A San Angelo native, Barton has been an elementary educator for 27 years and Fort Concho principal for 10. Under her leadership, Fort Concho has been recognized as a High-Performing Campus by the Texas Education Agency and its enrollment has nearly doubled. Many of the innovative new programs she has introduced are linked to ASU, including the Fort Concho/ASU Connection that features monthly campus tours for fifth-graders. Fort Concho also annually welcomes ASU student-teachers, and ASU students are involved in various other programs, many aimed at first-generation students.
By exposing them to ASU, we show them that if they work hard, it can open a lot of doors.
“By exposing them to ASU,” Barton said, “we show them that if they work hard, it can open a lot of doors that they may not think are available to them. It’s our job to let students know early on why they are learning to read and learning math, because there are opportunities out there for them, if they choose to take them, to make a better life for them and their families.”
Barton also involves Fort Concho students in the Texas Research Institute for Young Scholars, after-school enrichment programs and community service. She is personally involved with several community organizations and serves on ASU’s Educator Preparation Advisory Council, where she maintains close ties to her former professors.
“They became my friends and mentors,” Barton said. “They are passionate about educating children, and that passion they shared with me is something I brought into the classroom and into my school.”
For her career achievements, dedication to her students and unbreakable connection to ASU, the Alumni Association has named Barton its 2017 Distinguished Alumna.
“I love my school and I love my job,” Barton said. “To be recognized for doing something that you love, it almost feels like cheating. It’s very rewarding that someone thinks the work I’m doing is worthy of this recognition.”