Denise Barth

Denise Barth has been principal of Catawba Trail Elementary School since its opening in 2011. From day one, Barth has succeeded in incorporating the talent and dedication of faculty, parents and administration to achieve the shared vision of a school where students’ whole selves are supported and encouraged. This vision is apparent throughout the design of the school, from creative classroom configuration that incorporates flexible, child-friendly furniture to the installation of four full playgrounds emphasizing different types of exercise and movement. Barth has implemented Richland School District Two’s first elementary STEM program, combining student interest with a look toward national occupational trends. Barth is also proud of the school’s QuEST program for academically gifted children, which she describes as providing “a goldmine of data as this new program structure avoids the pitfalls of pull-outs while removing barriers to historically underachieving subgroups of students.” Students at Catwaba Trail continue to outperform the state average for all demographic groups. Teacher engagement and professional development is a pillar of the school culture, with Barth taking the lead on finding creative ways to introduce new technology and ideas to her team. Barth holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina and has studied at the School Leadership Executive Institute at the Center for Creative Leadership.