Southside Spotlight: Meet Joette Barnes, East Central ISD’s new chief instructional officer

Barnes served as the principal of Oak Crest Elementary

East Central Independent School District proudly announced Joette Barnes as the new chief instructional officer. (East Central ISD)

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and Live From the Southside, a new local- and Latina-owned magazine that works to improve & expand community relationships through promoting events, stories and businesses.

East Central Independent School District proudly announced Joette Barnes’ appointment as its new chief instructional officer. Barnes, currently the principal of Oak Crest Elementary, brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to educational excellence to her new role.

A homegrown talent, Barnes is a proud graduate of East Central ISD, having completed her education journey from elementary to high school graduation within the district. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Education from Prairie View A&M University in 2006, after which she consciously chose to give back to the community that nurtured her by dedicating her career to ECISD.

With 16 years of invaluable experience within the district, Barnes has traversed various roles, starting as a teacher at Salado Elementary. Her journey continued as a reading coach at Salado and later as an assistant principal and academic dean at Legacy Middle School. A passionate dedication to student success and educational advancement has marked each step of her career.

However, during her tenure as the principal of Oak Crest Elementary, Barnes truly made her mark. She spearheaded initiatives that fostered a collaborative culture and a unified vision for school improvement. Her leadership was instrumental in implementing continuous improvement strategies that led to a remarkable rise in Oak Crest’s performance, elevating it from a D to a B according to TEA’s accountability system. This achievement showcases her transformative leadership style and underscores her unwavering commitment to student growth, teacher empowerment, and leadership development.

Apart from her professional achievements, Barnes is deeply rooted in the community she serves. She is an active and proud community member alongside her husband and their loyal dog, Ella. Her homegrown roots and profound commitment to educational excellence make her the perfect fit for the role of chief instructional officer.

Barnes’ impact extends beyond the walls of Oak Crest Elementary. She is the first principal to have her school participate in Live from the Southside’s Youth Writing Program, serving as a beacon of inspiration for her students. Her motivation has led to the publication of several students’ works in Live from the Southside Magazine, showcasing their talents and the nurturing environment she fosters.

As she takes on this new position, we are excited to witness Barnes’ continued contributions and exemplary leadership. Her appointment reflects East Central ISD’s ongoing commitment to fostering a culture of excellence and innovation in education. Congratulations on this well-deserved achievement!

This article initially appeared on Live from the Southside.

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