IB Coordinator Kisha Barnes Named Principal at King Elementary

Kisha BarnesDES MOINES, IA (April 15, 2016) – Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce Iowa native and longtime DMPS employee Kisha Barnes will be taking over as principal at King Elementary School.  She replaces Peter LeBlanc who accepted a position as principal at Goodrell Middle School earlier this year.

Barnes has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Simpson College, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University.  She started her teaching career in Longmont, CO in 1997, returning to Des Moines to teach at Smouse Opportunity School in 2001.  Since then, she’s taught elementary and middle school at King, Park Avenue, Downtown School and Gateway Secondary School before becoming the District K-12 IB and World Languages Coordinator.

“I bring a strong understanding of engaging teaching and learning and a relentless belief that all students will learn,” Barnes said. “A major objective of my leadership at King Elementary is to build upon the focus of learning by supporting student centered, standards based learning, and serving the staff, students, and community through mutual engagement.”

Barnes experience moving the district forward in its goal of becoming a model for urban education in the United States includes her involvement in International Education, the Drake University/King Academy Educational Partnership, and service on councils, committees and teams promoting goal oriented plans to positively influence everything from student behavior to school vision to the improvement of Iowa Assessment scores, and a growing internal drive to prepare students’ hearts and minds for a global society.

“Kisha Barnes is a proven leader with a deep knowledge of what motivates student learning, from the classroom to the district level,” said Superintendent Tom Ahart. “Her experience challenging, encouraging and supporting students and staff makes her a great fit for principal at one of our most diverse elementary schools. Finally, she understands the importance of engaging the entire school community in the mission of educating our students.”

Barnes will transition to her new position on July 1, 2016. A search is already underway to fill the open position of District K-12 IB and World Languages Coordinator.