At a special meeting on May 30, the APS Board of Education announced that John Barry is the leading candidate for Superintendent of Schools. The board will likely appoint Barry as Superintendent of Schools at a special meeting on Friday, June 9 at 4 p.m. The meeting will be held in the board room at 1085 Peoria St.
“We are continuing our contract negotiations with Mr. Barry, and we remain very excited about Mr. Barry coming to APS. I think we'll reach an agreement on contract terms soon, and I expect that we will formally appoint him as superintendent on Friday,” said Board President Matt Cook.
Barry will be a nontraditional superintendent who will bring a fresh perspective to APS. Barry has extensive experience working and living in multicultural and multilingual settings.
Barry attended elementary and high school in New York City. “I grew up in the Bronx and I know what it is like growing up in a diverse, urban environment. I grew up on a block with African-American, Irish, Italian, Jewish and Puerto Rican families. I believe that growing up with people from so many different backgrounds fundamentally shaped who I am today,” said Barry.
Barry, a 34-year Air Force veteran, has lived and worked internationally and throughout the U.S. “The military is a microcosm of the United States, where you are always working in diverse environments. In my 34 years, we were able to inspire the actions of people to create living laboratories where we successfully merged cultural, gender, economic, language and religious differences. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to maximize a person’s potential, regardless of background,” said Barry.
Barry comes to APS from SAP, the world’s leading provider of business and educational software solutions. Barry and his staff effectively managed a global portfolio of clients throughout Europe as well as in Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
“The diversity of Aurora is one of the biggest draws for me. I look forward to working with our principals and teachers to provide educational excellence for all students,” said Barry.
Barry’s ties to Colorado are long-standing. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1973. At times while Barry served internationally, his family lived in Colorado. Barry’s children attended public schools throughout the country and attended colleges in Colorado. Barry’s son John graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2003. His daughter Jennifer graduated in 2004 from Colorado Christian University.
“Colorado has always had a special place in our lives. My family and I look forward to calling it home,” said Barry.
In his free time, Barry likes to fly airplanes. He continues to serve as an FAA certificated soaring (glider) instructor. “I have been teaching people how to fly for more than 30 years. I love sharing knowledge with my students and opening the skies to them,” said Barry. He also enjoys fly fishing and bicycling.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to lead APS. Together as a family of students, teachers, principals, staff, parents, community members and business leaders, we will make APS the premier district in Colorado,” said Barry.
Georgia Durán of Communication Services will send an update on Barry and the board’s actions as a media release and in the next editions of E-News and Community Connection. It will highlight more about Barry’s background and his work as a Broad fellow.