Cynthia K. Barron

Leadership Coach and Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies

Dr. Cynthia K. Barron is a leadership coach and clinical faculty member with UIC's Urban Education Leadership Program.  In the role of coach, Dr. Barron has supported over thirty-five Ed.D. candidates through internships in their quest to become high quality school leaders.  Nearly all passed the Chicago Public Schools eligibility process and are now serving as principals,  assistant principals and principal supervisors in CPS schools, in which roles Dr. Barron’s coaching continues through the novice leadership years. Additionally, Dr. Barron teaches the EDPS 553 course, Leading Urban School Systems, part of the UIC superintendent endorsement strand.

Dr. Barron has more than forty years’ experience in education, with thirty-five of those years spent in Chicago Public Schools as a teacher, athletic coach, counselor, assistant principal, truancy and dropout prevention coordinator, principal of two schools, Area Instruction Officer, and Interim Chief Area Officer for High Schools.  She has been recognized for success as both an elementary and high school principal moving each school to new heights. 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.  As an Area Instructional Officer, Dr. Barron supervised, supported and developed over 40 high school principals in two different CPS Areas. During seven years as an Area Instructional Officer (later titled Chief Area Officer) Dr. Barron’s schools demonstrated improved principal leadership, attendance, student achievement, Local School Council engagement, and increased focus on a student centered approach to teaching and learning.

Dr. Barron serves on the UIC/CPS Joint Committee on College Readiness and Success and the UIC/CPS Course Alignment Committee.  From 2010 through 2013, she co-led the Ed.D. program’s high school design committee, and led efforts to implement the committee’s recommendations at 20 CPS high schools through the UIC Curriculum Framework Project.  Outside of UIC, she serves on a number of professional advisory boards including Mikva Challenge, ACT State Council and Amandla Charter School Education Committee.  Barron presents nationally for ACT regarding College Readiness, Course Rigor, and Student Preparation, and recently served as Chair of the Illinois ACT Council.  Dr. Barron received her MS from Chicago State University, her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Loyola University and her Superintendent Certification from the University of Illinois at Chicago.