Coweta's Steve Barker Named 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker was named as the 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association on Friday.
The honor was announced at the GSSA Awards Luncheon at the Waverly Renaissance Hotel in Atlanta. Dr. Barker will now be entered into consideration for National Superintendent of the Year.
Barker was nominated for the honor by the Coweta County Board of Education. He was selected from among four finalists including Samantha Fuhrey of Newton County Schools, Dr. Michael Duncan of Pike County Schools, and Wes Taylor of Lowndes County Schools.
Barker attended Friday’s luncheon along with several board members. A delegation led by Barker’s family members and over 30 community and school system also joined them to congratulate him on the announcement, which was not revealed to finalists before Friday’s ceremony. Well-wishers included Barker's family, school system employees past and present (including fortmer Superintendent Blake Bass), and Coweta County business leaders.
Barker praised his fellow nominees as he accepted the award. “I am honored just to be nominated,” he said.
The honor he received Friday “represents the work of a whole community,” said Barker. Referring to the supporters who had joined him, he thanked school employees, parents and community members “for the work you do every day” to support education in Coweta County.
The four finalists for this year’s Superintendent of the Year award were “singled out for their leadership abilities and their excellent skillsets 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.”
“Dr. Barker is very deserving of this recognition,” said Coweta County Board of Education Vice-Chair Amy Dees. “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.”
“Coweta County is fortunate to have Dr. Barker serve as our Superintendent of the Coweta County School System,” said 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.”
Dr. Barker will serve as Georgia’s nominee in the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National School Superintendent of the Year competition. The results of that selection process are expected to be announced in February.
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.
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. He is a native of Dalton, Georgia, and is married to Karen Barker, and has two children – Cade and Lily.
Barker was nominated by 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.