Arredondo Elementary Principal Amber Barbarow is a member of an elite group after being named one of only nine recently selected as Texas National Distinguished Principal (NDP) finalists by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).
The winner will receive a surprise school visit in May, alerting him or her of their recognition as Texas’ National Distinguished Principal. The winning principal receives $10,000 and represents Texas in Washington, D.C., as the 2016 National Distinguished Principal.
A graduate of Lamar CISD’s Terry High School, Barbarow is the first principal at Arredondo Elementary, which opened for the 2015-2016 school year.
Prior to opening Arredondo, Barbarow was principal at McNeill Elementary. Prior to that she served as an assistant principal at McNeill and Austin elementary schools. She began her career in Lamar CISD as a math and science teacher at Pink Elementary, then became the math and science facilitator at that school.
Barbarow has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, with master’s degrees from UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria.
Should she win, Barbarow will be the third Lamar CISD principal to be so honored. Hubenak Elementary Principal Diane Parks was honored in 2007 while she was principal at Ray Elementary. Ken Davis, former principal at Pink and McNeill elementary schools, earned the honor in 2009.
“These exemplary principals are guiding the future and proving students from all walks of life can be successful,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said.
TEPSA received 97 nominations for the 2016 award. After a rigorous reading process, in which applicants shared their educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, a peer review committee selected nine finalists. The leaders then showcased their achievements during a school visit by a team of educators. Finalists will be recognized at the TEPSA awards reception June 15 in Austin.
The NDP program promotes PreK-8 educational excellence and focuses on the fundamental importance of the school principal. The program honors principals who exhibit extraordinary leadership, commitment to their students and staff, service to their communities and contributions to the profession, including their professional associations.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals sets award criteria. The Texas award is sponsored by TEPSA, and the program is supported with a generous donation from Mentoring Minds.