On June 19, the School Board accepted the appointment of Kristin Barber as the new Principal at Northwood Preschool Center. Kristin graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in special education, and began her career at the North Polk West Elementary School as a first and second grade teacher, then later as a Master Teacher / Instructional Coach in the district. While in that role, she completed her Masters in Education from Viterbo University with a Reading Endorsement and started to find a passion in educational leadership.
“As an instructional coach, I always wanted to find ways to impact more students, more staff, and more parents by ensuring that everyone has a voice. When you are an administrator or lead learner, you can put structures in place in a child’s education to make sure that we’re meeting all needs in all areas, whether that is through academics, language, socially-emotional, cognitive or physical.”She recently completed her second Masters in Education, this time from Iowa State University in Educational Leadership and Administration. While at Iowa State, part of her studies focused on social justice in education and meeting the needs of all students. This emphasis is something she is passionate about in education and will be her primary focus this year at Northwood. She believes it was also something that allowed her to distinguish herself during the interview process.
Associate Superintendent, Dr. Mandy Ross said that “Kristin stood out in a strong pool of candidates as someone who was very knowledgeable about early childhood education and how it connects to the elementary program. Her experiences and understanding of cultural competency and professional learning communities showed alignment with the District’s philosophy. She was extremely organized, including sharing an entry plan, which she is currently in the process of implementing.”
With the school year approaching, Kristin is placing an emphasis on ensuring that students and parents have a good experience while at Northwood. For many, this school year will be their first time in an educational setting, and having a positive experience can foster a desire for lifelong learning. “It’s important that parents feel welcomed and connected to the school, whether through social media and knowing that they can reach out to me with questions and concerns.” Kristin is taking over as principal of Northwood from Brandon Schrauth who transferred to the principal role at Fellows Elementary School.