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News Release - 2010 Superintendent of the Year

Nov. 17, 2010

News Release

Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones Congratulates John Barry, Colorado Superintendent of the Year

Colorado Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones today congratulated Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry, who has been named the 2011 Superintendent of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives.

“John Barry’s tremendous leadership skills make him an outstanding selection to represent superintendents across the state,” said Commissioner Jones. “He has demonstrated a keen ability to harness the district’s resources and maximize the potential of staff to make a difference for students. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his analytical approach in person and his thoughtful use of data is unparalleled from my experience. Congratulations to John Barry for this worthy recognition.”

Superintendent of the state’s sixth-largest school district since 2006, Barry took the job following more than 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Barry retired as a two-star or major general. He also served as a board member and executive director of the team that investigated the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident.

As a school district leader who did not have previous experience as a teacher or educator, Superintendent Barry is the first “non-traditional” recipient of the CASE Superintendent of the Year award.

As superintendent, Barry spearheaded VISTA 2010, a comprehensive five-year strategic plan geared towards increasing student achievement, closing socio-economic gaps and regaining public confidence in the school district. The plan was integrated into every aspect of teaching and learning and is reflected in aligned curricula, instructional practice, assessments and professional development programs.

The School Executives of Aurora (SEA) nominated Barry for the award, stating that in the four years he has been superintendent, he has “changed the focus, philosophy and physical structure of [the district].” The nomination praised Barry’s concerted effort and success in reaching out to students, parents, community members, policymakers and other leaders to foster a sense of “ownership and shared responsibility for [the] schools.”

Lynn Fair, president of SEA, stated that Barry has “changed the business of instruction.” She added, “We are refocused and realigned to ensure that each program, initiative, action and activity is directly correlated to increased student achievement.”

Barry was selected by a group of his peers from the Colorado Association of Superintendents and Senior Administrators (CASSA), a department of CASE and an affiliate of the national American Association of School Administrators (AASA). Criteria for selection include exemplary performance in leadership for learning, communication skills, professionalism and community involvement.

As Colorado’s Superintendent of the Year, Barry is eligible to become the National Superintendent of the Year. The national winner will be announced at the AASA annual conference in February 2011, which will be held in Denver.

For additional information about Barry, contact Georgia Duran at Aurora Public Schools, 303-365-7805 or

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