People

Cynthia K. Barron

Leadership Coach and Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies

Dr. Cynthia K. Barron is a leadership coach with the UIC College of Education Urban Education Leadership program. She has more than 40 years’ experience in education, with 35 of those years spent in Chicago Public Schools as a teacher, athletic coach, counselor, principal of two schools (elementary and secondary), Area Instruction Officer, and Interim Chief Area Officer for High Schools.

During her eight years as a successful principal, Barron received many honors. She is the only two-time winner of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award, first as the principal of Jane Addams Elementary School, where test scores increased appreciably from a composite of 40 percent meeting or exceeding goals to more 75% meeting or exceeding standards on the IGAP (Illinois Goals Assessment Program). She then went on to win her second award as the founding Principal of Jones College Prep.

In 1998, at the request of the Chief Executive Officer, Barron went on to transform Jones College Prep from a two-year vocational school to one of the top schools in Illinois in only four years. From 2002 through 2009, Barron served as the Area Instruction Officer for the Chicago Public Schools for two high school areas totaling more than 40 schools. In both cases, the increases in student attendance and achievement were attributed to her leadership, characterized by the development of high performing teams. Barron later returned from retirement to serve as the Interim Chief Area Officer for High School Area 25, where she leveraged a new Interim Assessment Initiative across all 11 schools in her area.

She serves on the Advisory Board for the Marilyn G. Raab (MGR) Foundation, on the Teach for America Stakeholders Board, and on the Mikva Challenge Board of Directors. Barron presents nationally for ACT regarding College Readiness, Course Rigor, and Student Preparation, and was recently elected to serve on the Illinois ACT Council. She currently leads the High School Curriculum Framework Project work for the University of Illinois at Chicago Urban Education Leadership EdD Program.