nogales, is a finalist for a national award following her school’s selection as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon recipient.

“The Terrel H. Bell Award, named for the former U.S. Secretary of Education, recognizes outstanding school leaders and the vital role they play in overcoming challenging circumstances,” says a news release from the U.S. Department of Education. “Principals nominated for this award are school leaders committed to fostering successful teaching and learning at their schools. They are principals who do whatever it takes to help their students meet high standards and are committed to the notion that in educating America’s children, failure is no option.”

As part of Coronado’s initial application for the Blue Ribbon Award, a separate nomination form in Barber’s name was submitted and accepted. One criterion for winning the recognition is that the selected principal “must shatter stereotypes that students in poverty or with limited English proficiency cannot achieve at high levels.

“Their vision and collaboration leadership styles have produced outstanding results for all their students regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. They have shown that with effective leadership and training, and a conviction that all students can learn, schools are powerful, joyful places that generate energy in their communities,” the news release says.

“That description most certainly sums up Annette Barber,” said NUSD Superintendent Steve Zimmerman.

Coronado parents, faculty, and students agreed in their testimonials that were sent along with the application.

One parent wrote: “Ms. Annette Barber, Coronado school’s principal, is such a strong leader. Her character demands respect and admiration. Ms. Barber leads by example.

“She is always aware of her surroundings; she addresses students by name and expects the same from her staff,” the parent continued. “Ms. Barber is the first person to greet students as they arrive to school and the last one to watch them leave. She gives her parents a sense of security knowing her commitment to providing their children with a safe learning environment. This is key to the school’s success. She leads with enthusiasm and devotion to guide our school on the path to success.”

A comment from the nomination also states: “Ms. Barber also provides strong instructional leadership in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She closely examines and has built a rigorous curriculum to challenge all students at high levels and has identified instructional behaviors and strategies which are implemented school wide with fidelity. Assessment data is utilized and examined throughout the year to determine if school goals and student needs are being met.”

The recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Award will be announced during the recognition ceremony for the Blue Ribbon winners in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 20.

(From a news release submitted by Kathy Scott of the Nogales Unified School District.)

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