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Christopher R. Barnes
Corte Sierra Elementary School
Litchfield Elementary School District
Avondale, Arizona

 During his nineteen years as a principal, Christopher Barnes has earned three A+ School of Excellence Awards from the Arizona Educational Foundation, two of which were awarded to Corte Sierra Elementary. Since he opened Corte Sierra thirteen years ago, Barnes has helped the school to fulfill its vision to “Spearhead Through the 21st Century” by building successful relationships with all stakeholders. Barnes connects with students with genuine enthusiasm—for example, adapting the positive military chant, “HOOAH!” which students shout daily after the “Corte Creed.” He ensures that every learner excels by using programs like WIN (What I Need) in reading and math and instructional tools such as Thinking Maps. He regularly joins staff in meetings, lunches, and observations in order to monitor student progress.  According to Barnes, however, support is mutual; without parents, local businesses, and community members, Corte Sierra wouldn't be the success that it is. One of his biggest accomplishments is organizing the first district-wide community fundraiser, raising over $50,000 for schools and local nonprofit organizations. Corte Sierra is a Title I School and the winner of three Golden Bell Awards from the Arizona School Boards Association. Barnes is a Certified Principal Mentor Coach for NAESP and a Certified Hearing Officer for the Arizona School Risk Retention Trust. He holds a B.A. in Secondary Education from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Vocational Education from Northern Arizona University.